The signing of Ndamukong Suh made me feel like the first win of the year against
New England. Finding out that we could have had Jimmy
Graham made me feel like the loss to Packers…”what could have been”. Losing Mike Wallace made me feel like the win
against the Jets “we won but”. Getting
rid of Ellebe and Wheeler and gaining Stills made me feel like the Chargers
blow out win. Losing Clay and gaining
Jordan made me feel like the Buffalo loss and win….shoulda won them both…All in
all Free Agency has made me feel like I
did at the end of season. The Dolphins
in 2014 and Free Agency 2015 leave me
with that 8-8 feeling of blah blah blah.
Fortunately, unlike the 2014 season we still have “games to play”. Aside form the Suh signing the best part of free agency is that we still have gap space. There are several serviceable NFL players on the street whose salary demands will decrease as we get closer to the draft. The Dolphins have to get at least one starter and a couple of back up guys as Free Agency winds down. The Dolphins first and second round draft picks have to be day 1 starters!!!!!!!!
The Dolphins, like many on the cusp teams are only a few players away from becoming a playoff team. The Dolphins are only 4 players away….That’s right only 4 players away!!!!!
How can I say that you ask?
This is a QB league and the Dolphins have there QB. Tannehill has improved every year. I tweeted that when you consider his offensive line, his receiving corp and running back situation in his first three years, it remarkable that he is not David Carr clone. Yet Tannehill is a top 15 QB right now. Ryan is not Brady or Manning but he can certainly be a top 10 QB or higher. His stats have gotten better every year as the pieces around him have gotten better.
Offensively, the Dolphins are one guard and one big play receiver from being a very good offense. Lamar Miller broke the 1000 yd barrier and he has steadily improved. K. Moreno made him better, he learned how to be a professional and now I believe he is ready for 1300 yards. The offensive line still has problems. One quality guard can fix that. With a healthy Alberts coupled with Pouncey and James the tackle and center positions are above average. The Dolphins have options at one guard position and competition should fix that. Finding another guard should not be this hard and I believe that Tannebaum and Hickey will address this. Ryan showed in 2014 that he is willing to go to his 3rd and 4th reads when given time and his accuracy can be deadly.
and Cameron are a formidable group. The
Dolphins are 1 quality starting receiver from being explosive. Tannehill loves the middle of the field and
adding Landry, Jordan Jordan
will give Landry many opportunities and he will be a 1000 yard receiver (You
heard it here first). Landry reminds me
of Webster Slaughter who I played with.
He does not drop balls and he is fearless. He thinks he is the best and prepares and
plays like it. Landry is a number 1 slot
receiver, when healthy Jordan
is a number 1 tight endd, Still is a quality 2 and adding 1 more quality receiver
will make the offense explosive.
The defense is 2 starters from being a top defense in the League. Over a 100 million dollars is a crap load of money for a defensive lineman. Mr. Suh and J.J. Watts are the exceptions. There are not enough bodies to double Cam and Suh and
will get paid because of Mr. Suh. For
the Dolphins to be dominant on defense we need a starting corner and a
linebacker. The linebackers group has been dismantled. Good riddance to “those two”
linebackers. Jelani Jenkins had a break
out year and he will be much better with the experience. Misi was average at MLB but adding Suh just
added 20 tackles to Misi because of the double teams. If we move Misi back outside then we need a
middle linebacker if we don’t then we need an outside backer. Either way, we are only one linebacker
away. The Dolphins have decided to leave
at end but I suspect he will add depth to the linebacker position. We are one quality CB away. That DB may be on our roster in Will Davis or
Jamar Taylor. Injuries have hurt both
young players and both will be given a chance to start and a lot of the success
of the defense will depend on them. They
won’t have to cover long because of the D-Line and Coyle simplifying the
defense should really help the position.
We are good at safety position provided that Delmas is healthy. We have depth on defense and are really on 2
players away, thanks to Mr. Suh.
So you see, we are only 4 players away. The draft should address at least two of those positions and the extra cap space should address the other two. Surely, Tannebaum and Hickey can fill those positions and I won’t be left feeling like 8-8 blah blah blah next year.