With Connor Williams' Contract expiring this offseason, and also considering the way he performed up until his injury, it is more likely the Dolphins will have to look for cheaper options either in free agency or the draft. Now with a general manager who has yet to draft a center in his time as a GM, I think it is safe to say that the most viable options have to come from free agency. There is no shortage of options across the board.
We saw, early in the season, how important it is for a team to have a reliable center. After Eichenberg took over and played well below average along the offensive line, Tua started receiving inconsistent snaps and missed blocks in zone-blocking schemes. It's time for the dolphins to really improve this position.
1. Aaron Brewer, Tennessee Titans, Free Agent
In my opinion, for the projected contract value, Aaron Brewer is the best bang for your buck out there. He fits our offensive style like a glove. PFF had him rated very highly as a zone run blocker. Kind of McDaniel's specialty if you have been watching. He played well over 1,000 snaps this season while only conceding 5 penalties, and allowing only 6 sacks. He has very good footwork, a solid base, and a quick first step. If the quick-release trend stays in Miami, Brewer makes a good case to be starting in Miami next season.
2. Tyler Biadasz, Dallas Cowboys, Free Agent
I want to start this one off by stating that this is in no specific order. Tyler Biadasz also played well over 1,000 snaps this season. That number isn't to be scuffed at considering we only got 497 out of Connor Williams this season. Tyler had significantly fewer penalties called against him this season as well, only garnering 3 flags all year. Signing a center from Dallas in free agency? It kind of worked last time around, barring an injury.
3. Lloyd Cushenberry III, Denver Broncos, Free Agent
This one, is probably out of our price range, but we need to talk about his game against the Buffalo Bills. It was easily Lloyd's best game of the season. he played extremely well in the passing game against Ed Oliver and company. Cushenberry does tend to struggle a little in the run game but not significant enough to knock him down from the 73 PFF rating from this season. If you want to invest in protecting Tua at all costs, Lloyd Cushenberry III is the man for the job.
4. Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon, Draft
That's the one I'd imagine most fans were looking for here. Jackson Powers-Johsnon was outstanding for Oregon all year long. Well respected by PFF, given an 84.3 rating throughout the year. A decent enough run blocker for Oregon, and an outstanding pass blocker. The biggest concern I have seen in his game to this point is his stance, very wide and low. It's not great for an outside-zone run scheme. He is built like the prototypical center and has the athletic ability to grow in the run game. Will Grier change his draft strategy and finally take a center? The million-dollar question.
5. Zach Frazier, West Virginia, Draft
The wild card here. Mr. Versatility is on this list. As a freshman 3-star recruit at center, he spent his freshman year as you would expect. Starting at left guard after an injury. He spent the next three seasons starting at center for the Mountaineers. Zach has that backwoods West Virginia strength, he can really pop up and get his hands on the defenders quickly, reminiscent of Jason Kelce. What impressed me most with Frazier's game is his lead blocking ability on gut runs up the middle. Might not be the quickest on this list, but his intangibles make me think there's loads of potential here.