As we are about a week into free agency, Miami Dolphins fans are anxiously waiting for the Dolphins to make a move and sign at least one big-named offensive tackle, whether it is Terron Armstead, La’el Collins, Duane Brown, or Trent Brown.
Dolphins fans believe that without at least one of those guys in uniform next year for Miami, the 2022 season will be over before it even starts. And there may be some truth to that as well looking around the AFC and seeing what other teams have done in the past week.
The first week of free agency for the Dolphins brought in a new backfield, a capable wide receiver to add to the mix, a new backup quarterback, and a left guard to help with the interior of the offensive line. There are still a lot of holes to be filled, though.
Those are four positions that still need more attention in this free agency period.
Many people are in the mode of “relax” or “chill out” we still have the draft.
I think many fans have to understand the 2022 draft for the Dolphins will not be like the 2020 or 2021 drafts. Miami is not flush with picks, and they won’t be on the clock every five minutes with multiple picks in each round.
The Dolphins have a pick at the end of round 1.
The Dolphins have a pick in the middle of round 2.
Then the Dolphins pick in Round 3 is so late, and in the mix of compensatory picks, it really is an early-round four pick and not a “true” round 3 pick.
The Dolphins will not be able to fill out all of their needs in this upcoming draft. Maybe at pick #29, they get a contributor who can help on the field ASAP this season.
Maybe with pick #50, they get a capable backup who can contribute some on the field in 2022.
But that round 3 pick is so late, and every pick after that, you are just looking at developmental guys, not guys who can help you win games in 2022.
Hunter Long was a 3rd round pick in 2021, and he almost never saw the field. Brandon Jones was the 2020 third-round pick, and he didn’t play a lot his rookie season.
My point is Miami must attack this free agency period the next few weeks and be aggressive. Much more aggressive than they were in this first week.
Yes, signing an offensive tackle is a priority. But they still need to do so much more.
Look at the depth (or lack thereof) on this roster.
If (or should I say WHEN) Devante Parker and Preston Williams get hurt, what does your wide receiver room look like? You know you can’t depend on those two to give you an entire season, and when they are missing games, are we back to Waddle and a bunch of non-descript other guys? Are we going to end up bringing back and forced to play Isaiah Ford again?
Michael Deiter was not a good center last season. I know compared to the other issues on the offensive line, he was less of a problem, but he still wasn’t very good.
Outside of Jerome Baker, I am not sure Miami has a viable starting-caliber NFL linebacker on the roster. Re-signing Elandon Robers, Duke Riley, Brennan Scarlett, and Sam Eguavoen isn’t solving any problem. It is bringing back the guys who were the problem.
The Dolphins broke the bank for Emmanuel Ogbah, which is excellent, but who else will generate a pass rush for Miami? Jaelan Phillips, yes, for sure. But just two edge rushers? What if someone goes down or has to miss time.
My point is Miami can look to fill one of these issues in the draft. Maybe two if Chris Grier hits a home run at pick #50. But Miami must do more in free agency.
There is a lot more to do right now int he month of March for Miami to have a puncher’s chance in a loaded AFC conference.
So, yes, we wait on the news of which offensive tackle Miami will sign. And make no mistake they will end up signing one of these guys.
Once that news drops, it will not signal the end of the free agency process for Miami.
It should signal the beginning of the 2nd wave of moves Miami must make to be a competent team in 2022. And much more work needs to be done before the upcoming NFL Draft.