If you’re a regular reader here, you know I just highlighted our 2nd first round pick, Jaelan Phillips in my last article. Now it’s the guy on the other side, WOLB Andy Van Ginkel. I think Phillips will be an NFL star, maybe even this season, but I think we may have a star in the making in AVG. A little shorter and a little lighter than Phillips, AVG is a fast moving, agile athlete. Phillips is 6’5 260 while AVG is 6’3 241. Both ran the 40 in 4.56. AVG really excels in that short burst speed and agility running the 10 yard in 1.56 and the 3 cone at 6.86, fantastic for his size. Many WR’s and DB’s can’t post times that good. His 4.14 20 yard shuttle shows elite quick burst speed. Speed is his game so don’t expect AVG to ever exceed 245 lbs, he’s not a power player.
What can we expect from this much unheralded player who quietly made himself known to Miami Dolphins fans? Playing in only 46% of the snaps, AVG posted some heady stats in limited playing time. 48 total tackles (29 solo), 10 QB hits, 5.5 sacks, 3 FF’s, 1 FR returned for a TD, 7 TFL and 4 passes defensed. Well rounded numbers showing legitimate versatility. With KVN gone this season, AVG is the started opposite Phillips who will be playing the strong side. Will AVG be able to withstand more snaps and will his body be able to endure more snaps? We’re going to find out because I believe he will be given every chance to do that and will play as many snaps as he can. One thing I do know is the league has definitely shifted towards speed, and this year, the Dolphins defense has the speed to match up. Even big Benardrick McKinney who will be side by side in the middle with Jerome Baker can run well. He’s the sole LB who doesn’t cut the sub 4.6 threshold but his 4.66 is nothing to sneeze at considering his 6’4 260 size. McKinney is a thumper that can move though, and that’s good considering Elandon Roberts is returning from an injury sustained the second to last week of the season. He may not available to the Dolphins defense until mid season.
If more playing time is better for AVG then it’s not unrealistic to think AVG may nearly double his sack total to 10 or more, and his QB hit number to close to 20. With the added attention Phillips and Ogbah will likely garner, it’s not crazy really. The one thing we don’t know is what AVG’s body can endure. Some guys are relief pitchers simply because they get exposed the longer they are out there. Will that be true of AVG? I for one don’t believe so, I think he will shine once again, but time will tell.