Linebacker has been a problem for the Miami Dolphins, mostly depth problems but Miami hasn’t had a top LB in quite a while.
This year, that could change. Miami finally has quality depth on the roster and their starters look good, on paper. Jerome Baker has been good but he is not elite. He enters a contract year in 2021 and there is no guarantee that he comes back after the season. His play should warrant contract discussions but his asking price and Miami’s willingness to pay it may keep this from getting done until after the season. If negotiations have been discussed at all.
The big move this off-season was the trade for Bernardrick McKinney. McKinney is two years removed from a Pro Bowl season. He could be exactly what Miami needs at the position. His gameplay is consistent and sometimes dominating.
Miami’s depth is good. Vince Biegel is back from his injury a year ago and he will compete for playing time alongside Andrew Van Ginkel who had a good enough year that led Miami to release Kyle Van Noy. Elandon Roberts is back but recovering from off-season surgery. Last season he looked settled in the Brian Flores defense.
Miami also has added quality veterans. Duke Riley, Calvin Munson, and retained Sam Eguavoen as well.
The Dolphins are listing Jaelan Phillips as a linebacker but will likely see him playing off the edge as a pass rusher. He has all the physical tools to be great at this level but his long-term health is a small concern.
Overall, the Dolphins linebacker group should excel this year but Brian Flores needs to get his defense better at stopping the run. They are a physical unit but consistency will need to be proven. They should, however, be a lot more exciting.