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Miami Dolphins

Josh Rosen Inside the Film Room

Travis Wingfield



Assessing Miami’s Acquisiton of Josh Rosen

After passing up Dwayne Haskins on Thursday night, the Dolphins found the quarterback of their liking on the draft’s second day.

Maneuvering down the board 14 spots in the second round, Miami eventually sent pick-62, along with a 5th-rounder in 2020, to the Arizona Cardinals for the embattled quarterback.

Josh Rosen was a five-star recruit out of high school earning the nickname “The Chosen One.” But his UCLA career was spoiled by losing seasons, multiple injuries, and performances that would challenge the validity of the “Chosen One” alias.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported, via a story on, that Rosen was deemed “uncoachable” and a “prick that thinks he’s smarter than everyone,” according to an anonymous NFL Executive.

The debate over Rosen’s personality, locker room presence, and overall work ethic falls into the category of he-said-she-said. Instead of exploring that further, we’ll turn on the tape and evaluate Rosen’s game between the lines.

Before we dive into the tape, some housekeeping. The rumors of New England’s infatuation with Rosen a year ago appear to be confirmed by this move. With a pair of former Patriots now calling the shots in Miami — Offensive Coordinator Chad O’Shea (former Pats Wide Receivers Coach) and Quarterbacks Assistant Coach Jerry Schuplinski (former Pats QB Assistant) — Rosen will need to display sharp mental processing and short-area accuracy to prevent the Phins from drafting his replacement in 2020.

Financial considerations in this deal are significant. Arizona are already on the hook for the majority of Rosen’s rookie contract. Miami picks up three years of Rosen’s deal, with a fifth-year option, for the cost of a mid-second-round pick.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed to a two-year deal in March worth $11 million. Fitzpatrick carries a $7 million cap figure in 2019, but that number drastically reduced to $1.5 million in 2020. If Miami retains the Harvard grad in 2020, the contract will carry a $5.5 million cap hit.

The psychological battle occurring between the ears of Rosen is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this deal. Rosen, dumped by his first NFL employer after one trip around the sun, now moves on with a chance to make the Cardinals pay. On the other hand, if Rosen doesn’t convince the Dolphins that he is the unequivocal, long-term solution for Miami at quarterback, Chris Grier is loaded with draft capital in 2020.

Rosen’s college resume was a mixed bag. He started all 13 games his freshman year, but missed seven games in 2016 and two more in 2017 — this includes two separate concussions. Below, his college statistics and scouting report via NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.

His less than stellar rookie year in Arizona, along with the worst possible head coach/best available QB in the draft combination, put Rosen on the outs.

When Josh Rosen laces it up for OTAs in May, he’s going to impress everyone in attendance. When he has a clean pocket and no threat of pressure, he’s something to behold. He can rip the football with heat, finesse, touch, and everything in between. Not only does he feature every pitch in the tool bag, he understands when to utilize the different type of throws required at this level.

His time as a tennis player is evident, as the quick, choppy feet allow him to step away from pressure, quickly reset, and put himself in a position to threaten the defense. He’s not going to peel out of trouble and run for first downs the way the modern quarterbacks are trending, but he has enough mobility to mitigate some pressure.

That’s not to say Rosen won’t succumb to pressure. A habit has developed where Rosen will anticipate pressure and suddenly go flat-footed. Then, throwing from an awkward platform, the ball can sail or get picked off because of the coverage closing in as he locks onto a receiver.

Rosen’s guilty of staring down his targets and failing to account for robbers and disguised coverage. A lot of his interceptions came from poor reads that allowed defenders to squat and drive on his throws.

Of Rosen’s 14 interceptions in 2018, this is how I attributed the blame:


Cause of Interception Number of INTs
Tipped Passed 3
His Fault (Read) 6
His Fault (Accuracy) 2
WR’s Fault 1
Screen Pass 1
Miscommunication 1
Total 14


The most impressive aspect of Rosen’s game, and surely the reason he was acquired, is the ability to manipulate the defense post snap. He can displace defenders with his eyes, as well as body language to sell fakes, before he drills the ball into a tight window

Miami acquired two tight ends in free agency, in addition to an in-season add in Nick O’Leary, AFTER the team spent second and fourth-round picks on the position in last year’s draft.

Rosen had a lot of success in three areas last season:

1.) Working in heavy personnel packages (2 and 3 TEs)
2.) Working off of play action
3.) Throwing into contested areas

With that in mind, Miami has the ability to condense the formation, thus sacrificing some separation in the passing game in order to create better pass protection, which allows Rosen to thread the needle as he is won’t to do.

Coming into this study with rather disparaging feelings on Josh Rosen, I’m at least willing to hear the Dolphins out. I like the coaching staff that was put in place this offseason and if they think they’ve got something, then I’ll buy in.

The pause, for me, comes from the fact that all the physical traits and wow plays are shrouded by head scratching decisions and killer turnovers — and that didn’t just begin this last year in the professional ranks. Maybe Rosen can grow out of that, but I’m just not thrilled about jumping back into a relationship like that after leaving a very similar love affair with Ryan Tannehill.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar


    April 29, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Travis, listen to podcast daily, usually find myself agreeing with most of your opinions,

    Couldn’t disagree more on starting Rosen day1. After a dismal rook season and being cut loose from team who drafted him 1st rd, he needs time to get his feet underneath him. New team, new coach, new system. Too many unknowns especially with our oline.

    Give our oline a chance to gel, entire offense needs time to get the new system. We don’t need to throw Rosen into the fire day one like we did Tannehill, that’s not how you develop young QBs. We don’t need to try to win asap with Rosen. Let him sit, give him time to adjust, learn new sys behind Fitzmagic. What needs to happen is we need to find out exactly what we have in Rosen heading into 2020. Can we accomplish and is it Rosens best chance for success starting day1? Highly doubtful. We can still accomplish this by putting Rosen in somewhere between wks 7-9.

    All due respect we need to groom him, give him the best chance for success not ruin him behind a makeshift oline that hasn’t played much together with all offensive positions learning new system.


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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Sign Tight End Michael Roberts

Jason Hrina



Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are beginning to bulk up the depth of their roster as they head into free agency.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Dolphins have signed tight end Michael Roberts. The exact terms of the contract are currently unknown.

Originally a 4th-round pick by the Detroit Lions, Roberts has served mostly as a backup tight end; accumulating 146 yards on 13 receptions in 23 active games between 2017-2018.

Roberts was placed on injured-reserve towards the end of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury, and was traded to the New England Patriots for a conditional 2020 7th-round pick prior to the 2019 season. Due to medical reasons, the trade was voided a couple of days later.

The Green Bay Packers claimed Roberts off of waivers, but he was subsequently released by the Packers two days later for failing a physical. Roberts was not active for any games in 2019.

Signing Roberts doesn’t necessarily mean the Dolphins aren’t going to pursue tight ends in free agency or in the draft. Mike Gesicki is the only “lock” to make the 2020 roster, as Durham Smythe‘s blocking ability might not survive if the Dolphins find themselves in an advantageous situation at the position.

Look at this as a way for Miami to get ahead of evaluations.

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Miami Dolphins

A second Dolphins mock draft from someone who doesn’t watch football

Shawn Digity



J.K. Dobbins 2020 NFL Draft
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

(Locked On Dolphins) – Last week, Person A dazzled us with their blind mock draft, and now we’re back with the next entry in the series.

Person B is ready to go with their mock.

Keep in mind that all the blind mock draft contributors have little to no knowledge of the NFL.

I had all the contributors standardize their boards and the process so that everyone was on an even playing field.

They all used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator with seven rounds, the predictive board, and had to choose the players manually.

Without further ado, here’s Person B’s mock draft.

(1) 5. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama
(1) 18. J.K. Dobbins – RB, Ohio State
(1) 26. Terrell Lewis – Edge, Alabama
(2) 39. Lloyd Cushenberry III – iOL, LSU
(2) 56. Xavier McKinney – S, Alabama
(3) 70. Rashard Lawrence – iDL, LSU
(5) 135. Chase Claypool – WR, Notre Dame
(5) 144. Justin Herron – OT, Wake Forest
(5) 147. Terrell Burgess – S, Utah
(6) 165. Lamar Jackson – CB, Nebraska
(6) 177. Jacob Breeland – TE, Oregon
(7) 223. David Reese II – LB, Florida

As I did with Person A, I reached out to Person B to get their reasoning behind the selections.

Me: “I noticed that you took Tua [Tagovailoa]. What led you to that decision with the fifth pick?”

Person B: “I knew the Dolphins wanted to get a QB, and Tua has been talked about so much that I just went with him.”

Me: “Which of your other selections did you feel particularly good about?”

Person B: “I need you to send me the link to my draft. I forgot who I picked since it took five attempts.”

[resends mock draft to Person B]

“I like my J.K. Dobbins pick. O-H-. And Rashard Lawrence. Because I figure he’s pretty good since LSU was really good this year.”

Me: “Your picks are really good. I’d put yours ahead of Person A. But it’s almost suspiciously good. Did you put your thumb on the scale somewhere along the line?”

Person B: “Well, by my 5th attempt (1 and 2: I didn’t select manual mode, 3: I didn’t pick 7 rounds from the drop-down menu, 4: I completed, but the site froze, and I lost everything), I figured out that I should probably pick from the top of the list first because if you don’t then those players just go like hotcakes.

So, I just matched up the positions the Dolphins needed to fill with the players highest on the list, and if I recognized a name or team, I would select them over someone I had never heard of.”

Me: “OK, well, we’re all out of time. Do you have any parting messages for Dolphins fans?”

Person B: “Well, I think the Dolphins are on the right track, and I hope that all of the true blue fans who have hung in with them for all these years will get to see another Super Bowl in the near future. GO FINS!”

And that wraps things up with Person B.

What are your thoughts on Person B’s mock draft? Leave a comment or tweet your thoughts at me directly on Twitter (@DIGITYnodoubt).

Tune in next time for Person C’s mock…

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Miami Dolphins

Top 5 Miami Dolphins of 2019

Jason Hrina



Image Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins weren’t supposed to be a productive team in 2019.

A team meant to lose every game somehow ended up with a 5-11 record; simultaneously sabotaging their draft status and leaving us with a promising future at the same time.

Brian Flores, the former scout, scoured the transaction wire every day in an attempt to uncover potential “acorns” – as one former general manager infamously put it. And with a keen eye for development, his constant shuffling and retooling paid off for him.

You might think a 5-11 team wouldn’t have too many options for a Top 5 list, but the Dolphins were littered with productive “surprises”. Most have promising futures, while some have already solidified themselves as perennial starters.

Take a look at our top 5 Miami Dolphins of 2019 down below. If you’d like to see who made our list of top 5 most disappointing players of 2019, click here.

5) Davon Godchaux

After two elite seasons, we’ve come to expect nothing less out of Davon Godchaux.

Starting 16 games for the second year in a row, Godchaux has continued to ascend as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. If the Dolphins weren’t so busy staying out of the lime light, Godchaux would be a household name across the nation.

His 52 solo tackles were tied for the most in the NFL among interior defensive linemen. His 2 sacks, 75 total tackles and 7 QB hits are all improvements over his 2018 campaign, which already had fans clamoring to extend the young, former 5th-round pick.

Though some might point to Miami’s overall defensive rushing numbers as a sign that Godchaux (and Christian Wilkins) weren’t good at their jobs, that’s wildly misleading. Godchaux was stout in the middle of the defensive line; inadvertently tasked with absorbing double teams and giving players like Vince Biegel or Jerome Baker room to blitz.

It’s quite possible that Godchaux is lower than he should be on this list, simply because we take his performance for granted.

4) Mike Gesicki

I’m going to hold my hand up high and admit that I thought Mike Gesicki was going to be an absolute bust for the Miami Dolphins.

More-notorious for not staying on his feet than Brian Hartline, Gesicki overcame a (very) rough rookie season and turned into a reliable seam threat for Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Gesicki finished the year with 51 receptions, 570 receiving yards (an 11.2 yards-per-reception average) and five touchdowns – the first of his career. He proved to be a mismatch against linebackers; and whether he lines up in the slot or on the outside, the Dolphins are going to take advantage each time they see him 1-on-1 against an LB.

Athletic and deceptively quicker than we might realize, Gesicki honed his route running and displayed a much better catch radius than what we saw his rookie year. The image of Brent Grimes wide-eyed after Gesicki went up for a touchdown says more than a thousand words – but if nothing else, it tells us that the Miami Dolphins have a legitimate tight end.

3) Vince Biegel

Vince Biegel came to Miami as a complete afterthought.

The Dolphins traded incumbent linebacker Kiko Alonso to the New Orleans Saints in an effort to alleviate cap space in 2020. In return, they received a little-known, former 4th-round pick who was about to play for his third team in 3 years.

For all the grief we’ve given Chris Grier over his scouting, we have to give him a ton of credit for this one. Saying the Saints got fleeced is an understatement.

In 13 games (4 starts) with the Saints, Alonso recorded 31 tackles, 0 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss (TFL) and 2 QB Hits.

In 15 games (10 starts), Biegel accumulated 57 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 7 TFL, 13 QB Hits and an interception to boot.

Biegel was such a force at linebacker, that Dolphins fans forgot he was going to be a free agent this offseason and just assumed they had him for years to come. Most of us hope the Dolphins find a way to keep Biegel around at a reasonable (yet worthy) price.

The growth he, Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker can make with another year together could all together eliminate the need to use assets on a linebacker in the near-future. Especially when the team will get Andrew Van Ginkel back for a full, healthy season.

2) Jerome Baker

Arguably Chris Grier’s best draft pick, Jerome Baker has evolved into one of the best all-around linebackers in the league. You can consider that an overstatement, but his versatility, durability and play-making ability make him a prime candidate to burst into the national spotlight in 2020.

Baker and Eric Rowe were the only players who logged over 1,000 snaps last season (1,079 for Baker, 1,071 for Rowe).

After a rookie season that showed a ton of promise, Baker’s sophomore season ended with 124 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5 QB hits, 2 forced fumbles, 4 passes defended and 1 interception. Versatile in coverage, as a spy, diagnosing the run, and when he blitzes, Baker may be the real Swiss-Army knife of this Dolphins’ defense.

The biggest question we now have to ask is: what do the Miami Dolphins do with Jerome Baker? He’s still two years away from free agency, but if his 2020 season is any improvement over what we’ve seen, Baker is going to command A LOT of money when he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

Don’t let Baker turn into another Olivier Vernon, Jarvis Landry or Lamar Miller. Pay the talent you successfully scouted and maintain a sense of culture and camaraderie.

Honorable Mentions:

Christian Wilkins:

Christian Wilkins came to the Miami Dolphins with a ton of charisma and a jovial personality unmatched by any top draft pick that came before him.

From the moment the 315lbs linebacker did a split after Clemson won their national championship in 2018, to the time he had Roger Goodell go up for a chest bump after he was drafted, Wilkins was a beloved figure.

But personality can only take you so far, and when the season started Wilkins needed to back up his charity work and infectious smile with the brutality necessary to win at the line of scrimmage. And boy did he live up to it.

Wilkins may not have finished with the most-gaudy numbers, but they’re still impressive nonetheless. For his rookie season, Wilkins totaled 56 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 passes defended. He’s caught every pass ever thrown to him (1), and it even resulted in a touchdown.

His 888 total snaps (between defense, special teams and the 2 he accumulated on offense) are noteworthy for a rookie defensive tackle.

The other 1st-round defensive linemen drafted in 2019 finished with:

  • Quinnen Williams (3rd-overall): 577 total snaps
  • Clelin Ferrell (4th): 716 snaps
  • Ed Oliver (9th): 572 snaps
  • Wilkins (13th): 888 snaps
  • Brian Burns (16th): 609 snaps
  • Dexter Lawrence (17th): 866 snaps
  • Jeffery Simmons (19th): 368 snaps
  • Montez Sweat (26th): 817 snaps
  • Jerry Tillery (28th): 436 snaps

The 2019 draft class was stacked on the defensive line, and yet, the Dolphins may have managed to draft the best one of the bunch midway through the round.

Nik Needham:

The Miami Dolphins signed Nik Needham as an undrafted free agent with the hope that he would provide depth for a position group that already featured plenty of expensive and starting-caliber players within it.

Instead, the Dolphins add another commodity to that list.

Competing for playing time with players like Xavien Howard, Eric Rowe, Bobby McCain, Minkah Fitzpatrick and a plethora of other roster invitees, Needham had an excellent camp, but found himself just missing the final 53-man roster.

That didn’t stop him from honing his craft and earning a promotion from the practice squad one day before the Dolphins were set to take on the Washington Redskins in Week 6.

Needham went on to start the final 11 games of the season, and ended the year with 2 interceptions, 11 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack and 54 total tackles.

As a rookie cornerback, you’re expected to be picked on, but Needham was bullied by the refs more than he was by opposing quarterbacks. Questionable calls against Needham towards the end of the year put a slight damper on his otherwise stellar season.

Though in the eyes of some Dolphins fans, that erroneous (non-existent) pass interference penalty that was overturned on the final drive during the New York Jets loss was a blessing in disguise.

1) DeVante Parker

It may have taken slightly longer than we originally hoped, but Ryan Fitzpatrick’s aggressive style highlighted just how elite DeVante Parker can be when you just throw him the damn ball.

Previously marred by the occasional health concern and offensive schemes that didn’t cater to his skillset, Parker was deemed a “bust” by most Dolphins fans. Drafted 14th-overall in the 2014 NFL draft, Parker was expected to transcend the offense. Instead, bubble screens became the focal point for an offense that was littered with deep threat specialists (Parker, Kenny Stills and Jakeem Grant).

Parker’s recent 4-year, $40m extension is a reward not only for the production Parker put up in 2019, but for the potential Parker still has left in him.

In 16 games this past season (the first time he’s been active for 16 games his entire career), Parker caught 72 passes for 1,202 yards and 9 touchdowns. In his four years prior to 2019, Parker caught a combined 163 passes for 2,217 yards and 9 TDs.

As long as he can stay healthy, and the Dolphins don’t revert back to a scared, anemic offense, you can expect annual 1,000 yard seasons from the team’s #1 receiver.

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