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This Offseason, Let It Rain Quality Offensive Linemen

This Offseason, Let It Rain Quality Offensive Linemen

Miami must bolster it's Offensive Line this Offseason

Miami must bolster its Offensive Line this Offseason

The Offensive Line has needs at Guard, Center, and Tackle 

Now that Miami’s season is over, the Dolphins Front Office is all alone in the spotlight. 

It’s time for Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier to make their money…

…and given the scrutiny they’re under, they’d better nail this.

In the last two seasons under Coach Adam Gase, the Fins haven’t been huge spenders in free agency, unlike the days of Joe Philbin.

Most price per head bookie services are betting this trend continues.

BUT…

…that doesn’t mean that the Dolphins will–or should–just sit on the sidelines in Free Agency.

Miami doesn’t believe in spending a lot of money on Guards, but aside from Jesse Davis (who was actually  signed as a Tackle), this strategy hasn’t been a winner.

The fact is Offensive line has been an Achilles heel of the Fins for the past decade–despite using everything from 1st round picks to high-priced pick-ups to fix the situation, little has worked out. 

Yes, the best teams rarely use blue chips at Guard, but Miami seems to have a serious blind-spot at evaluating line talent–especially the interior.  The last good interior acquisition was Richie Incognito

…and Miami found a way to screw that up.

Miami has some pieces on the Offensive Line, but not enough

Many experts are already predicting Miami willl use their first round pick, which is the 11th overall selection, on you guessed it… 6’5” and 325 pounds Guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame. 

Many general managers around the league feel he’s the best Guard available in the draft and has the potential to be an elite Guard in the NFL.

There’s a fair chance that Nelson will be on the board when Miami is on the clock with the 11th pick. 

However, do they want to be forced to use another first round pick on an Offensive lineman?

Initial evaluation by Phinsnews projects Nelson as a better Right Guard… at least early on.

In the video below you see that Nelson excels at Drive Blocking. His pass protection takes a backseat to his run blocking. Nelson leans a bit too much, lacks some agility and foot speed, and struggles at times with balance after getting popped. He won’t be able to rely solely on strength in the NFL to protect his QB… especially at Left Guard, where he will be expected to block without help.

Nelson does have excellent vision and swaps and passes defenders well, so it’s not to say he won’t make it as a Left Guard. In many ways he’s reminiscent of Incognito… who is a top 5 LG. But he’ll cost Miami it’s first pick and might not necessarily fill the crucial need to a pass-blocking Left Guard in his first season.

Nelson could propel Drake to elite status & Price would fill two roles for the Dolphins

Billy Price has grabbed the attention of Phinsnews as possibly a better and cheaper fit.

Price could likely be had in the 2nd Round. His understanding of scheme from playing Center and his pass protection skillset is backed by an athletic and powerful build… although he isn’t the monster Nelson is.

But given Miami’s weakness at LG AND C, Price could play Left Guard this season and transition to Center next year… if Mike Pouncey is retained. And of course with Pouncey’s history of injury, Price could also step in and fill the void if need be.

For those who aren’t aware of Price, here’s a good introduction:

Miami needs at least two quality pieces to get this Offensive Line right

I’d have zero problem with the Dolphins selecting Nelson, however, Miami has often said they aim to pick the best player available, instead of their biggest need, when it’s their turn to select.

More often than not this is a wise strategy… although, it’s not always the case.

Considering Miami needs more than just a Guard, it may be wise for Miami to use free agency first to find a starting Guard, Center, or Tacke–even if they Draft Nelson and / or Price.

Heck, if they did pick up a quality Left Guard in FA and drafted Nelson, they could move Davis out to his natural position at Right Tackle.

Imagine a run game backed by the elite power of Nelson and Davis?! 

I wouldn’t mind that…

…and throw in Price in the 2nd.

Ahh, wouldn’t that be sweat potatoes, even if it’s overkill!

This of course will never happen, but Phinsnews loves the heck out of the ‘big uglies’, so we will dream the impossible dream–for a little while.

Until the official Free Agent list is announced, we don’t know who will be available. Also, given the over-inflated price of Guards, we also don’t know if a high-priced pick-up is fiscally responsible. But there will certainly be quality linemen who can help this Offensive Line unit, even if it that player is lurking around after the first rush of big buys… or in the bargain bin. But does this brain trust have the brains to see the need and find the right ones? Go Fins!!!

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12 comments

  • Dunner

    Trade down 10+ spots and pick up another second rounder. Then you could possibly get your LG (Price) and/or a center while getting the best player available (defense) with the first round pick. Or better yet, get your guy Price in that scenario while grabbing a TE with the extra pick and still addressing the defense (BPA) in the first.

    All could be out the window if Mayfield is there at 11 and Miami takes him. Miami can very well benefit from QB needy teams, either trading down with one of those teams if 1 of the top 5 are there at 11, or if the top 5 QBs along with Saquon Barkley are taken before Miami selects at 11, Miami could have just about whatever/whoever they want at 11.

    With 5 possible first round QBs available and a blue chip RB, Miami could very well benefit one way or another at 11. Knowing Tannebaum, I’m thinking other (trades are what Tannebaum works for)!

    • Lemmus

      …though I don’t agree with taking another defender in this year’s first round (you’re getting greedy), I do think there is an excellent chance that if Buffalo has not found their QB in FA …and Allen or Mayfield is on the board at #11 …that T-Bum might well trade down for BOTH of their 1st round picks at 22 and 23 …he’d have to sweeten it to get the value right of course, but probably not that much …they really need a QB

      …I remain firm on taking Nelson at 11 if he’s there but the chances of that are poor unless there is a huge QB rush in the top 10 …keep in mind that Quinton Nelson is not JUST a Guard, he’s ranked in the top 5 players overall by virtually every scouting service, some with him at #1 …say “Best Player Available” very slowly, eh

      …if that were to happen, Billy Price would almost certainly still be there at 22 and the pick would not be an over reach …some now have him graded as a low first …AND the next pick at 23 would be BPA …I know, its a fantasy but we can dream, eh

    • admin

      Hey Dun… sorry for the late reply… been in the burn out phase of my life cycle 🙂 You and Steve will likely know better than me, but what mid round QB has top end brain and accuracy and mid range arm talent? That’s who I want them to draft. I’m not expert, but Jets, Browns, and Broncos are drafting a QB… so I can’t see how one will fall. I’d love smith to fall to us, Nelson too, but smith more… if we could get price. But trading back would be nice. I like Malik Jefferson so far… still looking into him, but when was the last time we had an excellent blitzing LB… Cox? Can’t remember. With Harris on the edge he can drop to, so it would cause some issues with an excellent blitzer…anthony is okay… kiko is meh… McMillian is another okay. I like moving back unless 2 or 3 guys are there. How is smith in coverage? Still need to look more into him… just going off what I hear at this point. Hope your are rocking the new year.

    • admin

      Actually watching g some good tape of Jefferson… not feeling what I’m seeing. Very tentative when making contact with blockers… doing some LB watching today… can’t have you and steve know it all again this season.

    • admin

      ohh man, do I like smith… missed one tackle all season. Yeah starting to study … yeah mayfield could fall.

    • admin

      if we move on from Landry… I like the look of this kid:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC_I-ODggSQ&feature=youtu.be

  • Fred Bastillo

    When will fin fans finally wise up? This fin heaven mentality of screaming for OL in first and second rounds every year is getting old, tired and moronic.

    Please look at history and then tell me what you propose is stills sound thinking

    We need a better OL coach and system.
    we don’t need to blow more high draft picks on “big uglies” they do not have the impact that other positions we could take and unless this system and coaching improves we could draft John Hannah and Tony Boselli in their primes and it wouldn’t matter

    Nobody should take a guard at #11. And to follow that pick up with a center would be equally moronic

    Our defense is not good right now. there’s a lack of talent and playmakers on every level of this defense and you can’t tell me that Arden Key, Roquan Smith, Derwin James or any number of defenders wouldn’t be better players and more impactful players than a friggin’ guard at #11

    • admin

      Hey, thanks for the reply Fred, even though I think you may have missed some of what was said in the article.

      For example: “However, do they want to be forced to use another first round pick on an Offensive lineman?

      Initial evaluation by Phinsnews sees Nelson project as a better Right Guard… at least early on.

      So we aren’t as high on him for the Fins as is being preojected. This is why we said, “Billy Price has grabbed the attention of Phinsnews as possibly a better and cheaper fit. Price could likely be had in the 2nd Round.”

      We also said, “I’d have zero problem with the Dolphins selecting Nelson. However, Miami has often said they aim to pick the best player available, instead of their biggest need, when it’s their turn to select. More often than not this is a wise strategy… although, it’s not always the case.”

      We said this about the hypothetical scenario and had some fun with it Fred,”Imagine a run game backed by the elite power of Nelson and Davis?! 

      I wouldn’t mind that…

      …and throw in Price in the 2nd.

      Ahh, wouldn’t that be sweat potatoes, even if it’s overkill!

      This of course will never happen, but Phinsnews loves the heck out of the ‘big uglies’, so we will dream the impossible dream–for a little while.”

      But a FA LG and Price in the second would be nice and solves serious holes… LG is absolutely needed as no one on this squad fit the bill.

      And yes, talent can’t wallpaper bad coaching.

    • Lemmus

      …yes, it takes two to tango …coaches make players, players make coaches …such is reality
      …but this moron has a question, eh

      …in 2017, the phins loaded up in both FA and the draft with top of the line defensive players
      …just a 5th rounder for the offense …who rarely even dressed for a game, much less played

      …but according to some, we just need coaches for the offense this year …and more players for the defense
      …if that logic works for some, more power to them …methinks they’ll need it

      …by the way, we did change the coaches and scheme …you know, Philbust out, Gase in …how did that work, eh? …what? oy vey! …the OL got worse? …say it ain’t so 🙁

      …but then again, I’m just a moron …I must be ’cause I think the phins should draft Nelson if he falls to us at #11 …you see, there are a fair number of draft gurus who think Nelson is the best player available in the entire draft …and me, I want the best player available …’cause I’m a moron

      …but then there must be a few other morons about …’cause a number of draft projections have Nelson gone long before its our turn …must all be morons …lot of that going around …like the flu, eh

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