2018 Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Ryan Tannehill||Brock Osweiler||David Fales|
|Running Back||Kenyan Drake||Frank Gore||Kalen Bellage|
|Left Wide Receiver||Kenny Stills||Danny Amendola||Tanner McEvoy|
|Right Wide Receiver||DeVante Parker||Albert Wilson||Jakeem Grant|
|Tight End||Mike Gesicki||Marqueis Gray||AJ Derby|
|Left Tackle||Laremy Tunsil||Zach Sterup|
|Left Guard||Ted Larsen||Josh Sitton*|
|Center||Travis Swanson||Wesley Johnson|
|Right Guard||Jesse Davis|
|Right Tackle||J'Wuan James||Sam Young|
The Miami Dolphins have had early season hopes dashed the past couple of seasons due to injuries and setbacks. Both stances came at the hands of Ryan Tannehill. The setbacks occurred in his first few seasons, calling question to his footwork and pocket presence. Once these items were practiced and mastered, the team was able to surround him with the targets he needed to uplift his game. Then came the long string of injuries that spelled the end to a 2016-17 season and ultimately erased any hopes of a comeback in 2017-18. A new season is upon us and the development and return of Ryan Tannehill is in full-motion.
The team wanted to erase any doubts of a supporting cast should Tannehill experience any problems during the season. The current favorite for the back-up role looks to be David Fales. Fales is the product of a smaller college, hailing from San Jose State University. Brock Osweiler, the former Arizona State product, was brought in to sans the load for Tannehill and fill the relief role. Osweiler has not developed at a clip that would afford him the back-up title, leaving a small competition within camp for minutes in the secondary role. The team also has Bryce Petty vying for a roster spot, so their depth at this position is within the proper balance for production no matter the situation or adversity faced.
The second area that begged for improvement was the wide receiver position. Jarvis Landry has been the model of consistency within the franchise the past few seasons, but contract disputes and a franchise tag slap helped boast a case for Landry to be traded. He was shipped to Cleveland for a few draft pick considerations, leaving a hole within the lead-dog slot. The team added Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola to fill this void, which was a smart move from the organization’s standpoint. Landry was beginning to create an internal headache, so it was time to remove him from a situation before it got ugly. The replacement signings do well to spread the offensive attack. Both guys have typically been placed within the slot receiver role, due to their size. They both bring speed options, which is good for shorter routes or comeback sets. Replacing a single talent with two talents helps phase the team from a single option, reducing predictability of an offensive set.
The tight end position has long been occupied by role players and good blocking options. The team has long been without a versatile talent at the position, which is what Mike Gesicki provides the team. Gesicki is a big-bodied talent who is a threat within the red zone and an excellent option in the run and pass-blocking game. He will open the field of options for Tannehill, allowing him to spread his looks to all corners of the field, favoring him comeback and increasing the element of surprise this offense holds.
The defense took a big hit at the line position when Ndamukong Suh signed elsewhere this off-season. The team added Robert Quinn to the edge rush position, strengthening the depth of the ends and creating a two-headed attack with Cameron Wake. The team will have to explore options on the edge and work their attack from the outside looking in. They have reduced their threat at plugging up the middle, which is something opposing teams will look to attack. They can offset this balance by featuring 4-linebacker sets and reducing the pressure on the frontline. Attacking from the ends and shooting the gaps will be the main goal of this revamped defensive attack. The defensive secondary also got stronger thanks to the draft. Minkah Fitzpatrick fits the hard-hitting mold this secondary has formatted to. His presence adds relief to the insides, but it will call for a better performance from the corner positions. The team has an established starter in Xavien Howard, but past his experience, the team has a rag-tag group of guys that will need to break the mold of role player. If the team can locate that established player to play opposite Howard, this defense will feature enough force to stop threats in the run game and the passing game. The biggest weakness will be performance in the short yardage stances, which is something that can be tied up during training camp or pre-season competition.