The Miami Dolphins improved their linebacker group this year and if all plays out the way they hope, linebacker could finally be a position of strength.
With 11 linebackers on the Dolphins roster, tough decisions will have to be made when the roster cuts begin in late August. Luckily that is ways away and through OTAs, mini-camps, and training camp, players will get a chance to showcase their value.
We have ranked all but the linebackers and defensive lineman but today, we are going to move one step closer to completing our position by position player rankings.
Kylan Johnson: Johnson is one of only two players with no NFL experience. Unlike the other player, he doesn’t have the draft stock and ceiling. That isn’t to say he won’t surprise anyone but he will have a lot of work to do to impress the coaches.
Calvin Munson: Three seasons in the NFL since 2017, Munson missed the 2018 season, has led the middle linebacker to only seven starts. He is a depth linebacker and needs to show he can play special teams. Last year he was in all 16 games but started none and recorded nine tackles.
Jaelen Phillips: Phillips is a rookie and while I have listed many players with little or no experience above veterans simply based on potential, the Dolphins roster is such that Phillips has a lot to prove and he will get every opportunity to do so. For now, he ranks low.
Sam Eguavoen: Eguavoen has shown he can compete at the NFL level and has done everything Miami has asked him to do but he still will have to compete for his job. He has 3.5 sacks and seven starts with the Dolphins in two seasons.
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Vince Biegel: After stints in Green Bay and New Orleans, Biegel had a productive first year in Miami back in 2019. He started 10 games and had one interception. He didn’t make it out of training camp in 2020 and was placed on IR. Now, he is hoping to pick up where he left off. He has a lot of potential but will primarily be a backup.
Brennan Scarlett: Scarlett has five NFL seasons under his belt and has played both outside linebacker positions. His entire NFL career has been spent in Houston and he now joins the Dolphins to give them added depth outside. He has 22 starts in 56 games. On the downside, he has yet to play an entire season.
Duke Riley: In four NFL seasons, Riley has played for the Falcons and the Eagles, and now Miami. He has 24 starts in 57 games and unlike Scarlett has played two full seasons. Also like Scarlett, he has missed quite a few as well.
Elandon Roberts: Five seasons in the NFL and he has stayed healthy for most of those seasons. He has 44 starts in 73 games and last year was his first with the Dolphins after four years in New England. Roberts started off slow in 2020 but quickly got things rolling and by the end of the year was far more consistent.
Andrew Van Ginkel: It’s time for Van Ginkel to take a big step forward. After two seasons with the Dolphins, Van Ginkel is a player Miami is hoping will indeed take a leap forward. His rookie season was cut short due to injury and he only played in six games, starting one. Last year he started 11 games and was in all 16. He had 63 tackles in 2020. There is a lot to like about how he fits in the Brian Flores defense.
Jerome Baker: Baker is consistent and has progressively gotten better each season. He will be a free agent after the 2021 season and the Dolphins should make him a priority but they will likely look at his body of work this season before opening negotiations.
Benardrick McKinney: If McKinney can regain his Pro Bowl form of only three seasons ago, the Dolphins will have gotten yet another steal from the Texans. McKinney has six NFL seasons under his belt and has played in the middle of the linebacker unit for the Texans. Miami will pair him with Jerome Baker in 2021. He has 77 starts in 80 games missing most of last year with an injury.