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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins vs. Lions – Week Seven Preview

Travis Wingfield

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Who: Dolphins (4-2) vs. Lions (2-3)
When: October 21, 1:00 East
Where: Hard Brock Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL
Weather: 87 degrees, 72% humidity, 99 degrees real feel
Vegas Slant: Lions -2.5

Dolphins-Lions

Only six weeks into the new season and Dolphins fans find themselves in familiar, unwelcomed territory. Though plenty is different regarding the 2018 and 2017 teams, two primary factors head the marquee:

The Dolphins are 4-2 and turn to a backup quarterback for an undetermined period of time.

Something of a silver lining, at least this time around Miami has a signal-caller that puts off the appearance that the results matter. Evidence by everything from his sideline demeanor to his instantly classic role on the show Very Cavallari, Jay Cutler confirmed that he truly does not care.

That isn’t the case for Brock Osweiler (or Brock Lobster, Brocktober, Hard Brock Stadium – whatever it is we’re calling him). His press availability on Wednesday, immediately after being named Sunday’s starter was, dare I say…captivating?

Osweiler spent three years with Adam Gase in Denver, but only started seven games once Gase was gone to Chicago. The rest of that time was spent prepping Peyton Manning within this very scheme. There’s a quantifiable level of mental aptitude there, and it was on display in the game Sunday.

The fairy tale ending is the ultimate hope for all Dol-fans, but Osweiler’s physical limitations are the primary obstacle standing in the way for the perfect Hollywood script.

The Dolphins are 4-2 and have a chance to get to 5-2 for the first time since 2003. If that happens, Osweiler then gets a crack at his former team on a short week. Fans are either in for a really exhilarating five-day stretch, or back to the same old Dolphins.

It starts Sunday against Detroit.

The Lions’ Scheme:
Offense

Owner of the best name in sports, Detroit Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has drawn the ire of a significant portion of the Lions fan-base.

Cooter’s scheme is a variation of the West Coast offense with a gap-blocking scheme in the running game. This approach suits the Lions’ personnel, but the predictability of his play-calling is the primary reason fans want him out (then again, 30 fan bases around the league probably hate their play-caller).

Rub routes, angle routes and plenty of quick-game to involve the talented skill-set is the idea behind Detroit’s offense. Once Detroit has achieved a manageable down-and-distance, the deep shots being to flood in.

The Lions are a dead-even 50-50 split in terms of play choice on first down. From that, Cooter will operate with built-in shot plays off play-action and work off of the many screen looks his offense features.

Defense:

A copy and paste of the Patriots scheme would be a passable blurb for this passage. Matt Patricia brings his variation of Bill Belichick’s defense to the Motor City, but the Lions haven’t yet taken to the scheme.

Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Mixing up the fronts and operating out of sub-packages regardless off down-and-distance, Patricia will show the Miami offense as much as it can handle. The key for Miami will be countering that variety with multiplicity of its own.

With the Dolphins 12-personnel package, and the sudden emergence of Nick O’Leary, the Dolphins hurry-up could catch the Lions dime package on the field against a run-heavy set operated by Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore.

Peeling defensive linemen into coverage, stunts, twists, blitzing defensive backs, there’s no reason to think Patricia won’t send the kitchen sink at Osweiler.

The Players:
Offense

Matt Stafford is one the league’s best quarterbacks. His big arm, ability to adjust his platform and arm-angle, and passing lane manipulation make him a tough match-up. He is as aggressive as they come and has some boom-or-bust to him as a result.

The running game is vital for Detroit. Rookie Kerryon Johnson snapped a drought that spanned five years (70 games) without a 100-yard rusher. Johnson is the primary back, Theo Riddick is one of the best receivers from the backfield in the NFL and LeGarrette Blount is the hammer.

Johnson is far-and-away the most dangerous of the three and Miami needs to bring a lunch pail mentality to get him to the ground. None of the Detroit backs are in the top 50 in yards after contact average.

The pass catchers are the most dangerous group of this team. Golden Tate will challenge the tackling ability of the Miami secondary, Kenny Golladay is among the premier deep-threats in the business and Marvin Jones is a nuanced route runner.

Tate is 14th in the NFL in yards per route run and Golladay is 20th.

The tight end position hasn’t provided a lot of bite in either the passing game or the ground game, but the Detroit offensive line has played well. Right Tackle Rick Wagner has been excellent in both facets of the game (though he has allowed three sacks) and Taylor Decker has been a mauler in the ground game, but struggled with speed rushers.

Rookie Center-Turned-Guard Frank Ragnow is off to a difficult start. Ragnow has allowed a team-high 15 pressures, but has demonstrated some of the brute force in the running game that made him a first round pick.

It might behoove Miami to dial-up similar A-gap pressure it showed in the Cincinnati game. The interior line of the Lions has shown some cohesion issues and Stafford is the 23rd ranked passer when under pressure.

Defense:

Aside from a few recognizable names, the Detroit defense is a who’s who of unproven players. Safeties Glover Quinn and Quandre Diggs (two stalwarts on the Lion D) have had slow starts to the season. Quinn has been victimized in coverage allowing all eight passes in his coverage area to go complete for 112 yards.

Darius Slay is best ignored by the Miami passing game. He’s a shutdown corner that will take the football away if you try him. Adam Gase will likely throw a lot of clear-out routes at the pro-bowl corner.

Jamal Agnew is out for the year and Teez Tabor left the Green Bay game with an injury; his status remains unclear for Sunday. Nevin Lawson mans the slot position primarily but the third cornerback role remains a concern for this Detroit defense.

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Patricia’s defense is a sound tackling unit, and they’ll need to be in order to prevent Albert Wilson and company from going off. This, however, doesn’t extend into the linebacker group. Sophomore Jarrad Davis is struggling with six missed tackles on the season.

Davis and Christian Jones are the only ‘backers that have played significant reps – both have had their problems with the run and the pass.

Detroit’s pass rush has been largely non-existent in the early going this year. Ezekiel Ansah hasn’t been active since week one and his status remains unknown for Sunday. Devon Kennard leads the defense in snaps and he gets to the quarterback on 13% of his pass rush snaps.

Beyond Kennard, there isn’t a whole lot to write home about for the sack-artists on this team.

On the interior Da’Shawn Hand is having a great season but, like the other units, depth is lacking. A’Shawn Robinson is a stout run defender but has conditioning issues and offers nothing as a rusher.

On the tape and via Pro Football Focus, this unit has plenty of areas Miami could attack. The protection in the Chicago game was the best it has been for the Dolphins in years – and that might not change Sunday.

The Medical:

The Concerns:

South Florida is an unforgiving football environment. The Miami defense played a lot of snaps on Sunday in an emotional win. Conditioning could prove problematic even with the reinforcements arriving from the injury list.

As is the case every single week, running backs catching passes is a major concern. Theo Riddick on the angle route is a terrifying thought for Raekwon McMillan and Kiko Alonso. Miami will need to blitz Stafford in an effort to disrupt his timing and keep the back in to help with pass-pro.

The Opportunities:

Miami’s running game got healthy against Chicago and that trend ought to continue. The Lions are thin up front and Miami can use the weather, and its own deception, to keep those big boys on the move.

Leading the NFL in interceptions, Miami has been terrific at baiting quarterbacks into questionable decisions. Stafford is prone for the turnover-laden game once in a while and the Dolphins need to do all they can to help their backup quarterback.

The Keys:

1.) The ground game – This is Miami’s best chance all year to have a huge day on the ground. The Lions defense has struggled against the run and is short on bodies up front. That does not bode well for the road team in the Miami hotbox.

2.) Tackling – Detroit has a slew of guys that can burn defenses with the football. Chicago got the best of Miami with Tarik Cohen last week – time to get back to the fundamentals.

3.) Winning one-on-ones on offense – This is always the case but Miami needs another stellar pass protection effort (which seems likely against this Lions’ defense). Additionally, Miami needs its receivers to get off the line-of-scrimmage and present available targets for Osweiler early in the route.

4.) Health on defense – Miami has been thin for a few weeks now. With Bobby McCain and Cameron Wake likely back, the rotation can be implemented once more while simultaneously getting two of the team’s best players back on the field.

The Projected Result:

Who’s ready for Brocktober? The nicknames and the fun can continue with the benefit of a home game for the Dolphins. The Lions are off a bye, but so were the Bears last week. Teams coming off a bye week in 2018 are 1-3.

A couple of factors go against Miami here:

1.) Emotional, hard-fought victories tend to lead towards let-downs.
2.) Backup quarterbacks fare far worse in their second start.

But the match-up favors Miami in a lot of ways. This one has the potential to light up the scoreboard again, but as we’ve seen with this team over the last few years, beating the Dolphins in the fourth quarter is difficult.

With a lack of depth, or even starting-caliber players on defense, Miami’s offense can build off last week’s success.

The game follows an up-and-down pattern into the fourth quarter where Adam Gase’s Dolphins do what they do best – win football games late. Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore prove to be too much as the Dolphins get to 5-2 for the first time since 2003.

Dolphins 26
Lions 20

@WingfieldNFL

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NFL Draft

Fits and Starts of the 2019 NFL Draft–Jarrett Stidham

Shawn Digity

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USA Today
A shot of Jarrett Stidham during the Senior Bowl in January. Image courtesy of USA Today

Which 2019 NFL Draft quarterbacks fit for the Miami Dolphins, which ones could start, and which ones aren’t on the table?

Let’s dive into the first installment of Fits and Starts with Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham.

2019 NFL Draft quarterbacks and Fits and Starts intro

I hope you’re enjoying all the Kyler Murray talk; it’s not going anywhere for the next two months. So, with all the hype surrounding the Heisman winner and his decision to play in the NFL over the MLB, it makes sense that Murray shot up the draft boards in rapid fashion.

Murray has been connected with the Miami Dolphins, and it makes sense. The Dolphins need a quarterback to lead the franchise into the future, especially with the start of the Brian Flores era.

But what happens if the Dolphins can’t get Kyler Murrayin the 2019 Draft? Let’s take that a step further. What if the Dolphins don’t get any of the QBs that are pegged to go in the first round? Dwayne HaskinsDrew LockDaniel Jones, along with Murray, are all in the conversation to go off the board in the first round.

The 2019 QB class hasn’t exactly been lauded for its talent, but that doesn’t mean its totally devoid of untapped potential on Days 2 and 3. There are some diamonds in the rough and some could be on the Dolphins’ radar come April. The Fits and Starts mini-series will be focusing on these overshadowed mid-round prospects and who could fit into a role with the Miami Dolphins.

Let’s get into the first name on the list: Jarrett Stidham.

Jarrett Stidham and his NFL Future

The first quarterback on the docket is Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham. He’s an enigmatic player. He was in the conversation last draft season (before he returned to Auburn) to go in the second round. He was also talked about as a dark-horse Heisman candidate before the college season started.

His junior season didn’t go exactly as scripted, though. Jarrett Stidham had an up-and-down season, and his draft stock has been all over the place, consequently. He’s polarizing in the Twitter Draft realm with many draftniks either loving or hating him. I predict that he’ll go in the third round, but I could see the need for the position pushing him into the second round.

In a lot of ways, I would compare Jarrett Stidham to Ryan Tannehill. With that being said, he’s a poor man’s Tannehill. He’s not as athletic and I wouldn’t put his arm strength or accuracy on the same level, but there are comparisons that can be drawn.

Jarrett Stidham Mini-Report

He has some starter qualities, and he’s very raw in that regard. He also did not get a lot of help from his receivers during the 2018 season. I saw a lot of dropped passes that should’ve been “gimmes”. Jarrett Stidham has a moderately high ceiling, I would say. He’s extremely rough around the edges, but I can see him becoming successful in the NFL; it’ll come with many growing pains, albeit.

He also has some accuracy issues from a lot of the film I’ve watched of him. He’ll make some unbelievable down-the-field bombs, but also make some passes that are too high, too inside or too outside. Many passes were underthrown and I saw plays where WRs had to turn and play some defense. The accuracy is a roller coaster, and that’s something that is hard to improve at the next level; accuracy is more a God-given ability than it is a teachable skill.

Something else that I wasn’t wild about was how Stidham reacted to chaos and pressure. When the line collapsed, I saw some ugly escapes. Those ugly escapes will be ugly sacks in the NFL. I saw flashes of decent pocket presence, but like many of Stidham’s qualities, they were inconsistent.

That’s one of the best words I would use to describe Jarrett Stidham: inconsistent. Sometimes he’s good, sometimes he’s bad. Sometimes he’ll thread the needle for a 40-yard touchdown, sometimes he’ll undercut a route. But if the inconsistency is his biggest issue, which I believe it is, then I’m intrigued by his prospects at the next level with some next-level coaching.

At the End of the Day

So, if the Dolphins drafted Jarrett Stidham, it’d likely be on Day 2 and in the second round with the 48th pick. While the Dolphins are rebuilding, I could see them using a popular draft philosophy of taking a quarterback every year until one hits. If that’s the case, then Stidham could very well be a target if the Dolphins decide to address a bigger need or BPA with the 13th pick.

This could be a way for the Dolphins to hedge their bets while keeping an eye on the 2020 quarterbacks. Akin to the Redskins taking both RGIII and Kirk Cousins in the same draft in 2012, the Dolphins could take a flier on a mid-round quarterback and see what he could do in some games under the guidance of a veteran.

While I wouldn’t be upset by the pick, the Miami Dolphins would be wise to stay away from Jarrett Stidham, bottom line. I say that not because of Stidham’s shortcomings or upside but because of where the Miami Dolphins franchise finds itself.

If Jarrett Stidham goes out and has a decent showing in some live action during his rookie season, then that could affect the draft strategy regarding the 2020 class of quarterbacks.

I don’t want the Dolphins to keep waiting and waiting for someone to slowly develop as they did with Ryan Tannehill. Stidham is in a similar mold, looking at his tools and raw potential. I’m not sure how long it would take for Stidham develop, but I could see it turning into a situation where he takes a few steps forward every season.

Jarrett Stidham could be a quarterback that Chris Grier likes, but I would have a hard time believing that he’s a prospect that he would love–and that’s not what the Miami Dolphins need to right the ship.

 

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Miami Dolphins

State of the Roster – Linebackers

Travis Wingfield

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Prelude

The 2019 off-season schedule had an unusual beginning for the Miami Dolphins. Not that the once proud, winningest organization in the NFL is suddenly new to coaching turnover (quite the opposite, rather). It’s the timing of the hire that provides the distinction from Stephen Ross’ three other head coaching appointments.

Typically, when the incumbent or new staff is in-place by Early-January, the roster dominoes begin to take shape. Waiting for Brian Flores to win his fifth Lombardi Trophy delayed that process by a month.

Now, with the majority of Coach Flores’ staff settling into their new offices, we can begin to speculate and forecast what will transpire over the next three months.

It’s not hyperbole to say that these next three months are the most important of Chris Grier’s professional career. Miami’s new General Manager is charged with resurrecting a franchise that, in the last 15 years, has fallen from the peak of the winning percentage mountain top, all the way down to fifth place on that obscure, yet illustrious list.

In this series we are going to explore the current assets on the roster and what their futures hold. Plus, we’ll explore the free-agency market and point out scheme fit pieces the Dolphins might seek to add in April’s draft.

Linebackers 

Current Cash Owed: ~ $10.1 Million
NFL Average: ~ $18 Million

Players Under Contract – 2019 Cash Owed:

Raekwon McMillan – $892 K

After a slow start McMillan came on like gangbusters; at least in run-defense. From week-five on, McMillan was graded second by PFF against the run (trailing only Luke Kuechly). His first year off major reconstructive knee surgery, the upside is glowing.

McMillan has a knack for correctly hitting his run fits, shows a great first step, and plays exceptionally well downhill. The design of this new defense is going to have the former Buckeye shining.

McMillan’s Projected 2019 Action: Mike Linebacker

Jerome Baker – $654 K

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Like McMillan, Baker was late to the party in 2018, but he too turned it on post-September. Baker was PFF’s #22 overall linebacker over the final 13 weeks of the season. Though Baker also excelled against the run, he was more balanced providing value in coverage and as a blitzer. His PRP was similarly low to McMillan’s, but when Baker arrive he sacked the QB (3 of 5 pressures).

Baker is the new-aged linebacker – run, hit, and cover; that’s his game. He will have to transition to a new role playing primarily on the ball and off the edge, likely the weak side, but he’s more than capable.

Baker’s Projected 2019 Action: Will Backer

Kiko Alonso – $7.9 M

Kiko Alonso is a living, breathing highlight reel. The problem, for Miami, is that he’s usually on someone else’s mixtape. Alonso does well when he I.D.’s his gap early, but those instances are few and far between. He hustles to the ball and has a knack for the takeaway, it’s just the other 995 snaps of the season you worry about.

Turned around by the athletic prowess of Josh Allen, Christian McCaffery, or just about every pass receiving specialist tailback, Alonso is fading towards irrelevance at the position. Moving on from the often burnt, often penalized Alonso, is a no-brainer.

Alonso’s Projected 2019 Action: Cut

Chase Allen – $645 K

New England’s Linebacker position, under Brian Flores, was the ultimate test of pliability. Chase Allen has a role lining up over the center as the nose-backer in one of Flores’ many defensive fronts.

Allen excelled in that role in Miami, albeit on a limited basis, and figures to be a core special teamer.

Allen’s Projected 2019 Action: Nose Backer/Core Special Teamer

Pending Free Agents – 2018 Salary

Stephone Anthony – $1.9 M

The ole’ Mike Tannenbaum specialty, Miami spent a fifth-round pick, and far too much cap allocation, on a player that never made a contribution. Anthony was toast in his limited defensive snaps and rarely found the ball on special teams.

Anthony’s Projected 2019 Action: Not Re-signed

2019 Linebacker Free Agent Market:

The Dolphins could spend this portion of the off-season on the sideline. The likely top three players on the depth chart are already signed, sealed, and delivered, finding backups and special teams is all that’s left to do.

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Now if the ‘Phins are so inclined to spend on the big ticket item, Anthony Barr would make nice strong-side linebacker in this new scheme. His coverage limitations should drive his cost down, but that’s not how free agency works – he’ll be priced out of Miami’s range.

Deone Bucannon is an interesting option that could help Miami remain fluid as they implement dime and quarter packages on the back-end. A safety/linebacker hybrid, Bucannon affords the defense the luxury of changing personnel without substituting. Bucannon is an excellent match-up piece in the passing game as well. Like Barr, Bucannon would come at a cost.

More realistically, Miami are looking at former Patriot Marquis Flowers and Eli Harold (Detroit).

2019 Linebacker Draft Class:

It’s not inconceivable that the Dolphins make this position a priority with the undrafted crop post-draft. The same idea with Jerome Baker, the ‘Phins need to find players that can run, hit, and cover but, most importantly, start off on special teams.

New Mexico State’s Terrill Hanks had 11 sacks and eight picks in college. His vast coverage and range skill set should be no surprise, he’s a former safety. Hanks struggles taking on blocks but that’s not a trait he will have to worry about in this scheme.

Bobby Okereke (Stanford) fits the run/hit/cover bill in his own right. North Carolina State’s Germaine Pratt falls into that category as well.

2019 Linebacker Prediction:

There are plenty of intriguing options at the positon but, with the needs on the defensive line and in the secondary, Miami could punt on this off-season’s linebacker class. In a defense that frequently uses one true ‘backer, Raekwon McMillan satisfies that bill. Jerome Baker will be the second linebacker and the Phins will look to pair Chase Allen with more sub-package types.

I’m adding Marquis Flowers in free agency – he was with the Pats for the first four years of his career. I’m also drafting Stanford’s Bobby Okereke on day-three. He’s an intelligent player with plus range and will help Miami’s flexibility in sub-packages.

Mike/Primary Linebacker: Raekwon McMillan
Will/Secondary Linebacker: Jerome Baker
Nose Backer: Chase Allen
Sub-Package: Rookie (Bobby Okereke)
Depth: UDFA/FA (Marquis Flowers)

Tomorrow: Cornerbacks

@WingfieldNFL

 

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Miami Dolphins

5 Viable Options for Miami at Pick 13

Gabe Markman

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Mock drafts before April are about as futile as trick-or-treating before Halloween. Sure you might get miraculously lucky at one or two spots, but mostly you’ll just get weird looks from people. That being said, I’ve decided to mock up some scenarios the Dolphins may be presented with come late April.

Despite a flurry of updated scouting reports, trades, and free agent decisions that will ultimately happen before the draft, I couldn’t resist speculating what some of the most enticing options might be waiting there for Miami. I’ll be looking at these options under the assumption that Miami keeps the 13th pick come draft day.

1 – Trade Down

Trading down was something owner Stephen Ross reportedly pounded the table for last year. However, GM Chris Grier and company persuaded him to stay put and take Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 11th overall pick. While Fitzpatrick turned out to be a promising investment, I would expect the war room to try and gather as much draft capital as they can this time around.

The organization, specifically Ross, has put an emphasis on rebuilding the roster from the ground up these next few years, and there’s no better way to do that than by hoarding draft picks.

Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number eleven overall pick to the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

2 – Blue Chip Falls to 13 (BPA)

Much like the case with Fitzpatrick last year, there’s bound to be a blue chip player that falls out of the top 10 this year. If Miami’s war room decides not to trade back in the first round, it’s likely because they feel that a top talent has fallen into their laps at pick 13–similar to the Laremy Tunsil slide in 2016.

Unfortunately Nick Bosa is out of the question for Miami. I can’t fathom a universe where Bosa would fall to 13. Quinnen Williams would be a no-brainer here, but much like Bosa, its unlikely he’ll fall to pick 13. If he does however, he would fill a major need for Miami as well as add tremendous upside to a lack-luster defensive line.

Three prospects that also have top 10 grades are Greedy Williams, Josh Allen, and Devin White. These three are the physical definition of what you look for in a potential All-Pro football player. With all the shuffling expected to happen to Miami’s roster, these players could be immediate contributors and leaders as soon as they walk onto the field.

3 – Draft QB

I’m a firm believer that Miami needs to be patient with their quarterback situation. Miami isn’t expecting to win many games in the coming year or two, and this isn’t expected to be a great draft class for passers. Now as much as I like Kyler Murray, I can’t help but to think that other quarterbacks like Jake Fromm, Tua Tagovailoa, and Trevor Lawrence would provide more upside in the long run.

Despite the potential of future quarterbacks to come, this brain-trust of experienced scouts and well respected personnel guys might not let a guy like Murray slip past pick 13. Miami has many needs on paper, and quarterback is right up near the top of those needs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kyler be the first step of this rebuild if the war room thinks he’s worth the risk.

October 21, 2017 - Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S. - Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) celebrates a fourth-quarter sack at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Final score: Miami Dolphins 31, New York Jets 28 (Photo by Andres Leiva/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

October 21, 2017 – Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S. – Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) celebrates a fourth-quarter sack at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Final score: Miami Dolphins 31, New York Jets 28 (Photo by Andres Leiva/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

4 – Attempt to Replace an All-Pro

Sadly enough, there won’t be a younger clone of Cameron Wake waiting there at pick 13. The end of an era is coming, and sooner or later the Dolphins won’t have the consistency off the edge that Wake has been able to provide for so many years.

Brian Burns reminds me of Wake at times, but he also reminds me of Dion Jordan at times. The general opinion is that Burns could end up being a project player. I have no doubt this coaching staff has the ability to maximize the potential of Burns, but they might not like the value here.

Rashan Gary would be another enticing option were he to fall to Miami. Gary’s flexibility across the defensive line coincides perfectly with Brian Flores‘ multiple defensive scheme. Gary has the potential to be an All-Pro early in his career wherever Folres decides to put him on the defensive line.

5 – Address the O-Line

I’m interested to see what happens with Ju’Wuan James. He’s been a quiet strength for Miami. The combination of him and Tunsil has proven to be a consistent force when healthy. If James is willing to come back for the right price, Miami would be lucky to have one less hole to worry about.

If a deal with James isn’t struck, then offensive linemen will be one of Miami’s top priorities in the draft. They may be tempted to take an early look at offensive lineman depending on how the board falls. I expect the war room to find at least one starting quality offensive lineman within the first three rounds.

Dolphins’ fans are at the beginning of a very long journey. The recent organizational hires have inspired widespread optimism across the fan base. For the first time in a long time the future is looking bright for the Dolphins. Needless to say this draft will be a pivotal start to the Dolphins’ rebuild. The difficult decisions that Grier and his new staff will soon be faced with will reveal the direction in which this franchise is headed.

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