The Miami Dolphins are rebuilding their roster. They don’t have the same talent they had in 2016 and that wasn’t a really strong roster. The Dolphins still have a way to go before they get their roster set the way they want it.
Here are the best players on the Dolphins roster and some predictions for this season.
Best Skilled Offensive Player
Gore may be the most accomplished running back still active in the NFL. He is fifth all-time and first among active players in rushing yards with 14,026. He also leads all active players in rushing attempts with 3,226 (also fifth all-time), yards from scrimmage with 17,698 (seventh) and touches with 3,669 (sixth). Gore has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week five times, the Pro Bowl five times and to the NFL’s Top 100 list four times. If he reaches his yards per game in his career in 16 games this season, he will have 1,146. That number would move him one more rung up the all-time rushing list to fourth surpassing Curtis Martin.
Best Offensive Lineman
Sitton has been one of the best guards in the NFL for some time. He was one of the most sought-after free agent linemen when the Packers decided to let him leave. He signed with the Bears and continued to play at a high-level. He is a strong and powerful blocker that can play multiple positions on the offensive line. He isn’t a great athlete but is very difficult to shed when he gets his hands on the defender. Sitton has been named to the Pro Bowl four times.
Best Pass Rusher
Wake is a late bloomer that has developed into one of the most explosive pass rushers in the league. He wasn’t drafted out of Penn State University in 2005. He signed with the Giants but was released before OTAs. He joined the Canadian Football League in 2007 and took off. He led the CFL in sacks with 16 in the first year. He then backed it up with 23 sacks in 2008. He was a unanimous selection for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award. He signed with the Dolphins in January of 2019 and hasn’t stopped harassing quarterbacks. He averages over 10 sacks per season, including 22 over the last two seasons. He has been named First-Team All-Pro once, AFC Defensive Player of the Week three times, to the Pro Bowl five times and to NFL’s Top 100 list six times.
Best Pass Defender
Howard was a second-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2016. After a seven-game rookie season, he ascended to the top of the Dolphins secondary in 2017. Howard led the Dolphins in both interceptions (four) and passes defensed (13) last season. He is a physical cornerback with good ball skills. He can anticipate and jump routes to create turnovers. He is on his way to becoming a complete, shutdown, No. 1 cornerback.
McMillan missed all of his rookie seasons due to a torn ACL in the preseason. He returns this season as a likely starting linebacker. He is big and athletic with the ability to play all three linebacker spots. He is a sure tackler with sideline-to-sideline ability. If he has his explosiveness back, he can be a Pro Bowl player immediately.
Best New Addition
Quinn is a big, edge defender with the ability to rush the passer and the size to stop the run. He is still working on the latter and the numbers have decreased over the last three years. Those issues combined with cap hits of just under $11.5 million this season and just under $13 million next season put him on the trade market. The Dolphins hope he can get back to the level of play that produced three straight double-digit sack seasons 2012 to 2014, including a 19-sack season in the middle. Playing opposite Cameron Wake and Charles Harris will help free him up a bit.
Not So Out On A Limb Prediction
Kenyan Drake will lead the team in yards from scrimmage.
Drake was really good for the Dolphins late in the season last year. He is a big back with slasher and big play ability. He also is a very good receiver. The Dolphins are going to be behind most games in the fourth quarter. They will be forced to throw the ball and Drake will be on the field in that situation. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will dump the ball to Drake a lot. He will be used often and will rack up the yards. The end result will be a 1,200-yard season for Drake. The team leader last season was Jarvis Landry with 980 yards.
Ryan Tannehill will not start all 16 games this season.
The Dolphins are going to struggle in 2018. The AFC East will likely be the worst division in football. Three of the four teams, including the Dolphins, could have the worst record in the NFL. That may leave the Dolphins searching for answers beyond this season. Tannehill may get beaten up to where he misses a game or they change quarterbacks looking for a spark, but Brock Osweiler will start at least one game this season for the Dolphins.