LDE – John Jenkins , Avery Moss
NT – Davon Godchaux , Gerald Willis, Zach Sieler
RDE – Christian Wilkins , Taco Charlton
If the offensive line is near the top of the list for most important positions to fill in FA and the draft, the defensive line is right there with with it. That’s a little misleading because in the 3-4 defense which is our base defense at least, pass rush can be coming from a number of places, especially from the outside linebackers, but if we can get another impact player for the interior to team up with Wilkins and Godchaux, that could really be a strong foundation for our defense. Both the rookie Wilkins and the 3 year vet Godchaux had excellent season’s last year. Wilkins had the most tackles for any rookie DL (56) and Godchaux had the most tackles for all DL with 75. DE Taco Charlton who played in 10 games for the Dolphins (starting 5) led the team with 5 sacks and made an impact in his first season with the Dolphins. John Jenkins was a nice pickup last season and he helped solidify the line playing mostly at DE. We need more, and potentially adding a player like Derrick Brown is very appealing, and he should be available when we choose at #5. After that, he’s long gone.
Both Godchaux and Wilkins have rotated as the NT and both are pretty good there. Both have obviously also played DE too and done well there as well, but we’re not getting enough in the pass rush department. In the draft, A.J. Epenesa could be a target. He’s a very strong edge setting DE who has pass rush ability, but is a stronger run player at the moment. Javon Kinlaw is another DL who could help the Dolphins if we decide to look elsewhere at pick #5 and he might be available at our next pick at #18. Another potential fit would be DE Yetur Gross-Matos. He’s basically a 4-3 end 3-4 OLB type of player. We don’t always play an odd front and employ 4 DL at times during the game so he would have the ability to play multiple roles. K’Lavon Chaisson would be a similar player to Gross-Matos, but Chaisson is probably the better pass rusher of the two and much more explosive.
Free agents that are available are Jadaveon Clowney, although after last year it would be surprising if we revisited that avenue. I’ve decided to only look at players 28 or younger, not because that’s directly from Davie but that’s what I’d think would best suit our team. Shaq Lawson had a career high 6 sacks last season which isn’t fantastic but he’s another multiple role player (OLB/DE). Vic Beasley who has 37 sacks in 5 seasons with a career high 15 in 2016, hasn’t broken double digits since then though. Big Arik Armstead (6’7 292) from SF is a FA this season, coming off his career best 10 sacks as part of that fearsome SF defense. Armstead also added 54 tackles playing both DT and DE. SB winning DT Chris Jones is a FA who has 33 sacks in 4 seasons playing both DT/DE for KC. He’s another guy that could help us and free up a spot in the draft. That’s how I look at this, anyone we get either for the OL or DL in FA just frees up another spot in the draft to get a different type of player. It will be a good time to have all that cap space available because we can choose where we want to spend and I believe Miami is now a desirable team to play for with Coach Flores and MFFF reinforcing why he needed to be jettisoned. I’ll bet our pick at #18 won’t be such a pu$$y!