The Miami Dolphins enter the 2021 season with one of the deepest linebacking corps that this team has had for a while. There is a ton of potential with this unit and a lot of young names that could keep this unit dangerous for a while if they can develop the way that we all expect them to.
A lot of these guys could line up at different positions in Miami’s front seven, making it hard to predict who will play where. What we do know, however, is that the potential is through the roof and they have potentially fixed a lot of their pass rush issues in Miami.
Here are the projected players who will stay on the roster come week 1.
Starter: Andrew Van Ginkel
In limited playing time, Van Ginkel proved that he is capable of being a quality starter and a threat off the edge. Hopefully, Van Ginkel can continue that high level of play with a higher snap count making him one of the more dangerous pass rushers in the AFC East.
Starter: Jerome Baker
Jerome Baker is an interesting player going into this season. He is a solid starter who has shown flashes of being a legitimate defensive threat but then has moments where he disappears. Going into a contract year, Baker will need to prove that he is worth a long-term extension by eliminating those moments where he seems nonexistent on the field.
Starter: Bernardrick McKinney
Miami traded Shaq Lawson for McKinney this offseason. A few seasons ago, McKinney was a pro-bowler and Miami will be hoping that he can rediscover that level of play with new scenery. He should start barring any injuries.
Starter: Jaelan Phillips
The first-round pick brings tons of talent to the position and a pass-rushing threat that Miami hasn’t had for a few seasons. Assuming he can stay healthy, which is unfortunately not guaranteed, Phillips could be a defensive rookie of the year candidate and develop into a legitimate menace in Brian Flores’ system.
Miami’s linebacker corp will need to help generate a consistent pass rush to take this defense to the next level this season.
Backup: Vince Beigel
Another fan favorite on this roster, Beiegel is coming off a torn Achilles that sidelined him for the entire 2020 season. If he can get healthy, he is a strong substitute. He hasn’t shown enough to be a solid starter, but he can definitely help with replacing guys who need a breather.
Backup: Sam Eguaveon
The definition of a special teamer, Eguaveon has not done enough to make him a starter on this roster. He brings a tone of value as a backup and on special teams which should help him keep a roster spot this offseason.
Backup Elandon Roberts
Roberts was brought back this offseason after a decent one-year stint in Miami. An injury prevented him from going over the last few games, but there is a lot of potential in Roberts’ game and he could replace McKinney if he struggles early on.
Backup Calvin Munson
Munson quietly played in every game last season and is a solid contributor on special teams. He doesn’t bring much to the table outside of that, but quality special teams are underrated for success in this league.