In Part 2 of our 4 part training camp preview, we focus on the Offensive Line and Special Teams. As a reminder, Pro Football Focus grades are (in parentheses). We hope you enjoy the read!
Offensive Line- Tackles:
Laremy Tunsil (70.4)
Jordan Mills (56.0)
Zach Sterup (45.4)
Michael Dunn (N/A)
Isaiah Prince (R)
Aaron Monteiro (R)
Jaryd Jones-Smith (R)
Jesse Davis (55.6)
Kyle Fuller (32.2)
Chris Reed (55.6)
Deion Calhoun (R)
Michael Dieter (R)
Daniel Kilgore (52.9)
Ryan Anderson (R)
Tony Adams (R)
As it is every year, the Dolphins are trying to find an offensive line that works. This is a young group, with very little experience. On top of that, 3 of the returning starters (Tunsil, Kilgore, Davis) were not very good, sans Tunsil.
When looking at the tackle spot, the biggest and brightest light in the room is Laremy Tunsil. He is teetering on the edge of elite, one of which we haven’t seen since the days of Richmond Webb. If you need any proof on this, here is a video breakdown from Brian Baldinger, showing Tunsil being one of the best in the game today:
.@MiamiDolphins @KingTunsil78 is the best young OT in the @NFL today and has a chance to be the best OT in the game. Consistency of his set is a clinic. His run game can improve but he is only 24 and ascending. I will post a longer video detailing the KING’s BIZ #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/rWDDfqnjSj
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) July 15, 2019
And that’s where it ends with this group. The praise is over. This camp is going to be one of the biggest for this group. Outside of Tunsil, there is no spot set in stone. In 2018, the Dolphins finished tied for 5th in sacks allowed (52), 2nd highest adjusted sack rate on drop backs (10.5%) and ranked 31st in pass protection, only behind the Houston Texans. Which is why having a giant hole on the right side of the line troubling. We know about the departure of Ja’Wuan James, but the Dolphins did little to fix that. Jordan Mills, coming over from the Bills, was ranked 70th per PFF and had his second worst season of his 6-year career last year. He also struggled mightily in OTA’s. The Dolphins went out and drafted Isaiah Prince in the 6th round of the 2019 draft, with hopes they can maximize his former 4-star potential.
On the inside of the line, it gets no better. Returning starters Daniel Kilgore (missed 12 games with injury) and Jesse Davis both have had their issues, particularly with run blocking. The Dolphins drafted Michael Dieter in round 3 of the draft in hopes to resolve their depth issues and hopefully having him become a starter. Chris Reed was brought in to fight for one of the guard spots and have familiarity with offensive line coach Pat Flaherty. Flaherty will be flanked by former Dolphins coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who helped the line in 2017 after the firing of Chris Foerster. Surprisingly, he was fired by the Colts after having the 4th best OL in football in 2018. The Dolphins will welcome him back with open arms and hopefully he can maximize whatever potential this group has.
Every. Single. Position. Not. Named. Left. Tackle. If anything, the Dolphins will be mixing and matching groups throughout training camp and preseason games to try to find the right mix. The biggest camp battle however in our eyes, will be at right tackle. Jordan Mills, due to experience, should have the lead going into camp. But do not be surprised that Isaiah Prince pushes him for playing time. Dieter/Davis/Reed have the upper hand on the interior guard spots and Kilgore will be pushed by Ryan Andersen for center. All in all, fingers crossed that this new regime maximizes the potential of these young men.
Stone Wilson (R)
Wesley Farnsworth (R)
Jason Sanders is the lone place kicker heading into camp and rightfully so. He finished last year with FG percentage of 90%, and only missing one extra point in 36 attempts. No kick was as important as this one:
Matt Haack struggled some last season, with the Dolphins finishing 21st in overall special team ratings per Football Outsiders. The Dolphins bring in Stone Wilson, the rookie from FIU to push Haack in the competition.
When it comes to long snappers, there is 3 things in this world: Death, Taxes and John Denney long snapping for the Miami Dolphins. This will be the second year however, that the Dolphins have brought in a rookie to compete with Denney. While I expect an open competition, I also expect Denney’s veteran leadership to play a huge role with him staying.