Nothing is more comforting for a new head coach than to have one or more of his former players on his new roster. These 3 could follow Mike McDaniel to the Miami Dolphins.
The San Francisco 49ers don’t have a lot of impending free agents, unlike the Dolphins but several could become a part of the Dolphins organization depending on how Mike McDaniel feels about them.
It is natural to see players follow a coach. In Miami, it didn’t take long for Brian Flores to start adding former players to his roster. While they didn’t tend to last long, the point is that they helped him implement his system, especially on defense.
McDaniel won’t have much to add defensively and his forte is on the offensive side of the ball so it goes without saying, that he would be more interested in taking some of his former guys and moving them to Miami with him.
Here are three players that could follow McDaniel to Miami.
Laken Tomlinson is a guard that could slide in and challenge immediately for a starting job. He has the tools and is consistent. Drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Lions, Tomlinson, now 30 years old, has started all 80 games he appeared in for the 49ers and 24 of 32 games with the Lions. He has appeared in 112 games over his career never missing more than two games in a season.
The Dolphins need a guard that is familiar with the McDaniel offense and running game and Tomlinson would fit very well.
Ross Dwelley is another tight end and it would seem that the Dolphins would have little interest in adding another one but consider that we are not sure about the future of Mike Gesicki or Durham Smythe.
Dwelley has played back-up to one of the best TEs in the NFL, George Kittle and Kittle loves McDaniel. At 27, Dwelley has been in the league for four seasons now, all with the 49ers. He has four touchdowns in his career and has 401 yards but he can block and that is something that the Dolphins will need to address at the position.
In his four years, Dwelley has appeared in all but five games, all coming in his rookie season. He has started 17 of those games. His best season was in 2020 when he posted 19 receptions for 245 yards for a 12.9 yards per reception total. It was also the only season that he posted more than 100 yards receiving.
While Dwelley doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers that Gesicki has, he has knowledge of the system, is close with new TE coach Jon Embree, and could replace Cethan Carter if the Dolphins bring back Gesicki and Smythe or opt to not re-sign one of the two or both.
Raheem Mostert isn’t going to get fans all worked up and yelling that the Miami Dolphins upgraded their running back unit. He isn’t that type of runner.
He is however, once again, familiar.
McDaniel wants to bring his style of football to Miami and that has a big emphasis on running the football so it would make sense to bring someone in that already knows that system and can help others learn it.
The Dolphins are not going to enter the 2022 season with their running unit looking the way it does now. There is room for addition and we could see more than one running back added to the roster, in fact, I would guess that we could see at least three new running backs this year and could finally see a running back in the draft.
Mostert has been in the league 7 years so don’t look for him to be a featured back if he does join the Dolphins. He was previously in Miami for one game in 2015, his rookie season where he played for three teams.
In 2016 he joined the 49ers and has been on their roster since. He has started 9 of 46 games and has rushed for 1,610 yards. All of his statistics came from his time in San Francisco.