Many of us here believe this position will be a major focal point in both Free Agency and in the draft. Of course, the former will determine the latter. How much we’re able to accomplish in Free Agency on the O-line will then dictate how much we need to do in the draft. I’m pretty sure we’re going to try and get at least one starter, maybe 2 in FA. Let’s take a look at what we have now and I’ll outline where we need to improve.
LT – Julien Davenport / J’Marcus Webb
I think both of those players would better serve the team as depth players and not as starters. I’d feel comfortable with either of them in a backup role but I don’t want to start 2020 with either of them manning the LT spot. Both are journeyman type players who can fill in as the starter but neither are guys you build around or with.
LG – Michael Deiter / Evan Brown
I think Deiter has potential to be a bonafide starter in the NFL. I don’t think he’s quite there yet and he needs to work hard in the weight room and increase his strength and balance. It may be one position we don’t go strong with in either FA or the draft. In any case, we need to improve the depth there and that can be taken care of either way. Evan Brown is a backup interior guy both at G/C. He will need to fight for a spot on the roster next season.
C – Dan Kilgore / Keaton Sutherland
Kilgore was a valuable leader in 2019 but I believe we will be looking for a young center to replace Kilgore, or at the very least give him strong competition for next season. I think ideally we’d like to grow a young line together and a young stud center who will make the line calls for a decade or so is a good place to start. I think we’re going to handle this position in the draft and likely in RD1.
RG – Evan Boehm / Shaq Calhoun
I like the toughness Boehm brought with him to Miami but I’m not sure if he’s got the skillset to hold down his position. I won’t be surprised in the least if we look for an upgrade in free agency and then possibly add more depth in the draft. Shaq Calhoun looked overmatched in some action this season. He may need more work or at best he may be a depth player.
RT – Jesse Davis
So this is really the wild card. As so many prognosticators have us choosing QB Tua Tagovaiola, then our RT in essence becomes the proverbial LT. Jesse Davis has made a lot of strides, he really has, but if we make the investment at #5 on Tua you bet your ass we’re going to be looking to protect that investment. While Jesse Davis has improved, no one would be calling him an elite tackle. He’s serviceable, but this is a spot we’re going to have to take seriously if we do indeed draft Tua. If we don’t take Tua, Jesse Davis is probably our starting RT next season and we’ll need some depth there.
In Free Agency, one of the top interior linemen available is Brandon Scherff. Scherff was the #5 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He’s played mostly RG in his 5 seasons with the Skins. He just turned 28 so a good age for a rebuild. RT Jack Conklin is another top player available. I’ll be surprised if TEN lets him go, they traded up to get Conklin at #8 in the 2016 NFL Draft, the same draft that Laremy Tunsil fell to us. Both of these players will be getting premium salaries but the good news is we can absorb that easily. We have the money and we need to spend some anyway and either player would be a huge upgrade for us. Both players have legit skillsets and both of them bring plenty o nasty!
In the draft, Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Willis, Tristan Wirfs, Austin Jackson and Mekhi Bectin head up the OT’s although there are some who believe Wirfs may benefit moving inside. Tyler Biadasz, Cesar Ruiz, and Lloyd Cushenberry head up the centers. We should have a shot at some of the top players even if we take a QB at #5 because we’ll have the #18 and #26 picks too. Plus we have two 2nd RD picks as well #39 and #56, where we can land a solid interior lineman. We’re in a good place, we just have to take care of business!
Next week I’m going to look at the defensive line.