As of today, May 4th, the NFL has completed 2/3 of it’s roster filling , with pre-draft free agency, and the NFL Draft. The next phase is post-draft free agency. There are still quite a few players who remain unsigned, and then of course, there will be cuts coming up as well, which will put more players into the free agency pool.
For the most part, the heavy lifting has been done, and any other roster adds most likely will not be major ones. The Dolphins did a great job in free agency and the draft to ensure they filled the roster holes that existed. There still may be some tweaking, but the big moves have been made.
On offense, this is what we’ve done.
QB – Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Brandon Doughty and David Fales
Dolphins signed former Bears QB David Fales in FA
RB – Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, Storm Johnson
At the moment, RB Damien Williams has still not signed his RFA tender of $1.8M. Williams has no option to play for anyone else but the Dolphins in the NFL, so he either signs his tender, or sits out the year.
WR – Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Devante Parker, Leonte Carroo, Jakeem Grant, Rashawn Scott and Isaiah Ford
The Dolphins re-signed Kenny Stills in FA and drafted Ford in the 7th RD.
TE – Julius Thomas, Anthony Fasano, MarQueis Gray and Thomas Duarte
The Dolphins traded for Julius Thomas with the Jaguars and signed Anthony Fasano in FA.
OL – Laremy Tunsil, Isaac Asiata, Mike Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod, Ja’Wuan James, Terry Poole, Sam Young, Ted Larsen, Anthony Steen and Kraig Urbik
The Dolphins drafted Isaac Asiata, signed Ted Larsen in FA
This is what we’ve done on defense
DE – Cam Wake, Andre Branch, William Hayes, Charles Harris, Terrence Fede, Julius Warmsley, Nicholas Williams and Arthur Miley
Miami drafted Charles Harris, traded for William Hayes with the Rams, and picked up Williams and Miley in FA
DT – Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Phillips, Davon Godcheaux, Vincent Taylor and Lawrence Okoye
Miami drafted both Godcheaux and Taylor, and signed Okoye as a FA
LB – Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons, Koa Misi, Raekwon McMillan, Neville Hewitt, Mike Hull, Deon Lacey and Lamin Barrow
Miami drafted Raekwon McMillan, signed Lacey and Barrow as FA’s. They call him Lamin Barrow, quite right!
CB – Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, Cordrea Tankersley, Lafayette Pitts and Jordan Lucas
Miami drafted Cordrea Tankersley
S – Reshad Jones, Nate Allen, Walt Aikens, Michael Thomas, A.J. Hendy
ST – K Andrew Franks, P Matt Darr
KR/PR Jarvis Landry, Jakeem Grant and Kenyan Drake
The Dolphins signed the following Undrafted Free Agents:
- Cameron Malveaux, DE, Houston
- Drew Morgan, WR, Arkansas
- Malcom Lewis, WR, Miami
- De’Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
- Torry McTyer, DB, UNLV
- Praise Martin-Oguike, DE, Temple
- Larry Hope, CB, Akron
- Eric Smith, OL, Virginia
- Damore’ea Stringfellow, WR, Mississippi
- Maurice Smith, DB, Georgia
- Chase Allen, LB, Souther Illinois
- Joby Saint Fleur, DE, Oklahoma State
- Francis Owusu, WR, Stanford
- Matt Haack, P, Arizona State
I would have to say the Dolphins exceeded my expectations so far. To me, the biggest questions are on the O-line. Obviously the biggest question is to whether C Mike Pouncey will be healthy enough to play, to play well, and for how long. He’s the cog that gets everything rolling. If he’s healthy, it will be a huge boost for the team. If not, either Anthony Steen, Kraig Urbik or Ted Larsen will have to step up. The next question is who starts at LG and RG. Gase said his preference was Jermon Bushrod at RG, but nothing is in stone yet. Will it be FA pickup Ted Larsen or newly drafted Isaac Asiata at LG? Most of us feel Asiata will take it, but you can’t discount experience, so Larsen, Urbik or Steen are still in the running
Getting LB Lawrence Timmons in FA was a huge pickup. He’s as solid as can be, and he plays every game. He tackles, and he can still run pretty well at 31. Drafting Raekwon McMillan was a necessity. I know Gase likes Misi, and it’s definitely possible that Misi is an opening day starter, but how long can Misi stay healthy? In his 7 year career, Misi has only once played 16 games. Contrast that with Timmons, who played 16 games in 9 of his 10 seasons, missing only 2 games in 2009. McMillan may not start from game 1, but if he plays up to his potential, he’ll be in there at some point.
While Reshad Jones will be back, I’m not thrilled with Nate Allen. The former 2010 2nd RD pick has languished in OAK for 2 seasons. Coming off an injury, he wasn’t the same player. I think the fact we doubled down with T.J. MCDonald was telling. Even though T.J. won’t be available until week 8, to me, that wasn’t a big vote of confidence for Nate Allen.
At CB, we have pretty solid depth. For some reason, Maxwell gets little love here due to a slow start, but he’s a solid player. Howard fought injuries, but he flashed some good and bad, as expected in his rookie season. I’m excited to see what he can do with a full year of workouts and training camp and pre season. Lippett also showed lots of promise last year. Good ole Bobby McCain struggled some, so that could potentially open the door for Tankersley. Not necessarily a slot CB, he might get a shot there, or maybe Howard or Maxwell would move inside while Tankersley stays outside.
On the D-line, we resigned Andre Branch, and traded for a run stopping DE in William Hayes. Drafting Charles Harris who already has a wicked spin move was a great addition and should give our pass rush some sizzle. We drafted a couple of DT’s, both have potential as rotational guys, but neither of them are anywhere near ready to start. Jordan Phillips hopefully will realize his potential this year, and form and unstoppable duo of DT’s with he and Suh.
The offense was pretty set IMO before the draft, save for the O-line. This has potential to be a power run offense, but one that could open it up with the passing game with Landry, Stills, Parker and TE Julius Thomas. Who knows, maybe Carrooooooo even shows up this season.
ST’s should be once again pretty good with pro bowler P Matt Darr returning, and Andrew Franks was OK. Landry, Drake and Grant give some fireworks to the return game so looking good there.
All in all, we have a lot to be optimistic about, I don’t believe this team has a glaring weakness, perhaps just a soft spot if everything doesn’t come together for the O-line.
GO DOLPHINS, ZERO IN!