#15 Andrew Van Ginkel
After coming in to the league as a 5th round pick in the 2019 draft, Van Ginkel has been slowly developing into a good linebacker and quality pass rusher. He definitely built of the success he found in his second season and put together a career year in every statistic except his sack numbers (down a 1.5 sacks on the year). Yet, sacks are not the only measurement for success and he doubled his QB hits from 2020 which shows that he was perfectly fine in getting into the opponents backfield.
Van Ginkel is a great piece on this team and helps keep consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The way that he continues to get better definitely makes you think that he could be a double digit sack guy in the near future.
#14 Nik Needham
2021 Stats: 59 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 sack
The 3rd year corner has gotten better every single year that he has played in Miami. Statistically speaking, his numbers look great, especially when compared to some of the other corners on this list. He had a 65.1 completion percentage against him and opposing quarterbacks had a below average QB rating against him (73.4). Yes, he played a lot of slot corner, but he still went up against some quality receivers over the season and his accomplishments shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Needham might not be a corner that you can leave alone on the boundaries, but he is most definitely a player you can trust in that nickel role and one that should continue to improve going into next year.
#13 Mack Hollins
Mack Hollins is not the box score guy. There are other receivers on this team who had better statistics than Hollins but few had as big of an impact from the leadership perspective than him.
Miami struggled with injuries literally all season, especially to the wide receiver corp as DeVante Parker and Preston Williams missed a ton of games. Hollins stepped in when those guys went down and made big plays when the team needed him to do so.
He also helped rally the team when it was enduring its 7 game losing streak and his leadership seemed to be one of the reasons that the team rebounded so well.
Hollins is another reason that the box score can be deceiving and can’t always tell you about the impact that guys on and off the field make on a team.
#12 Eric Rowe
2021 stats: 71 tackles, 43 solo, 3 FF
Eric Rowe was one of the best signings of the Flores era.
When he came here from New England, he did a great job immediately gelling with the team and became known for his ability to shut down opposing tight ends, no matter who they were.
This past year, Rowe’s playing time decreased considerably and there are probably a number of factors for that. The biggest factor was probably the development of fellow safeties Brandon Jones and Jevon Holland making it hard to find playing time for all three of them. Regardless of why his time on the field decreased, he still did a great job when he was on it and is a versatile weapon for the defense.
# 11 Brandon Jones
2021 stats: 79 tackles, 48 solo, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF
Last year’s third round pick has proven to be quite the player in his short time in Miami. He may not be the greatest in coverage, but he makes up for it with stellar pass rushing capabilities from the safety position. He ended the season with 5 sacks and 14 pressures, which are really good numbers for a defensive back.
Jones’ play improved this last season and proved that him and rookie Jevon Holland can be a force to be reckoned with as a starting safety duo.