Six weeks away from mandatory training camp, the Miami Dolphins are poised to build on their mostly positive 2022 season, which saw quarterback Tua Tagovailoa take a massive step towards being the elite franchise quarterback Miami drafted him to be.
Since last season, Miami has added some new talent to the offensive unit in wide receivers Robbie Chosen and Braxton Berrios, as well as rookie running back Devon Achane. The biggest departure the Dolphins saw in the offseason was tight end Mike Gesicki, who served as Tua's security blanket. Subtracting Gesicki and adding the receiving duo of Chosen and Berrios, how will this offense look in 2023?
QB Tua Tagovailo
Tua came out of the gates in 2022 on fire. Leading almost all statistical categories through the first several weeks of the season, we began to see the type of quarterback he can be. Tua looked more comfortable in the pocket, tossed more accurate balls, and was an all-around fantastic passer. Unfortunately, a string of injuries derailed his season, but Tua comes in to 2023 healthy and more confident than ever.
In 13 total games played last season, Tua threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. In the first three games of the season, prior to suffering a head injury in week four, Tua lit up the league for 925 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Tua predicted 2023 stats:
4,450 yards, 34 TD's, 12 INT's (67% completion percentage)
WR Tyreek Hill
In 2022, Tyreek Hill's first year as a Miami Dolphin, Hill set career highs in both receptions (119) and receiving yards (1,710), to go along with 9 touchdowns. Building a solid rapport with Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill took that next step into elite territory, solidifying his status as one of the greatest wide receivers in the NFL.
Going into his second season in Miami, you may be wondering how Hill can improve upon his 2022 season. Perhaps he doesn't -- maybe Jaylen Waddle takes that next step and is able to take advantage of defenses focusing on taking away Hill. I do see a slight drop in production for Tyreek Hill in 2023, but he will still produce big numbers on the season.
Tyreek Hill predicted 2023 stats:
101 receptions, 1,475 yards and 8 TD's
WR Jaylen Waddle
In his second year in the league, after being a first-round pick in 2021, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle had another productive season even whilst serving as WR2 behind Tyreek Hill. Waddle, who actually had 30 less receptions than he did his rookie season, had a career-high in receiving yards with 1,356 yards to go along with 8 touchdowns.
In 2023, Waddle is another player poised to take the next step, as alluded to before. Defenses will start to shade toward Tyreek Hill, allowing Jaylen Waddle a more favorable match-up throughout the season. Entering what will be his third year with Tua, Jaylen Waddle will continue to improve his production in 2023.
Jaylen Waddle predicted 2023 stats:
98 catches, 1,520 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Running back stats
As things stand at the time of this writing, Dalvin Cook remains a free agent. There's still a real possibility that the Dolphins bring in Cook, but I am assuming the Dolphins will roll with who they already have.
In 2022, the Miami Dolphins ran by committee -- there was no real number-one running back. I expect this trend to continue into 2023, as Miami re-signed both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., as well as acquiring Devon Achane via the third round of the draft. The run game was less than effective last season, as the team only gained 1,600 rushing yards and 12 rushing TD's all season.
Raheem Mostert led the team (by a lot) in rushing yards with 891 yards. The next leading rusher was Jeff Wilson Jr., who was acquired mid-season, with 392 yards in the 8 games he played with the Dolphins. Chase Edmunds added 190 yards on the ground before being shipped off via trade.
In 2023, Miami hopes Mostert is able to carry over his five yards per carry, as well as Wilson Jr.'s effective running late last season. Bringing in Achane in the draft is sneakily a fantastic edition for a team that struggled to run the ball in 2022.
Raheem Mostert predicted 2023 stats:
134 carries, 775 yards and 4 TD's
Jeff Wilson Jr. predicted 2023 stats:
103 carries, 515 yards and 4 TD's
Devon Achane predicted 2023 stats:
95 carries, 490 yards, 3 TD's
We will probably see guys like Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed get around 20-30 carries in 2023, or even more in the event of an injury. What they'll do with those carries is up in the air.
TE Durham Smythe
With the aforementioned loss of top tight end Mike Gesicki this offseason, as well as trading away backup tight end Hunter Long in the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Dolphins aren't left with many options in 2023.
The starting tight end listed on Miami's roster is Durham Smythe, the sixth-year former fourth-round pick back in 2018. Smythe has never eclipsed more than 34 targets in a season in his career, as his most productive season was in 2021, in which he produced 34 receptions and 357 yards. In five years in Miami, Smythe has a total of 88 receptions for 809 yards and 3 touchdowns.
In 2023, Smythe is thrusted into the starting role and will likely see a volume of targets that he has yet to have in his career. Unless there's a trade coming or a training camp body has the offseason of a lifetime, Smythe is the Dolphins TE1 for 2023.
Durham Smythe predicted 2023 stats:
42 receptions, 425 yards, 2 TD's