Miami Dolphins Preview: Can A Potential Filled Roster Stave Off Mediocrity?

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Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) leaps as he pressures Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins year last year can be best described as a nightmare. You can’t blame it all on the Dolphins though, Ryan Tannehill was lost in training camp and Jay Cutler was never going to be a salvageable replacement. Adam Gase did his best, won a few key games and looked to this year, the year that is crucial to his job security. The Dolphins also lost their best two players this offseason in Jarvis Landry and Ndamukong Suh. The Dolphins roster is full of big questions and young potential. Big fun or big failure in 2018 is afoot.
Ryan Tannehill has never flourished as a starter, but his best year came under Gase. It’s go time for the QB, prove it this year or the Dolphins need to start looking for a new signal caller. Tannehill’s knee is a huge concern for me, it is so fragile that it couldn’t withstand running in training camp last year. Tannehill’s mobility is a key part of his game if that is gone it’s a huge disadvantage. Behind Tannehill is Brock Osweiler who worked with Gase in Denver but has shown that he is not a reliable option week to week in the NFL.

Tannehill 2

 

Kenyan Drake put up some decent numbers last year as the number one back towards the end of the season. If the Dolphins passing game faulters, which it very well could, the Dolphins have a great run game to fall back on. Frank Gore is the gift that keeps on giving and will provide a good package back to spell Drake as I believe the Dolphins will lean heavily on the running game this year. The reasoning for that statement being an O line that played better than expected in 2017. Jewan James is coming off injury but if he can rebound the hole at tackle is easily filled. Daniel Kilgore will fill in for Mike Pouncey but isn’t a big downgrade as Pouncey was average last year.

kenyan drake
The Dolphins receiving core will be led by Danny Amendola. It will become immediately clear if he is a product of the Patriots system or not. It also doesn’t bode well that he normally doesn’t preform in the regular season, where the Dolphins will really need him. Devante Parker the number one will once again need a good season for the Dolphins to be competitive. Kenny Stills and rookie receiving tight end Mike Gesicki, who should provide a way for Gase to open up the middle of the field, rounds out the group. On paper this group looks really good but if Tannehill doesn’t preform then all the hype around under the radar guys like Parker and Amendola is pointless. Tannehill has the weapons around him, there should be no excuses for the QB this year.

San Francisco 49ers v Miami Dolphins

 

The defensive line despite losing Suh has tremendous talent on it. Cameron Wake will once again be a double-digit sack artist and the addition of Robert Quinn makes this front seven stout against the run. Akeem Spencer comes over to Miami from Detroit in search of proving himself with more starting snaps. The Dolphins defensive line is good and if all parts play at there highest level could be the best pass rush in the division. Kiko Alonso shores up an unproven linebacking core. Alonso was a tackling machine in 2017 racking up 116 tackles he needs to improve his pass rush and if that happens Alonso should be a pro bowler. The Secondary is unproven with plenty of young talent on it. The best safety in the draft Minkah Fitzpatrick should make an immediate impact. Cordrea Tankersley needs to improve on a promising rookie season at corner and Xavien Howard must be more consistent. The defense, much like the offense, has a considerably high ceiling but could be less than average if all parts don’t play to full potential.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams
The Dolphins are a team with a seeming lack of identity who may be starting to find one. This defense is young fast and could be potentially dangerous in the future. While the Dolphins may have a mediocre record this year they should be interesting to watch on a week to week basis.
Ceiling: 9-7
Floor:2-14
Record Prediction: 4-12

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