9-7 most important Miami Dolphins.
9. Emmanuel Ogbah
Jerome Baker got paid, and Ogbah is likely next, though it’ll be interesting to see how his contract situation plays out. On the one hand, Ogbah has not really been worth his 2nd round draft status, but on the other hand, in 2020, Ogbah showed the talent that made him a 2nd round pick.
Ogbah needs to replicate his 2020 season and then some. He enters Year 6 of his NFL career after his best season, compiling nine sacks and an impressive 21 quarterback hits. If Ogbah and Phillips both can get 9+ sacks and 20+ QB hits in 2021, Miami’s defense will be feared throughout the NFL.
8. Benardrick McKinney
Next up is linebacker Benardrick McKinney. Miami traded Shaq Lawson and a 2021 6th round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for McKinney and a 2021 7th round pick. They obviously wanted McKinney bad enough to trade for him, so they have a vision for him in their defense.
McKinney needs to help stop the run and be the leader for Miami in the middle. If he can have another Pro Bowl season, Miami should be arrested for robbing the Texans yet again.
7. Jerome Baker
We will call this the defensive slide because all three players are all important pieces on the defense. No. 7 on the list is linebacker Jerome Baker, who signed a nice contract extension this offseason.
Personally, I think the deal was great by the Dolphins. They may have overpaid him for what he has done so far, but they are predicting big things from him, clearly. And I am too. Baker is extremely underrated, and his ability to blitz and make plays will be huge for Miami this season. If he progresses like Miami paid him to progress, Miami’s defense could be scary good.