Debate the Dolphins offseason needs and more in The Football Fan Forum
The Miami Dolphins made what was probably this division’s biggest single splash of the offseason when they went out and traded for Brandon Marshall. However, when you look up at the two teams ahead of them, the Pats and their amazing offense, and the Jets and their amazing defense, this team comes out short, based off the fact that they don’t have one thing they do extremely well, whether it be offense or defense.
Chad Henne should be better at quarterback this year, especially with Marshall, but he’ll still have to be the one leading this team and I don’t think Henne is an elite quarterback, even with Marshall, at this stage of his career. Their running game is led by the 33-year-old Ricky Williams and the injury prone Ronnie Brown so that’s not going to be something they’re going to be great at doing.
Adding Karlos Dansby to a defense that was solid last year might make you think that their is among the best in the league, but remember, they’ve lost both Joey Porter and Jason Taylor. They had 44 sacks last year, but with Porter and Taylor gone, they may have some trouble pressuring the quarterback. Cameron Wake is expected to step up as their #1 rush linebacker, but he’s inexperienced to this point in his career. Rookie Koa Misi will start opposite him and he wasn’t much of a pass rusher in college. He was mostly drafted for his athleticism and fluidity in coverage, and he’s a rookie anyway and rookie pass rushers are almost always unreliable.
This puts a lot of pressure on their secondary, which was already one of the worst in the league last year. With Gibril Wilson gone and either Chris Clemons or Reshad Jones starting at free safety, they’ll have 3 starters in the defensive backfield with one year or fewer of experience and defensive backs almost always take longer to develop than most other positions. If this team goes from a 44 sack team as they were in 2009, to a 30-35 sack team this year, that’s only going to put more pressure on their young defensive backs to perform and that’s not a recipe for stopping elite offensive attacks. Their run defense will be better this season, but not their pass defense, and this is a pass heavy league. I don’t see them competing with the top two teams in this division.
Projection: 8-8 3rd in AFC East
Power Ranking: 20
Last season: 7-9
#28 3-4 DE Jared Odrick (Penn State)
Odrick is a great player and a perfect fit for their scheme, but he didn’t fill an obvious need. He will have a starting role to win though, as the Dolphins are moving former end Randy Starks to nose tackle to replace Jason Ferguson. Bill Parcells style teams have done decent with smaller nose tackles before, but Starks never struck me as the nose tackle type. Still, Odrick is a great player who would fill a need if the plan were to move Starks.
#40 RLB Koa Misi (Utah)
Misi is a great character and has a great work ethic and will probably be one of those players who is better as a pro than a college kid, but he didn’t have a ton of production on the college level and will have to learn a new position. I think there were better picks here if they wanted to fix the rush linebacker position. Even Sergio Kindle, who I didn’t love, would have made much more sense.
#73 G John Jerry (Mississippi)
Not an obvious need, but they are reportedly trying to move Justin Smiley and they needed depth on the offensive front anyway. I don’t know if Jerry fits their scheme that well though. He might not be mobile enough, but we’ll see.
#119 MLB AJ Edds (Iowa)
Edds is not a perfect fit for the 3-4 scheme, but he’s a good player and is a solid value here and with Channing Crowder’s history of injuries, they needed some middle linebacker depth.
#145 CB Nolan Carroll (Maryland)
He’s not someone I had being drafted so taking him in the 5th looks a bit head scratching to me, but he does fill a need and if he pans out he could allow Sean Smith to move to a more natural position in free safety.
#163 S Reshad Jones (Georgia)
I know this was a strong safety class, but Jones had no business being available with the 163rd pick. He could start sometime next year which is something you don’t normally here about guys taken in the 5th.
#212 RLB Chris McCoy (Middle Tennessee State)
With Jason Taylor leaving, they needed to find another rush linebacker and I like the selection of McCoy here, value wise, more than I like their selection of Misi.
#252 MLB Austin Spitler (Ohio State)
I know Bill Parcells likes his linebackers, but he may have gotten a bit too linebacker crazy with this pick, his 4th linebacker of the weekend, 5 if you count getting Tim Dobbins in the trade with the Chargers. Spitler doesn’t fill a need and I would have hoped the Dolphins would have taken a running back at some point. If Ronnie Brown gets hurt again, Ricky Williams probably won’t be able to carry the load.
Overall, there were some things I didn’t like about this draft. Misi doesn’t make a lot of sense in the 2nd. I think he’s a real boom or bust guy who has more of a chance of busting than being someone who is starting material. He also hasn’t played linebacker before so he won’t be able to contribute right away the way Eric Norwood or Sergio Kindle would have been able. Odrick is a great player in the first, but again, I don’t like the idea of moving Starks inside. They made some decent late rounds picks, but overall I think they ignored too many needs, running back, tight end, true nose tackle, in favor of bulking up their linebackers, but I love the steal of Rashad Jones in the 5th.
Key undrafted free agents
3-4 DE Vince Oghobaase (Duke)
NT Travis Ivey (Maryland)
WR Roberto Wallace (San Diego State)
CB AJ Wallace (Penn State)
Positions of need:
Jason Taylor is a free agent this offseason and either will retire or be brought back on a one year deal as a nickel rusher and nothing more. Joey Porter is expected to be cut on March 5th and he was their #1 rush linebacker last year. They cut Matt Roth midseason so all of a sudden, their once deep rush linebacker corps is looking very thin. Jason Pierre Paul or Brandon Graham could be options in the first.
Drafted Koa Misi (#40), Drafted Chris McCoy (#212)
Channing Crowder is their best middle linebacker when healthy, but he’s rarely healthy. Even if he stays healthy, they would still need an upgrade next to him. They likely won’t let Rolando McClain slip past them in the first, but if he’s not available, they will look for help at this position in the middle rounds.
Signed Karlos Dansby, Traded for Tim Dobbins, Drafted AJ Edds (#119), Drafted Austin Spitler (#252)
It seems like every other game they had a new leading receiver. They have a bunch of good depth guys at the position, but no true #1 receiver. Dez Bryant could be an option at 12 and they’ll have a few options, Arrelious Benn, Marshawn Gilyard, Eric Decker, Jeremy Williams, in the 2nd round.
Traded for Brandon Marshall
Jason Ferguson will be 35 before week 1 next year. He’s also a free agent, coming off of a long stint on IR, and has hinted at retirement. They don’t have another true starting nose tackle on the roster and may take one in the first to avoid having to reach for one in the later rounds, which they would almost surely have to so if they didn’t take one in the first round. Don’t rule Dan Williams out at 12, if not, expect them to take a guy like Cam Thomas or Linval Joseph in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.
They vastly overpaid Gibril Wilson last offseason. He really struggled this season. They will likely cut him and even if they don’t he could be upgraded. They did take a safety in the 3rd round last year, Chris Clemons, and Sean Smith, their starting cornerback, can also play some safety, but nonetheless, depth is needed at, if not the safety position, than the defensive back position in general. A nice tweener like Brian Williams or Myron Lewis could be targeted in the 4th or 5th round.
Drafted Rashad Jones (#163)
Ronnie Brown gets hurt every year. Its one of the only sure things in the world. Ricky Williams did a decent job in relief of him after he got hurt, but he wasn’t great and you have to wonder how many more years Ricky can do this. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and, considering the rate at which older running backs tend to break down, he’s probably living on borrowed time. Both Ricky and Ronnie are free agents next offseason anyway so running back depth at the very least will be targeted late.
QB Chad Pennington- resigned 1 year 2.5 million
RB Ronnie Brown (restricted)- tendered (1st)
WR Davone Bess (exclusive rights)- resigned
TE Anthony Fasano (restricted)- tendered (2nd)
TE Joey Haynos (exclusive rights)- resigned
NT Jason Ferguson- retired
RLB Jason Taylor- signed with Jets 2 years 13 million
RLB Joey Porter- signed with Cardinals 3 years 17.5 million
RLB Quentin Moses (restricted)- tendered (3rd)
MLB Akin Ayodele- signed with Broncos
MLB Reggie Torbor
CB Nate Jones- signed with Broncos 4 years 13.6 million
S Gibril Wilson- signed with Bengals 1 year
K Dan Carpenter (exclusive rights)- resigned
Dolphins sign 3-4 DE Charles Grant
Dolphins sign 3-4 DE Montavious Stanley
Dolphins sign 3-4 DE Marques Douglas
Dolphins announce retirement of NT Jason Ferguson
Dolphins cut MLB Reggie Torbor
Dolphins sign G Cory Procter
Dolphins announce retirement of MLB Zach Thomas
Dolphins acquire MLB Tim Dobbins from Chargers in 1st-round swap
Dolphins re-sign RLB Quentin Moses
Dolphins re-sign WR Davone Bess
Dolphins re-sign K Dan Carpenter
Dolphins re-sign TE Joey Haynos
Dolphins sign G Richie Incognito
Dolphins re-sign NT Jason Ferguson
Dolphins re-sign QB Chad Pennington
Dolphins cut RLB Joey Porter
Dolphins cut MLB Akin Ayodele
Dolphins cut S Gibril Wilson
Dolphins tender RB Ronnie Brown
Dolphins tender RLB Quentin Moses
Dolphins tender TE Anthony Fasano