4 Players Away

So what now……..

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.  Landry, Jordan, 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 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 Vernon 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 Jordan 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.