In the days since the 2020 draft ended, I’ve appeared on numerous Dolphins podcasts, including one for this site, to talk about the Dolphins haul. Probably the most common question I get is “What was your favorite pick besides Tua?” One of my common answers to that question is Jason Strowbridge. 

Strowbridge was one of the Dolphins 5th rounds picks this year, and I’m assuming Dolphins are unfamiliar with him. He was a three-year starter for North Carolina. He totaled 22 TFLs and 11.5 sacks during collegiate his career. 

The new Dolphin was a four-star recruit coming out of Deerfield Beach High School in Deerfield Beach Florida, so he’s kinda a local boy. He wore number 55 in college because it is a family number, but Miami assigned him number 58. 

Strowbridge got onto my radar when the Senior Bowl released its watchlist last August. I wrote about him being a sleeper pick to get an invite to the game, and I started keeping tabs on him ever since. I was able to get an up-close and personal look at Strowbridge when I covered the Military Bowl this season for The Temple News. He didn’t have a dominant game or anything, but I wrote down in my notes “55 is a Dolphins’ fit.” 

Speaking of domination though, Strowbridge did end up going to the Senior Bowl where he really put on a show. All of the people who went to the game said he was one of the best defensive linemen in practice during the week. There are videos of him tossing lineman aside all over Twitter if you look for them. 

If you have been reading this series then you know the game film is what’s paramount for me. Strowbridge’s game film isn’t nearly as dominant as his Senior Bowl tape but there are plenty of things to get excited about for a fifth-round pick. 


I think the reason Strowbridge jumped out to me as a Miami Dolphin was his play in the run game. Similarly to Raekwon Davis, he shows heavy hands in the run game and did a good job holding his gap. 

On this play against Clemson, he gets his hands inside the chest of the guard setting himself up for success right off the bat. He also keeps his head up when he’s engaged with the guard allowing him to watch the Rb and react accordingly. This seems simple, but you would be surprised how many guys put their heads down. 

Once he sees the RB make the choice to run into his gap he frees his right hand and wraps the back up for a minimal gain. This is the kind of stuff a lot of the Dolphins DL struggled with last season. Drafting both Davis and Strowbridge seems to Miami’s attempt to correcting this issue. 

Strowbridge is a pretty smart run defender too. Something he really excels at is shooting gaps both against the run and against the pass. Here, he recognizes the Clemson line is trying to slant to his right. 

He then quickly attacks the guard’s shoulder and because of the quick first step he gains an advantage. Strowbridge is able to push into the backfield a little bit and create some disruption for the RB. 

He doesn’t end up making the play but his disruption forces the RB to hesitate and change his original plan. This allows the rest of the UNC defense to converge on him and keep the play to a minimal gain. 

While he’s a smart run defender, Strowbridge can struggle to hold his anchor at times. He’s a bit of a “tweener” between the three-tech and the five-tech. Personally, I think he’s better off putting on a little weight and playing three-tech. For Miami though, I think he could see some play at five-tech in an odd-man front, again similarly to Raekwon Davis.  

I mentioned this earlier, but Strowbridge creates most of his QB pressures by shooting gaps. The play above is pretty simple. He’s just quicker than the OG, so when he goes to attack the A-gap he wins pretty easily. 

He doesn’t finish the play, but he forces Trevor Lawrence off his spot and allows his teammate to come in and make the sack from the backside. Strowbridge is a great “team-oriented” player which is something Brian Flores and Chris Grier clearly care about. 

He does his job and doesn’t try to do too much. He will occupy multiple blockers to free up his teammates and plays hard 100% of the time. 

Now the exciting part of Strowbridge’s game is there are appealing flashes of actual pass rush prowess on his film. In this play, he gets off the line in a hurry once again showing off how good his first step can be. 

Once he gets what would be his left hand inside the chest of the guard he brings his right hand over completing a pretty nasty swim move. He is then met by Travis Etienne who was asked to stay in and pass block. Strowbridge quickly disengages with him and chases Lawrence up the field. 

He’s even able to finish the play this time as he dragged Lawrence to the ground. This play showcases Strowbridge’s ceiling pretty well. 

This play has some similarities to the play above but was just to much fun of a rep to leave out of this article. I am not 100% sure what the Duke guard is thinking here, but it looks like he fires out too far to his right off the snap. 

Strowbridge seems to recognize this and then immediately rips across his face and get to the QB for what becomes a pretty easy sack. What flashes here is his quickness and knack for making himself skinny to get through gaps. 

These last two plays show what Strowbridge can do at his peak when rushing the passer. While that is fun, it is important to acknowledge what his less than impressive reps look like. 


UNC asked Strowbridge to rush outside way too often. All of the reps I’ve shown have had him lined up as a three-tech but trust me there were whole games where he lined up at five-tech and was not effective. 

On this play, he starts inside and then is asked to rush the OT, which doesn’t exactly go well. Strowbridge isn’t overly bendy and doesn’t have a lot of athletic ability to really dominate in open space. 

When he’s on the inside he can take advantage of the confined spaces and use his first step to create an early advantage. Rushing the outside requires a little more juice, and I don’t think Strowbridge has it. The majority of his reps in this area end up looking like the one above. 

Knowing Miami he will line up all over the line but if you think he’s going to be some sack master on the outside then you need to recalibrate your expectations. 


The last play I want to highlight is a fantastic hustle play against Duke. Strowbridge jumped outside right off the snap essentially taking him out of the play. It looked schemed, so I am not holding it against him. 

Anyway, Strowbridge realizes the play is going to be made upfield, so he quickly spins around and pursues. He hits the RB around the goal line and saves an easy touchdown. He stripped the ball too but they ruled him down at the one. 

UNC would go on to hold the Blue Devils to a field goal. Strowbridge basically saved his team four points just by hustling. That is something that warms the hearts of scouts everywhere.

I think it is important to remember he was a fifth-round pick. Strowbridge is a solid player but probably figures to be more of a rotational option than a dominant force. There is nothing wrong with that and if he does become a good rotational player that should be considered a good pick for the fifth round.