After four weeks, Dolphins positions of need in ’23 are coming into focus

Liam Eichenberg(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Liam Eichenberg(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins are 3-1 and could make a strong run over the next seven weeks that could potentially put them at 9 or even 10 wins by the time they hit December. Still, there are holes that are starting to surface and they are areas that Miami will need to address in 2023.

We are learning that this year, the Dolphins need a big tight end that can be physical on the line of scrimmage. I think the last time the Dolphins had that physical blocking presence was Anthony Fasano. For years we wished we could have a Mike Gesicki type and when we got him finally starting to roll, we switched to a system that doesn’t fit his talent.

Next year I would expect Miami to look pretty hard at free-agent tight ends with a focus on physicality and blocking ability. It would make sense given Miami’s desire to be more run-heavy.

This year we are seeing why the focus on the cornerback position was so important. Miami is dealing with injuries to Byron Jones and now Xavien Howard. The team lost promising youngster Trill Williams early in the season and is getting good production from Nik Needham.

The pleasant surprise so far has been Kader Kohou who is one of the best rookie corners in the league and there is so much room for growth. Still, these guys are being thrust into starting and Miami needs to look at getting younger with blue-chip talent.

I don’t see Miami chasing an expensive cornerback in free agency but they could target one in the draft.

Through four games the Miami Dolphins’ pass blocking has been very good and a lot of improvement is seen across the line but there are still big questions when it comes to run blocking. Liam Eichenberg continues to struggle and the right side of the line still has problems. Yes, Austin Jackson has been out but we were all still waiting to see if he could elevate his game. The jury is still out so far.

Miami could attack the market in the offseason for a free-agent lineman. This year is a great evaluation period for the coaches and if there is no improvement from a few players, a change might be made, I would have to believe that if the run game doesn’t improve, Miami will make those changes along the line as needed.

While I hate to say this, the quarterback might be something that dominates the off-season discussions. This is not a knock on Tua Tagovailoa but at some point, we have to wonder about his availability and this season is going to be an important one for both he and the Dolphins.

If Tua comes back and doesn’t have any setbacks the rest of the year, the Dolphins could look at the off-season in 2023 as a non-QB needing period but if Tua comes back and then misses more time, they may need to think about looking for real competition for him. That might come in the draft. Skylar Thompson is promising but Miami can’t rely on a Tua/Skylar system in 2023 if Tua misses considerable time the rest of the year.

A caveat to that is if Teddy Bridgewater ball-out the rest of the year in Tua’s absence. He may be re-signed.

The linebacker group is playing well so far but many of the players are on one-year deals or will be free agents. The Dolphins are going to need to find help at the position at some point and they could look to bolster the unit after the season.