The Miami Dolphins linebackers are good but they need to be better and they need to find one great linebacker to man the middle.
Miami will see four players potentially hit the FA market next month. Elandon Roberts, Duke Riley, Brennan Scarlett, and Sam Eguavoen. Eguavoen is the only one of the three who is restricted.
The Dolphins current roster looks good on paper but we have seen Miami fail in stopping the run consistently and that needs to change under Josh Boyer. Miami has the system that can stop both the run and passing game but again, consistency is the key.
Miami’s linebackers are led by Jerome Baker who is under a new contract since 2021. He continues to develop into a team leader but Baker can be inconsistent on his own at times and while he has good speed he has taken bad angles on plays that have given up a lot of yards.
After Baker, it is a hodgepodge of quality depth players but no one that singularly dominates at the line of scrimmage. Jaelan Phillips is used more as an edge rusher which works well for him and the Dolphins.
Miami has 10 LBs on their roster right now with the four aforementioned players heading to a potential FA market. They are not an elite group but play well together. Is that enough?
Vince Biegel and Andrew Van Ginkel are productive and Van Ginkel has shown that he can be used in more snap counts but as good as he is, he is still not a devastating inline tackler who can take over the line.
Beyond them are Darius Hodge and Calvin Munson. Both are replaceable and Miami needs to figure out their plans. The Dolphins were rumored to have a lot of interest in Michah Parsons last year and that could be a tip to what they view the LBs as needing. While the draft may come into play, free agency is a big possibility.
We spoke about Chandler Jones and the OLBs who can play off the edge earlier but at linebacker, Miami really needs to find a big hard hitting guy that can play next to Baker.
Finding a middle linebacker won’t be hard, there are plenty that will potentially be available. Names like Anythony Hitchens, Dont’a Hightower, Jarrad Davis, and Kwon Alexander. Miami will have options but they shouldn’t spend a lot at the position on a tier one prospect but instead work on 2nd or even 3rd tier players early and focus their attention on other needs.