clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dolphins in the thick of a rebuild in 2019

New, comments

Here’s a recap of the offseason for the Miami Dolphins.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

New Orleans Saints v Miami Dolphins Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images

Preseason football is still football. As we wind up the Saints preseason, let’s look at a recap of the offseason from their final preseason opponent, the Miami Dolphins, brought to use by our friends over at The Phinsider.

New Orleans Saints v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images

Preseason Week 4 - vs the Miami Dolphins

Notable free agent additions:

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TE Dwayne Allen, OL Jordan Mills, CB Eric Rowe, QB Josh Rosen (trade)


5 wins -- Over. Maybe I am wearing aqua colored glasses too often these days, but I do feel like the Dolphins have more talent than people realize. The secondary is going to be strong with Xavien Howard, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Reshad Jones, Bobby McCain, and T.J. McDonald leading the way. The wide receivers are good - and fast! - with Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, DeVante Parker, and Brice Butler. Running back should be set with Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage. And the tight ends should get better with Mike Gesicki entering his second year and the addition of Dwayne Allen.

I am not trying to say this is a playoff bound team or anything, but I also do not feel like this is the 1-15 team for Miami from 2007. I feel like six is the right number for the Dolphins, so I will go over - but not by a lot. I feel anywhere from three to six/seven is about the range where this team, in the first year of a complete rebuild, should land.

Most exciting rookie:

DT Christian Wilkins

I mean, how can he not be the right choice here? He should come in and start right away, providing the cornerstone around whom Miami will build the defensive front. He brings a skill set the Dolphins need at a hug position of need this year, plus he has the personality that will quickly make him a fan favorite. He is fun. He is talented. And, he is going to be around the team for a long time.

Position battle to keep an eye on:

The offensive line has to be solidified, with no one appearing to want a starting position next to Jesse Davis this year. Jordan Mills was expected to be installed as the starting right tackle, leaving Davis at right guard as he played last year. Near the end of the offseason training program, however, the Dolphins moved Davis out to right tackle, and starting rotating players into right guard to see if they can find a combination that works. The Dolphins coaching staff is big on versatility and getting players ready to contribute from multiple positions, but right now, the Dolphins have to find a starting offensive line that can be better than PFF’s worst ranked offensive line in the league.

There are definitely other battles that will happen this summer, like trying to figure out the second outside cornerback opposite Xavien Howard, but the offensive line is clearly the biggest position battle on the roster - and it sadly does not include a lot of known names.

Biggest storyline heading into training camp:

Who will be Miami’s starting quarterback? This could feature as one of the Dolphins’ best position battles, but it is the overarching storyline of camp this year. After trading 2012 first-round pick Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans this offseason, Miami is starting over at quarterback. They signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to seemingly be the bridge quarterback to a 2020 or 2021 first-round pick, but then found 2018 top-ten pick Josh Rosen unexpectedly available. After making that trade, the Dolphins could have a quarterback position battle on their hands.

Will Fitzpatrick play like Fitzmagic and make Miami start him this year? Will the team’s need to know what they have in Rosen force him into the lineup? Can the second-year player learn the playbook well enough to force the veteran to the bench? A lot of questions will have to be answered this summer - and into the fall - and it will be the storyline that continues to provide content all summer.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into camp:

Where is the pass rush? The Dolphins have what should be a great secondary with some solid, and still developing, linebackers. They do not have a pass rush. At least, on paper that is the case. The coaching staff seems to believe scheme will be enough to free up some players to get after opposing quarterbacks, but after moving on from a disappointing 2018 pass rush despite featuring Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn, and Andre Branch, Miami does not have much left in the cupboard.

Charles Harris has to be a star if Miami is going to get after the quarterback. The team is expected to use a 3-4 set more often this year, which could play into Harris’ strength, but no matter what, if Miami’s defense is going to succeed, they have to find a pass rush.

Notable injuries heading into training camp:

Albert Wilson, WR - suffered a hip injury last year, landing on IR, and was held out of the spring OTAs/minicamp as he continues to rehab. Expectations are that he will be ready for the season, and he has said he is 100 percent, but it would not be surprising to seem him slowly worked into the action this summer.

Brice Butler, WR - tweaked something in his leg at minicamp, but it does not seem to be serious. Should be ready for training camp.

Kendrick Norton, DT - car accident in July led to his left arm being amputated. He was probably a depth option for the defensive line, but now he is just trying to get back on his feet after the abrupt end to his career.

Obscure player on the 90-man roster that will be a preseason star (and likely later cut):

Preston Williams, WR

Williams was a star in the offseason training program, but there is always an OTA/minicamp stud who gets the fan base excited, then disappears in the summer. I hope that is not the case for Williams, because the Dolphins could use a 6-foot-5 wide receiver who is not afraid to go up and get the ball. I just feel like he became such a story in the spring that the expectations are now too high for him, and he will slowly fade away as the summer progresses.