The Miami Dolphins looked horrible on Sunday against the Jets and it had nothing to do with Skylar Thompson, Teddy Bridgewater, or Tua Tagovailoa. It had everything to do with the offensive line.
Chris Grier like his general manager predecessors still has not fixed the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line. It is atrocious. Marginally better overall than last season. It is full of players that should be depth linemen on any other team in the NFL.
The Dolphins made a big splash in free agency when they added Terron Armstead. Paying him over $75 million was no big deal. He was the big fish and the Dolphins locked him down. For all the fans that were cooing over the addition, they are now fuming that he will potentially miss time with a toe injury. Guess what? Terron misses games, that’s the reality of it. Miami knew this going into the signing and here we are.
Signing Armstead wasn’t a mistake. Failing to find a qualified backup was.
Connor Williams was supposed to be a great addition and so far, it isn’t a bad move. Williams is playing well enough, but he could be having a bigger impact on the offensive line. Signing Williams isn’t a mistake, moving him to play center is.
The Dolphins offensive line should have been much better this year. Liam Eichenberg is struggling at left guard, Robert Hunt is being overwhelmed at right guard, and even when Austin Jackson was healthy, he wasn’t playing close to his draft number. Average at best.
Miami’s pass protection has been up and down and against the Jets, it was way down. Miami should be starting Michael Dieter at center. They should move Williams to LG, Eichenberg should be depth, and Greg Little needs to do better at RT. But the biggest problem is Miami made two moves to fix a unit that was universally bad last year from right to left.
Basically, the Dolphins applied an expensive bandage to a bleeding cut and are wondering why the blood is still seeping out.
This is Grier’s problem. By now, the Dolphins should have identified the fact that some of these guys are misses. Move on. They wanted to see if Matt Applebaum could coach them up but that is an excuse for this year. What about last year, the year before, or the 10 years before that?
Grier has been the Dolphins GM since 2016. That is a long lifespan for an NFL executive who has experienced one playoff appearance and only three seasons above .500.
The consistent theme to all of those seasons? An offensive line built with players that are depth players at best. Offensive linemen who were scouted and drafted and shouldn’t have been.
- Austin Jackson – first round
- Liam Eichenberg – traded up in round 2 to get him
- Larnel Coleman – 7th round
- Robert Hunt – 2nd round (the only one worth the selection)
- Solomon Kindley – 4th round – gone
- Michael Dieter – 3rd round – back up
- Isaiah Prince – 6th round – gone
- Isaac Asiata – 5th round – gone
- Laremy Tunsil – 1st round – traded for a load of draft picks
Regardless of where they were drafted, Grier has taken quite a few linemen but only Hunt has played like a starter. What makes this all worse, is that Grier has refused to spend money on the positions in free agency until this off-season but you can’t expect two guys, one who is injured and one playing out of position to make an impact.
Some of those guys above? They would look great as Miami’s backup linemen but the Dolphins have asked them to start instead and it isn’t working.