Miami Dolphins: 3 Deepest Positions Post-Draft and Free Agency
It has been a busy offseason for Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland. When Stephen Ross was willing to open up his wallet, Ireland didn't hesitate to take advantage.
He went out and signed the best wide receiver available in Mike Wallace, managed to re-sign Brian Hartline and further improved the wide receiver position by adding Brandon Gibson. Ireland also overhauled the linebacker position by bringing in Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler.
When the draft came around, Ireland didn't lose his aggressiveness. In a move that surprised many, he traded up to the No. 3 spot to draft Dion Jordan. Many believed offensive tackle was the biggest need, but Ireland wanted to add playmakers and did just that.
So after the plethora of moves Ireland has made this offseason, which positions are now the deepest?
Last year, the Dolphins were pretty thin at almost every position. However, this year, they've added a lot of top-end talent and depth that will allow them to compete for a playoff spot.
Like last year, running back is one of the deepest positions the Dolphins have. After Reggie Bush left in free agency, the Dolphins drafted Mike Gillislee to fill out the position.
Lamar Miller will look to take over the starting role after showing flashes in limited action last year. Miller has to show that he has improved his pass-blocking in order to be considered an every-down running back, but he has all the tools to have a breakout season.
Behind Miller, Gillislee and Daniel Thomas will be fighting for the No. 2 spot on the roster.
Thomas has yet to live up to expectations due to injuries and inconsistent play. He is a bruising back that can definitely be used in goal line and short-yardage situations.
Gillislee has received praise after participating in rookie minicamp and will look to not only overtake Thomas for the No. 2 spot, but challenge Miller for the starting spot. Gillislee is a very good running back who comes in as a polished blocker, making him valuable on passing downs.
This is a very young group of players, but it definitely has a lot of talent. Between the three players, there is a good combination of speed, size and power that will allow Mike Sherman to get creative.
During the past few seasons, Miami has lacked production at tight end. Anthony Fasano was a solid all-around tight end, but he didn't scare many defensive coordinators.
The Dolphins added Dustin Keller in free agency in order to become a more dynamic passing offense. He gives Ryan Tannehill another target that creates mismatches against linebackers and safeties.
When Miami added Keller, it still needed a blocking tight end. The Dolphins waited until the tail end of the fourth round and selected Dion Sims, considered by many the best blocking tight end in this draft class. Sims is a big-bodied tight end that has surprising mobility and can create an intriguing duo with Keller.
Aside from Keller and Sims, the Dolphins will also field Charles Clay, who has shown some flashes, but has not lived up to expectations. If he can become more consistent, he can carve a role on the team.
Behind Clay is Michael Egnew, who has been a disappointment after one season. Egnew didn't play a single down in the regular season after being selected in the third round last year. He has the catching ability to be successful, but he has to get a lot stronger in order to get playing time.
This group, like the running backs, is a very young group (aside from Keller) that still has a lot to prove but has the talent to become effective in the passing game. The tight end position has become increasingly important in the past few years, and if Miami can get production out of this group, Ryan Tannehill will be one happy camper.
The strong get stronger. Miami hit Randy Starks with the franchise tag after he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl last year. Starks has been one of the best players in a Dolphins uniforms over the last few years. His strength comes in run defense, while he's also able to beat interior offensive linemen with his speed.
Which is Miami's deepest position?
Next to Starks is one of the bulkiest players in the league. Paul Soliai is one of the best defensive tackles against the run and will constantly demand double-teams. This tandem has become one of the best in the league and will be even better this season.
On the outside, the Dolphins have the luxury of fielding the best defensive end in the league.
Cameron Wake is a terror for offensive linemen and usually draws a lot of attention from defensive coordinators. Now, Wake will have some company on the other side. Dion Jordan comes in without a true position but will definitely help Wake as a pass-rusher. Quarterbacks won't be sleeping too well knowing they have to face these two.
Miami also fields Olivier Vernon, Jared Odrick, Kheeston Randall and Vaughn Martin in relief.
This has been by far Miami's strongest group, and it looks like it will continue that way next season.
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