The Miami Dolphins came one game away from making the postseason last year. They did that behind three rookies on the line and backup WRs.
This year, the Dolphins are hoping to make up that one game somewhere on their schedule and improve to at least 11 wins and in doing so, hopefully getting a ticket to the playoffs. The question is whether or not a player like Julio Jones is the missing piece?
We have been discussing Jones quite a bit over the last week or two and it’s hard not to. The guy is a polarizing talent that can open an offense. Much in the same way HOF QBs don’t hit the free-agent market or trade market, players like Jones don’t come along all that often either. While they are more frequent than a QB, they still tend to be rare.
We have looked at whether or not the Dolphins should trade for Jones and yesterday, I said that given the fact Atlanta reportedly has a first-round draft pick offer on the table, that Miami should stay away from getting into the conversation. Today, it’s being reported that Seattle, New England, and the L.A. Rams are the favorites to make a deal.
I’m fine with Jones not coming to Miami and I’m fine if he does depending on the price it would cost to bring him here. On that front, I haven’t changed but I did want to look at whether not he would make a big difference in the Dolphins’ offense.
Miami would have to part ways with several players to make it work internally. Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns would likely be released and Preston Williams would be competing for that final 6th or 7th spot on the unit.
Miami’s receivers, assuming they didn’t trade Parker in a deal for Jones, would be Parker, Jones, Will Fuller, Williams, Jaylen Waddle, and??? That final spot or two would be up in the air between Jakeem Grant, Hurns, Wilson, Robert Foster, and Lynn Bowden, Jr.
While the Dolphins WRs would be the elite group of the NFL, are there enough footballs in Miami’s offense? Does that matter? The receivers would be elite but Mike Gesicki is still in play as is Hunter Long and even the Dolphins running backs.
Miami’s offense would be hard to cover as there would be so many formations that the Dolphins could roll out. Jones is still an elite receiver and that won’t change this year. Miami’s offense could most definitely make a big move forward and yes, Jones could be a missing component that could help the Dolphins get into the postseason.
There is a caveat, however, the Dolphins should get into the postseason without him. Will Fuller is going to stretch the field and Parker is going to be the outside physical receiver Miami needs. Waddle will be the slant and YAC guy, and whoever is in the slot will keep the linebackers off the line of scrimmage. Fuller and Waddle alone could keep safeties back.
In theory, Jones would man the outside opposite of Parker and Miami could run Waddle and Fuller from the slots in four-receiver sets but they don’t really need to. Jones is a luxury and while the Dolphins could afford it, they don’t necessarily need it to get to the playoffs. And this will be the last article on Julio Jones and the Miami Dolphins unless, for some reason, he ends up in Miami or the AFC East.