The Miami Dolphins enter the 2022 season with high expectations and lofty goals based on all their offseason moves. The roster has been rebuilt, especially on offense, and many new faces are expected to be significant contributors in leading the Dolphins to success this upcoming season. There are three players in particular who I think are flying under the radar and could be in line for breakout seasons due to the attention other Dolphins players are receiving.
This offseason all of the attention has been on Emmanuel Ogbah’s new contract and the addition of Melvin Ingram to the pass rush. Phillips is flying under the radar and not getting spoken about much. In 2021 as a rookie, Phillips recorded 8.5 sacks which are outstanding for a first-year player. Six of those sacks came in a three-game span as a rookie, five in back-to-back games. Phillips did not record a sack in the final four games of the season, the most critical four games. This upcoming season I would like to see Phillips more consistent on a week-to-week basis. Where we see his impact in all games, not just a handful of games; with that said, though, Phillips should be able to use his freakish athleticism and high motor to improve on his rookie season. I think the addition of Melvin Ingram will only help free up Phillips with more favorable match-ups, and I can see a double-digit sack season on the horizon for him. Micah Parsons was the rookie who got all of the attention last year with the Cowboys and he became a household name. By the end of 2022, I think Jaelan Phillips will be a household name.
With all of the attention paid to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, are opponents going to have enough quality cornerbacks to cover Cedrick Wilson? The free-agent signing from the Cowboys comes to Miami after his best season in the NFL. With the Cowboys in 2021, Wilson caught 45 passes for 602 yards and 6 TDs. If you have to double Hill and also pay close attention to Waddle, oh yeah, and you can’t put a linebacker in coverage on Mike Gesicki, one has to think Cedrick Wilson will have the most favorable match-ups each week when he is on the field. Most weeks, he will be covered by opponents’ 4th and 5th cornerbacks or safeties. Wilson may be in store for a big season, a really big season if the offensive line can give Tua some time to go through his progressions because I think Wilson can get downfield and make plays.
Trying to predict the Dolphins’ running back room heading into this season is a bit tricky, but honestly, I am starting to think Chase Edmonds will be the feature guy more weeks than not. Raheem Mostert is always injured, and you have to limit the number of carries you give him if you want to have him for an entire season. Sony Michel doesn’t have great speed and most likely is a 3rd down back known for his pass-blocking ability. Edmonds is a do-it-all type back who was having a great 2021 season until he got injured and missed some time. In 2021, he averaged 5.1 YPC with 590 rushing yards and 2 TDs with 43 receptions and 311 yards. I believe Edmonds will be the back the Dolphins feature the most, and when the Dolphins spread the field with numerous WRs, I think Edmonds won’t have many people “in the box” or crowding the line of scrimmage, which should open up running lanes for him. I believe Edmonds is the best all-around running back on this team, and while Mostert gets all of the attention for his “speed,” I think Edmonds is the running back who will end 2022 with the best numbers.