Miami Dolphins week one free agency player expectations

Jan 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) returns an interception against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) returns an interception against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Dolphins have made 20 transactions so far through week one of free agency. Here is where expectations should be for every player acquired.

Expectations will be broken down into three different tiers. We have dudes, players, and depth.

Dudes are players that we expect to be the difference-makers week in and week out. These players are pillars of whatever side of the ball they play on.

Players are average run of the mill guys who are going to play consistent snaps. We do not expect them to play at the level of dudes, but we expect them to be consistently good.

The depth tier is the list of players who will play very little unless there is an injury. It is the lowest of the three tiers, but you can make an argument it is the most important. Every NFL season is full of injuries. Adding depth is one of the most important things an NFL team does every offseason.


There are three players who make this list. It is not hard to guess who they are.

They are Jalen Ramsey, Raheem Mostert, and Jeff Wilson Jr.

Jalen Ramsey is definitely the biggest splash of the three. The Dolphins gave up nothing for him.

He is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. PFF had him as the third highest-rated cornerback in the NFL last year. He is going to be lining up opposite Xavien Howard. The expectations for this Dolphins secondary are sky-high.

If the Dolphins do not have a top-five pass defense in the NFL it will be disappointing.

Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr.’s expectations go hand in hand. Mike McDaniel’s offense is predicated on the ability to run the football.

Mostert and Wilson Jr. both had good years last year. They both ran for over 800 yards and averaged over 4.5 yards per carry.

That is the expectation for them again this season. We have seen them both excel in this system.

I expect Wilson Jr. to be the main back, while Mostert is expected to sub in and hit home runs with all of the speed that he possesses.

If Wilson Jr. and Mostert have good years and are able to consistently pick up three to five yards a carry this offense will be amongst the best in the NFL.


David Long Jr., Nik Needham, DeShon Elliot, and Myles Gaskin are players who are expected to be consistent this year for the Dolphins.

David Long Jr. is a linebacker who is coming over from the Tennessee Titans who I am excited about. He is a guy who has gotten better every year. You can see that in both his stats and his playing time.

He recorded 86 tackles in 12 games last year. He was injured the other five games he did not play.

I am happy to see Nik Needham get resigned. He tore his Achilles last year. He has not started a ton of games for the Dolphins throughout his career, but he has been consistent when he has played.

DeShon Elliot is a safety who played for the Detroit Lions last year. He probably will not start, but he will get time on the field. He is another guy similar to Needham in the idea that he can give you 30 to 40 good snaps a game.

Finally, Myles Gaskin will get playing time. He is probably going to be running back number three on the depth chart.

He can catch the ball out of the backfield, and we have seen him as the featured running back before. We know he has the ability to run between the tackles.


Finally, everyone else is depth. I do not want to bore you with a bunch of names who may not even see the field this year, so here are a few guys who are important to the depth.

Salvon Ahmed is a big re-signing. We have seen him carry the ball a decent amount these past two years. He had a couple of big carries last year.

Running back is obviously a position that takes a lot of hits, so there is a decent likelihood that Ahmed sees the field at some point due to injuries to the other three running backs.

I did an article on offensive linemen Gerron Christian and Dan Feeney the other day. It highlights the depth they will bring to the offensive line.

Finally, Mike White is a big signing. He played well as the backup for the New York Jets last year. We know the injury history with Tua. White is a quarterback who can step in and play well for the Dolphins if he needs to.

Week one of free agency was a success for the Dolphins. I hope to see them add linebackers and a tight end before free agency and the end of the draft. Gesicki leaving is a big deal. You can read more on that here.