Jalen Ramsey, Jevon Holland, Xavien Howard, Vic Fangio, Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips, Zach Sieler, and Chrisitan Wilkins are all of the names that immediately come to mind when you talk about the Miami Dolphins defense heading into 2023.

The one name that is almost never mentioned these days is a guy who had nine sacks in 2020 and backed it up again with nine sacks in 2021. Then in 2022, his season was cut short due to injuries, and that is Emmanuel Ogbah.

Those back-to-back nine-sack seasons landed Ogbah a new contract of 4 years at $65 million with $32 million guaranteed. He had finally arrived as a “big name” on the NFL landscape and got the big payday he had worked so hard for.

2022 was a difficult season for the pass rusher, though.┬áThe last time Dolphins fans saw Ogbah was in early November of last season, as Ogbah was struggling to have this same production he put up the previous two seasons. 2022 is a season I am sure Ogbah would like to forget. Let’s be honest; many players on the Dolphins’ defense struggled in 2022, so Ogbah wasn’t alone.

At only 29 years old, Ogbah is primed to have maybe his best season ever in the NFL, as he has never been surrounded by so much talent. In 2020 with the Dolphins, Ogbah did not have a quality pass rusher lining up opposite him to take away some attention from him, and he still had nine sacks. In 2021, rookie Jaelan Phillips arrived, but he was a wet-behind-the-ears rookie and wasn’t a consistent presence in getting after the quarterback.

This season, Ogbah will be surrounded by not only Phillips, who is now coming into his own and is a more polished player but also Bradley Chubb. When Ogbah went down to injury last year, Chubb had recently arrived, and their time never really overlapped.

Everyone talks about Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips, as they have gotten all of the attention this offseason. The last time Chubb had nine or more sacks in a season was in 2018, his rookie season, when he had 12.5. Phillips has never had nine or more sacks in a season. Ogbah just hit that number in 2020 and 2021.

If Vic Fangio lives up to the hype of being this mastermind defensive coordinator, one would think the Ogbah we saw in 2020 and 2021 is the one we will see in 2023. And to think he won’t get back to having near double-digit sack numbers would be foolish.

This Dolphins’ defense must be better in a lot of areas for the team to have the kind of success it is hoping for in 2023. The biggest improvement doesn’t need to come from the offensive line or the running game or creating more big plays on offense. It is the defense being able to create a pass rush without having to blitz constantly. Fangio isn’t known as someone who blitzes a lot, to begin with, so the Chubb, Ogbah, Phillips, and the others up front need to win their battles and collapse the pocket and get to the quarterback.

So, as training camp is about to be fully open with veterans reporting in a few days and all of the talking heads on ESPN and NFL Network, among other outlets, make the predictions for the upcoming 2023 NFL season, just remember when they start rattling off the names of all the “stars” on the Miami Dolphins, don’t forget Emmanual Ogbah. Because when he is healthy and used right, he may have the most sacks and may cause the most havoc for the Dolphins up front this season.