Dolphins' Position Battles to Watch Ahead of 2022 NFL Season
Now, McDaniel and his staff have to figure out which players will fill certain roles ahead of the team's Week 1 clash with the New England Patriots.
Miami will have a revamped offensive line, but the only guarantee at that position is Terron Armstead starting at left tackle.
The Dolphins also have an abundance of running backs to use behind Tua Tagovailoa. The next few months will be all about defining roles for Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, Myles Gaskin and others.
McDaniel and his staff made most of the personnel changes on offense. The team brings back all of its defensive starters, but there are some new additions who can push for playing time.
The most intriguing defensive positional battle occurs at linebacker, where Melvin Ingram and a few 2022 NFL draft picks were added.
The Dolphins are not lacking talent on the offensive line, but they are without a guide as to where each player will start.
Terron Armstead is the only lock at a certain position on the interior at left tackle. He was brought in during free agency from the New Orleans Saints.
Connor Williams was the other big free-agent acquisition from the Dallas Cowboys, and he could line up at one of the two guard spots or at center.
Michael Deiter, Robert Hunt and Liam Eichenberg are also looking to nail down specific starting positions in front of Tua Tagovailia.
Williams took snaps at center throughout the early offseason, and his move from guard to center could shake up how the offensive line aligns itself for Week 1.
Austin Jackson could also play a role in the starter discussion at right tackle. He would be involved in a competition with Hunt if that is the case.
Miami does not lack depth on the offensive line anymore, but the offseason acquisitions will be for naught if it can't figure out a proper alignment ahead of Week 1. Most of that could be dependent on whether Williams plays guard or center.
The same conundrum faces the Dolphins at running back as it does on the offensive line.
They have an abundance of players to play the position, but no set hierarchy just yet.
Chase Edmonds is the presumed No. 1 running back on the depth chart because of his experience level and age after coming over from the Miami Dolphins.
The 26-year-old split carries with James Conner last season and is ready to prove he can be the top running back in an offense.
The Dolphins also brought in Sony Michel and Raheem Mostert for competition in the offseason. They kept Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed from the 2021 roster.
Miami failed to get proper production out of the running back position in 2021 and may have overcorrected that concern by adding a trio of experienced running backs.
Edmonds should receive the first chance to be the No. 1 RB, while Michel and Mostert are solid pieces to have in support of him.
The Dolphins could have a strong reliance on the rushing attack if Mike McDaniel molds his offense similar to the one he just left in San Francisco.
Gaskin and Ahmed may be on the outside looking in right now, but if they put together strong training camps, they could force a trade elsewhere for more snaps or break into the rotation.
Miami will have multiple running backs at the ready in Week 1, but the order in which they receive snaps will not be determined until August.
The free-agent addition of Melvin Ingram and the drafting of Channing Tindall and Cameron Goode have made linebacker a more intriguing position than it was two months ago.
Tindall should provide depth behind Elandon Roberts and Jerome Baker on the inside, while Ingram and Goode will be competition for Andrew Van Ginkel and Jaelan Phillips on the outside.
Ingram has the better path to a starting position compared to the two rookies because of his experience level.
The Dolphins would have signed Ingram with the intent to have him on the field at a decent rate and not just to be a situation edge-rusher.
Tindall and Goode may need time to grow into the defense, but they may have chances to compete for snaps based on their performance in training camp.
If anything, the three additions made preseason more interesting in the middle of the defense. The best-case scenario is that each of the players grows into their respective roles and provides the Dolphins with depth at a key position.