Miami Dolphins 2018 team preview
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The Miami Dolphins took a big step backward last season after making the playoffs as a wild-card team in 2016. They had a 6-10 mark in 2017 after losing starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a torn ACL in early August. The Dolphins went to broadcast booth to find his replacement. Jay Cutler did not work out so well and they look forward to having Tannehill back in 2018.

Here is a breakdown of the Dolphins for the 2018 season.

Head Coach

Adam Gase is entering his third year as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He has amassed a 16-16 record. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Gase was the offensive coordinator of the Bears (one season), offensive coordinator of the Broncos (two), quarterbacks coach of the Broncos (two), wide receivers coach of the Broncos (two), offensive assistant of the 49ers (one), quarterbacks coach of the Lions (one), offensive assistant of the Lions (two), scouting assistant of the Lions (two), recruiting assistant of Louisiana State University (two) and a graduate assistant of LSU (one).

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 11 – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama. Fitzpatrick is a versatile defensive back with the ball skills and physicality to be a star. He can play cornerback, safety and linebacker in various packages.

Round 2, Pick 42 – Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State. Gesicki is a big and athletic receiver. He is not going to help as a blocker, but he is one of the best receiving tight ends in the draft.

Round 3, Pick 73 – Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State. Baker is an undersized, athletic linebacker. He is a coverage linebacker that may be limited to a situational and special teams role.

Round 4, Pick 123 – Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame. Smythe is a big and strong, blocker-first tight end. He is a very good compliment to Gesicki.

Round 4, Pick 131 – Kallen Ballage, RB, Arizona State. Ballage is a big back with big play speed. He has a three-down ability but needs to improve his vision and consistency.

Round 6, Pick 209 – Cornell Armstrong, DB, Southern Mississippi. Armstrong is an under-the-radar prospect that did not participate in the combine. He is described as an outside or nickel cornerback.

Round 7, Pick 227 – Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio. Poling is a productive linebacker with very good speed. He is very good in pursuit and should be an asset on special teams.

Round 7, Pick 229 – Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico. Sanders has a strong leg. He was among 30 draft prospects to visit the Dolphins facility before the draft.

Notable Additions

WR Danny Amendola (Patriots) – Amendola is a reliable possession receiver with the ability to move the sticks. He has an injury history and inconsistent production on the field.

RB Frank Gore (Colts) – Gore is an aging back that still can grind out yards. He is strong and will move the offense forward, but isn’t going to hit many home runs.

QB Brock Osweiler (Broncos) – Osweiler has carved out a nice niche as a backup quarterback. He had his shot as a full-time starter and it did not work out, but he is capable of leading a team for a game or two.

DE Robert Quinn (Rams) – Quinn is a big and athletic edge defender. He is a pass rusher with the size to hold up against the run.

G Josh Sitton (Bears) – Sitton was one of the best guards in the NFL when he left the Packers in 2016. He wasn’t as good for the Bears but is still an upper-tier interior lineman.

DT Akeem Spence (Lions) – Spence is coming off one of his best seasons in the NFL with 39 combined tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble. He

WR Albert Wilson (Chiefs) – Wilson is an undersized slot receiver that cashed in on a poor wide receiver market. He is coming off his best season (42 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns.

Projected Starters

Offense

Quarterback – 17 Ryan Tannehill; Running Back – 21 Frank Gore; Wide Receiver – 10 Kenny Stills; Wide Receiver – 11 DeVante Parker; Wide Receiver – 80 Danny Amendola; Tight End – 48 MarQueis Gray; Left Tackle – 67 Laremy Tunsil; Left Guard – 71 Josh Sitton; Center – 67 Daniel Kilgore; Right Guard – 77 Jesse Davis; Right Tackle – 70 Ja’Wuan James

Defense

Defensive End – 91 Cameron Wake; Defensive End – 94 Robert Quinn; Defensive Tackle – 97 Jordan Phillips ; Defensive Tackle – 93 Akeem Spencer; Linebacker – 47 Kiko Alonso; Linebacker – 52 Raekwon McMillan; Linebacker – 44 Stephone Anthony; Cornerback – 29 Minkah Fitzpatrick; Cornerback – 25 Xavien Howard; Safety – 20 Reshad Jones; Safety – 22 T.J. McDonald

Specialists

Kicker – 7 Jason Sanders; Punter – 16 Matt Haack; Long Snapper – 92 John Denney

Biggest Question

Will Ryan Tannehill become an upper tier quarterback?

Tannehill was trending upward having gotten the Dolphins to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 before he got hurt. He wasn’t better than a slightly above average quarterback through his first five seasons in the NFL.

To Answer That Question

No

Tannehill hasn’t been knocking on the door of being an upper tier quarterback his entire five-year NFL career and is coming off a torn ACL. What can be different this season that will take his game to a new level? He will have to prove it before anyone will believe it.

Outlook

The Dolphins are in the process of changing the culture. They made a lot of changes this offseason. Some were positive, some weren’t. The result from the changes will be a less than a satisfactory season in which they fight with the Bills and Jets for the second-place spot in the AFC East or for last place and the best possible draft pick.