The Dolphins are going to absolutely stink in 2019.
The Adam Gase era set this team back substantially, but they started to right the ship this offseason. It started with getting rid of Gase and bringing in Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores to be the head coach. Flores is an immediate upgrade for this team, and one that is more suited to building locker room unity as the team tries to rebuild, and it is going to be a long rebuild...unless.
The quarterback position is the biggest point of interest for the Dolphins heading into the season. They signed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has always been a strong performer early on in the season. The team also traded a second round pick for Josh Rosen, who was a top 10 pick a year ago. It is a very low risk move that could yield high reward. If Rosen can develop into the quarterback that Arizona had hoped he would before promptly moving on, it would help speed up the rebuild ten fold.
At running back, Kenyan Drake is the clear cut number one option. With Frank Gore leaving for Buffalo, the backup role is up for grabs. Kalen Ballage and Myles Gaskin are the best bets to back up Drake at this time.
The wide receivers on this team can all be categorized as OK. They are good enough to be in the league certainly, but they are nothing special. The best of the bunch is Kenny Stills, who would be a solid number two or number three, but is forced to be this team’s number one option. Miami will also hope DeVante Parker can finally put together an entire season of health and production. Behind those two, there's a bunch of filler, and I expect this position group to be fluid for the Dolphins all season.
At tight end, the team has the veteran and reliable blocker Dwayne Allen, and a bunch of question marks behind them. Allen won’t make a difference in the passing game, but he will be a reliable tool for Flores to use both as a blocker and in building locker room chemistry.
Along the line the team lost two of its better players from a year ago. Guard Josh Sitton retired and tackle Ja’Wuan James departed via free agency. The team drafted guard Michael Deiter to replace Sitton but didn’t address the departing James. With that said, the team has one of the best young left tackles in football in Laremy Tunsil. All in all, it is going to be a struggle for this unit to score points in 2019.
The defense won't be much better than the offense. The strength of the D-Line is in the middle, with first round pick Christian Wilkins and free agent signing Akeem Spence plugging it up. The edge defenders are a different story. They lost Cameron Wake which will definitely hurt. Nate Orchard, Charles Harris, and Tank Carradine will be the rotating starters, a group that doesn't instill much confidence.
Linebacker is not much different. The team has Kiko Alonso, who has played well the past few seasons for them, and Jerome Baker, who played well as a rookie last year but continues to battle nagging injuries.
The secondary is where this team actually has some talent. Xavien Howard is one of the game’s best, and Minkah Fitzpatrick showed promise as a rookie. The team also signed Eric Rowe, who played well in New England the past few seasons but was forced out due to the abundance of talent on the roster. At safety the team has Reshad Jones, who is one of the elite safeties in the game. They also moved the versatile Bobby McCain to safety, and he will likely split time with T.J. McDonald.
While the front seven of this defense can be classified as sub par, this secondary has the talent to keep the Dolphins in games that they have no business being in.
Offseason Grade: A- | Predicted AFC East Finish: 4
The Dolphins were able to get a top ten pick from last year’s draft for a second round pick. Not only that, but that player is a quarterback, the most important position in the game. If it works out, the team looks like organizational geniuses. If it doesn't, they didn't really sacrifice that much to give it a go. That alone is worth the A, and in truth is the only reason for it.
The rest of the offseason for the Dolphins was a bunch of meh moves that won't really impact their standing in the division. Unless Rosen turns into Aaron Rodgers early in the season, the Dolphins will be in the running for the number one pick.
Graduate of Loyola Maryland and die hard Boston sports fan. "I rub it in pretty good when I win" - Tom Brady