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Defensive Line Key To 2017 And Phillips Key To DL

Defensive Line Key To 2017 And Phillips Key To DL

From the 2017 NFL Draft to the 2017, Phillips will play a crucial role

From the 2017 NFL Draft through the 2017 season, Phillips will play a crucial role

Phillips is a question mark that must become an exclamation mark

We know the story: The Miami Dolphins were terrible against the run last season. And even though the linebackers had a huge part to play, the Defensive Line didn’t occupying the opposing linemen the way they should.

With the Draft coming up, and limited bullets to shoot at several big holes, it’s absolutely crucial that Jordan Phillips—who is training with Ndamukong Suh—finally lives up to his talent and draft status.

Despite many NFL football fans feeling that the Dolphins have overpaid for Suh, the truth is, he has been excellent. But he can’t do it on his own. The Dolphins have brought in Lawrence Timmons and William Hayes, which on paper should help. With Miami parting ways with Earl Mitchell, Phillips and the question mark surrounding his performance is the elephant in the room.

Miami looked around for a third DT and was willing to spend to bring in talents, so they aren’t completely confident in Phillips… and that is a little troubling–especially with the draft around the corner.

Phillips is a second round pick that must become a starter

This feels a bit like last year, but with the running back position. The Dolphins didn’t get into a bidding war over Lamar Miller. When they lost him to the Houston Texans they said they had confidence in Jay Ajayi, that he could fill the void. However, even though the Dolphins said they thought Ajayi could be the guy, that didn’t stop them from trying to sign C.J. Anderson and a list of other running backs. The Dolphins finally did add Foster and Drake, but luckily for them Ajayi had a breakout season and was a real blessing.

At the moment, Phillips is going to be paired with Suh and will be given every opportunity to start. There is no question that Phillips has talent, because he has flashed it during games. But Phillips well known problem is being consistent. Before Phillips was drafted, the rub on him was that he was not known as a hard worker and sometimes took plays off. Unfortunately, that stigma has not disappeared, because there are times during the game where Phillips is completely blown off the line of scrimmage.

Phillips is at a crossroad with the Dolphins organization

What is Miami to do in this draft? If they believe in Phillips, then they don’t need to spend a blue chip on a DT–which would be a huge plus. But if he isn’t starter worthy, this will be a long season. This is why Phillips is key. If he plays to his potential, the Dolphins get a stud to go along with Suh and can use a high draft pick on another issue. But what if they don’t believe and draft a DT high and Phillips pans out? Then they expended a high pick that could be used elsewhere. This scenario wouldn’t be terrible in the long run, but would limit this season. It seems like Gase and Co. are believers. For the team’s sake, and for the sake of the 2017 season, they better be right.

Miami is most likely not going to use a 1st or 2nd round pick on a DT, but they still must add another DT, either through the draft or in free agency. But with limited cap space, and so many other pressing needs to fill, their evaluation in Phillips will be a top 5 reason for the success or failure of 2017. Go Fins!!!



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  • Steve

    Patrick Gamble has an injury which the Dolphins good get him after the draft or in the 7th round.

    Patrick Gamble Georgia Tech

    Jarron Jones Most likely in the 5th round

    • admin

      Gamble would be a good gamble (couldn’t resist). It would be an effective move, if Phillips pans out. If he is only effective on 30% of his plays, not so much. They need two more DT’s. Likely one will come from the draft and one from the bargain bin of FA. Miami can’t afford to use a high pick on a DT if they want to make noise this year. Phillips must play near his potential… then there is the concern of an injury. This is a paper thin spot, especially if Phillips doesn’t improve.

      • Lemmus

        …DT is not that thin IF Phillips steps up …DE Hayes started at DT for the Rams when needed and can do so here …but they will take at least one DT late in the draft and probably wait to cull another off the waiver wire …Hayes won’t be there in ’18 barring a pro bowl type season

        …I still think (hope/pray/beg) they take Lamp at 22 if he is there …but if the powers that be really think that Larsen and Bushrod can get it done, then I have to believe they also think Phillips, Misi, and Howard can get it done …which means the #22 pick will be a wildcard and they could actually take a shot at BPA in every pick or try to trade down …if that happens the only positions we won’t go BPA for are RB, WR, and QB

        …don’t count Lamp out even if BPA is their game plan …he could legitimately start at all five OL positions and that flexibility is incredibly valuable

        …the QB puzzle could break our way as well with 2 or 3 going in the top 20 …that would kick some higher rated prospects down to us or generate a trade down to a team looking to grab one of the top 4 rated QBs …the draft gurus appear to be all over the place on where the QBs will start to go and who might try to grab one early …afaik, at least 6 teams have looked at all 4 of top QB prospects

        • admin

          Yeah Lemmus, IF. IF he doesn’t perform at 80% it will be a formidable front with two backups behind them. But that infamous word If rings loud. Here we go again, if they select Lamp, I’m fine with that… I do like Feeney in the second as a LG, and Feeney has had a visit with the Fins… as did Lamp. There are a few LB’s and De’s that I’d like to see picked with Feeney in the second, over Lamp in the first. BUT Lamp would be a nice comfort to know he can play all five spots. I do think QB at the very least will move 2 or 3 players back to us who might not be there. Man I can’t wait till the draft. I hope I feel the same way after it’s over.