The Dolphins’ 2019 season went higher than anticipated. Regardless of buying and selling Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kenyan Drake, Kenny Stills, and Laremy Tunsil, Miami was in a position to claw its approach to 5 wins — together with its annual head-scratching victory over an AFC East-winning Patriots group.
Although the membership can nonetheless choose its subsequent franchise quarterback early on within the 2020 NFL Draft, its document wasn’t unhealthy sufficient to shoot to the very high of the order. Even with that downside, the Dolphins’ feisty rebuild has heightened expectations in head coach Brian Flores’ second yr on the helm.
Miami Dolphins (5-11), missed playoffs
Miami has a protracted checklist of wants after promoting off key gamers for draft picks final yr. The Dolphins must grind onerous to construct a championship roster, however a league-high $93 million in wage cap area in the beginning of free company made that quest just a little simpler. That money went to stars like Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, and Shaq Lawson, who ought to instantly improve the league’s worst protection.
What The Phinsider needs most this offseason: The quarterback place is the attractive one and the apparent one Miami must fill. However this group is beginning the rebuild this yr after tearing the group all the way down to the inspiration final yr. Addressing the road of scrimmage on either side of the ball is essential for the Dolphins. Search for them so as to add offensive linemen in free company and the draft. They’re probably trying to the draft for edge rushers — except they need to use a bit of their league-high wage cap area to get a reputation. Working again and cornerback must be addressed someplace. — Kevin Nogle
Earlier than free company:
- Quarterback: The Dolphins have Ryan Fitzpatrick underneath contract for 2020, however he’s solely a stopgap answer. Whereas he performed comparatively effectively final fall, that might be solely the newest excessive level within the ongoing sine wave that’s been his journeyman profession. Including a passer by the draft is a close to certainty.
- Edge rusher: Cowboys castoff Taco Charlton led the group in sacks final season … with 5. The final Dolphin to have greater than 6.5 sacks in a season was Cameron Wake in 2017. With cash to spend this offseason, Miami might usher in a high-profile veteran at one of many league’s most costly positions this offseason in an effort to punch up its cross rush. Van Noy and Lawson aren’t good matches, however they’ll assist.
- Offensive line: Buying and selling away Tunsil left the Dolphins and not using a cornerstone at left sort out. Happily for Miami, the 2020 draft class is loaded with out there blocking expertise. The group might flip to veteran assist in free company, although the Dolphins do have three first-round picks to burn come April.
After free company:
The Dolphins have added an array of expertise after bottoming out in 2019 — and that may not even be half the group’s offseason additions. Miami has 14 draft picks to spend on this yr’s class of prospects.
- Quarterback: The one actual query right here is whether or not the Dolphins must commerce up from No. 5 to pick their franchise quarterback. They’ve bought loads of draft ammo to drag off a deal.
- Offensive line: Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras had been the group’s two huge OL signings in free company. Neither is a certain factor — and there’s nonetheless a gaping gap to fill at LT.
- Working again: Jordan Howard shall be a welcome addition for a group that boasted main speeding Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2019. He wants a platoon-mate, and a low-cost rookie who can run the ball and make catches out of the backfield could be a boon.
We’ll verify again on the Dolphins after the 2020 NFL Draft.