The Miami Dolphins haven’t signed a right tackle yet and fans are growing impatient. Free agency is still young but until that spot is filled, fans are concerned.
So far, the Dolphins have added only one offensive lineman to their roster. Connor Williams. Williams grades out well, as a guard. The tackle positions have yet to be touched.
We are hearing several rumors and a lot of speculation on what might be happening internally with the Dolphins plans. Whether these are based on fact is another story. If there is one thing we have learned it is that the Dolphins don’t leak their plans and Mike McDaniel doesn’t seem like a guy that is going to start. Here is what we know so far about the offensive line, or rather what we are hearing.
Connor Williams – A highly graded guard over the last four seasons could be an option on the outside. This would be a mistake in my opinion. He has no NFL experience at the position and has played very well inside. He should remain where he knows how to play.
Liam Eichenberg – Eich was up and down most of last year, not surprising for a rookie who in college played guard and tackle in his career. There has been chatter that he could move to the right tackle position. That is a big risk given the fact it is Tua’s blindside and putting a guy who struggled last year in that spot would not be smart.
Robert Hunt – There is some belief that the Dolphins could move Hunt outside to right tackle spot. I like what Hunt did last year as a guard and having a middle unit of Hunt/Dieter/Williams might be a strength but shifting Hunt outside could hurt Hunts development.
Austin Jackson – There has been some speculation, very little though, that Jackson could move back outside to a tackle spot. Personally, Jackson is the enigma here. He hasn’t developed well which isn’t surprising given the coaching staff previously in place. To be honest, he is a complete unknown at this point, which is sad for a former first round pick.
Free agent help – La’el Collins, Terron Armstead, and a slew of other tackles remain on the market. Signing a right tackle solves that blindside blocking problem but if the Dolphins ink a left tackle, there will be a significant shift of current roster. This falls in line with what I said above. A left tackle will force Miami to move Eichenberg, Jackson, or Williams to the outside right and that may not be ideal. It might even be detrimental to Tua’s growth this season.
The perfect scenario – Signing a free agent right tackle makes the most sense. Let Jackson and Eichenberg compete as the left tackle, the competition would do them both good. Keep Connor Williams and Robert Hunt inside where they are far more proven. As for Michael Dieter, unless Miami is hoping to sign a center to compete with him, he will be back this year in that role. Either way, a RT/Hunt/Dieter/Williams/Eich or Jackson isn’t a bad offensive line and could be better but it might be the safest.