Free Agent Profile: Laken Tomlinson is a Mike McDaniel guy

Laken Tomlinson San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Laken Tomlinson San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins are in the market for offensive linemen. Laken Tomlinson is a familiar piece for head coach Mike McDaniel.

There are holes to fill up and down the roster for the Miami Dolphins, but the focal point of the off season should be the offensive line. It was the Achilles heel for the team in 2021, stunting both running and passing games and making the offense mostly anemic.

The Dolphins will undoubtedly drop some big cash in free agency on big name veteran linemen, as they have the most money to spend of any team in the NFL. Guys like Brandon Scherff and Terron Armstead will certainly be in play for Miami, but there is another name that may be a great fit.

Offensive guard Laken Tomlinson was drafted 28th overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2015 NFL Draft, and was traded to the 49ers in 2017. His arrival in San Francisco coincided with that of Mike McDaniel, who used Tomlinson in his scheme for the entirety of their five seasons in the Bay Area. The two are certainly familiar with each other, and a reunion in Miami could make sense.

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The rapport between coach and player is one good reason why the Dolphins should throw an offer at Tomlinson, but there are a couple of others as well. His price tag won’t be that of the elite linemen, though a bidding war could take place given his recent success. He was a part of the great 49ers run game and made his first Pro Bowl this last season. He is also extremely durable, having missed just one game over the course of his seven-year career.

Tomlinson won’t be Miami’s first signing. While the offensive line as a whole needs a lot of fixing, one of the few bright spots on the unit is Robert Hunt, who also plays guard. But the other side of the line is a question mark, and the Dolphins couldn’t quite figure out where everyone should play in 2021 to maximize their strengths. But if they are to bring in Tomlinson, then he would shore up the other guard spot, and could push the likes of Liam Eichenberg or Austin Jackson back in to depth duty instead of having them remain as starters.

Laken Tomlinson wouldn’t be the biggest splash that the Miami Dolphins could make this spring, but his presence could make a huge difference come fall.

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