The first big mover was actually a subtraction from the roster as the Dolphins parted ways with LB Kyle Van Noy after recently (last season) signing him to a 4YR/$51M deal. That move was followed by the eventual trade between the Dolphins and the Texans which sent DE Shaq Lawson to HOU for ILB Benardrick McKinney. The Dolphins gave the Texans our 6th RD 2021 pick in exchange for their 2021 7th RD pick. Lawson played both OLB and DE for the Dolphins last season but never really hit his stride in our defense. Van Noy was brought here for his leadership and his playmaking, but the surprising rise of OLB Andrew Van Ginkel helped make Van Noy expendable. While AVG played mostly weak side and and Van Noy played primarily strong, both were interchangeable. I’m guessing the new #55 will undergo a uniform number change as the Eagles would say Ol’ 55, Jerome Baker owns that number. McKinney will definitely solidify the middle next to Baker and and the bigger (6’4 260) McKinney brings more physicality there while Baker brings the sideline to sideline quickness and speed.
In addition to McKinney, the Dolphins further solidified the run defense with the addition of DT Adam Butler. Butler was a rotational guy on the Patriots defensive line with only 12 starts in 4 seasons but he played in all but one game, and he averaged about 45% of the defensive snaps, so he had a good amount of playing time. He’s a DT that gets good penetration, with 20 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and 22 QB hits over parts of 4 NFL seasons. Unfortunately for former Dolphins DT Davon Godchaux, that most likely seals his fate and he most likely will not be returning here. (Update!) Godchaux has signed a 2 year deal with the Patriots, thanks to a couple of FMU NFL insiders.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Dolphins signed RB Malcolm Brown from the LA Rams. Brown while never a premier ballcarrier or workhorse, he brings a more physical running style than what we currently have in Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Patrick Laird. Brown was basically the 3rd cog in the Rams run game behind Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson. Brown had a career high 419 yards on 101 carries with a 4.1YPC. He also caught 23 balls for 162 yards and had 5 rushing TD’s. I believe this still leaves the door wide open to draft a RB, even an early pick as I think we still need a talent upgrade there. The Dolphins just recently signed former Texans WR Will Fuller to a 1 year deal. Honestly, I never wanted any part of Fuller because although he has the speed we need, he’s a guy that has a tough time staying on the field, and considering the fact that we already have that in DeVante Parker, that doesn’t give our young QB any kind of stability when guys are constantly missing time. In any case, the Dolphins do get a guy who averages on the high end of YPR (14.9) overall but a career high 16.7YPR last season along with 8 TD’s. Also keep in mind that both Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson are set to return this season after opting out due to COVID last season. Wilson and Hurns together count less than $8M against the cap so don’t count them out just yet.
We didn’t get Joe Thuney, David Andrews or even re-sign Ted Karras, so the Dolphins decided to gamble on former ravens C Matt Skura. Much like Fuller was to me, Skura wasn’t really on my radar. Skura was a 4 year started for a stout Ravens O-line, but he has had injury issues, most recently having a devastating injury 11/19 in which he tore just about anything and everything in his knee including his ACL/PCL/MCL and dislocating his knee cap. To Skura’s credit, he toughed it out last season starting 12 games and playing in 15. As to whether he’s an upgrade over Ted Karras remains to be seen, but Skura was definitely the less expensive option. It’s once again, possible we draft a center with Creed Humphrey, Landon Dickerson Josh Myers, and Trey Smith available. Dickerson and Humphrey could go as early as 2nd RD but the others should be available in the middle rounds.
There are rumors still swirling linking former Seahawks RB Chris Carson and the Dolphins. While I have no problem with bringing in Carson, in my mind at least it would have made the signing of Malcolm Brown unnecessary, but Brown at $1.75M hardly breaks the bank. If we do get Chris Carson, that would almost certainly turn our attention away from drafting a RB early in this draft, meaning no Najee Harris, Javonte Williams or Travis Etienne.