Questions and Thoughts on Miami’s Defensive Players Entering 2018

Thoughts on the Dolphins defensive players

Defensive line 

Cameron Wake 

How long can Wake continue to play at a high level? Wake racked up 22 sacks in the last 2 years. Can he get over 10 again this year at the age of 36? Will he play fewer snaps with William Hayes and Charles Harris in the mix as well? Every year Wake’s name comes up at the trade deadline will it again this season? Let’s just hope Miami’s front office doesn’t pull the trigger on a trade he deserves to retire in a Dolphins uniform.

Jordan Phillips

This is the year we see if Phillips learned anything playing aside Ndamukong Suh. Phillips only has 4.5 sacks in two seasons that number will have to go up if Miami is going to have a great defense this season. Can Phillips take the leap into the range of 7-10 sacks this season?

Davon Godchaux

Much like Wilson on offense, I think Godchaux is the wildcard on this defensive line. We know what we are getting from Wake, Hayes, and Quinn but does Godchaux have the tools to be the top defensive tackle for the Dolphins.

Robert Quinn

When the Dolphins pulled the trigger to get a player like Quinn it shocked me. More so that he was available for a 4th round pick. Quinn is bringing his 62.5 career sacks to Miami to pair up with Wake. Quinn and Wake should be a lot of fun to watch. Who will get more sacks, Quinn or Wake?

William Hayes, Charles Harris, and Andre Branch

How much time will these three see? How productive can they be when their number is called? Charles Harris is on schedule to be the defensive end of the future. But we all know he wants to play well now. William Hayes is another player that we kind of stole from the Rams. Hayes can be productive but how limited will his role be? Andre Branch is another defensive lineman fighting for playing time.

Miami is stacked at defensive linemen. Will they all make the team? Will Miami pull off a trade before the season starts to help other needs of the team?

Linebackers

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Kiko Alonso

This is one player I was over the moon about when the Dolphins got him from the Eagles. Kiko was known for the hit that completely rocked Joe Flacco last season. Most people labeled Kiko as a “dirty player” after that hit and I personally just think that’s an unfair label. Can Kiko become the leader at linebacker the Dolphins have lacked for a while? Kiko has totaled 100 plus tackles the last two seasons. With more consistent defensive line play Kiko and the rest of the linebackers could have a big year.

Raekwon McMillan 

McMillian missed the whole 2017 season with a torn ACL. How will he bounce back from that? What can he bring to the linebacking core this season? Can he be the middle linebacker we so desperately wanted since Zach Thomas retired? Will he be the vocal leader of the defense?

Stephone Anthony 

If Anthony starts over Jerome Baker what can he bring to the defense? Anthony is a former 1st round pick by the Saints. Anthony was a 1st round pick for a reason let’s see if he can play at a high level for the Dolphins or will Jerome Baker step up and take the spot from Anthony?

Cornerbacks

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Xavien Howard

Can the “X-Man” be the X-factor for the Dolphins secondary this season? Howard has 4 career interceptions including two of them coming off the right arm of Tom Brady. Can Howard become a 6-10 range guy? What will it take for him to be an elite corner?

Cordrea Tankersley

Tankersley played well at times last season when he took over the starting spot from Byron Maxwell. Tankersley will definitely have to step up and be a more consistent starter.

Bobby McCain

The real question here is can McCain live up to his 4 years 27-million-dollar contract he signed this offseason. He clearly is the number 3 corner and that’s a stiff price for a 3rd cornerback. Bobby only has 3 career interceptions.

Safeties

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Reshad Jones 

Jones is definitely the leader of the secondary. Jones has 18 career interceptions and 677 career tackles. No one in Miami’s secondary has had 10 interceptions in one season. Who will be the 1st to accomplish that? Can it be Jones? How many interceptions does Jones finish the year with?

TJ McDonald 

McDonald came to Miami last offseason via free agency. He missed the first 8 games of the season due to a suspension. When he came back he played decently but not well enough. What will it take to get McDonald to play at a high level again?

Minkah Fitzpatrick 

Fitzpatrick was the first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in this year’s draft. Minkah will push TJ McDonald to be a better player. But how long will TJ be able to keep the starting spot over the rookie?

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