The Dolphins made it to the post season for the first time since 2009 last season, and plans to pick up where they left off.
Coming off a successful 10-6 season, the Dolphins had a pretty good draft in 2016 adding OL Laremy Tunsil and CB Xavien Howard. Since the Dolphins’ had a pretty successful season, Miami had its lowest draft pick in the first round since 2009. The lower pick, still left Miami with many options for No. 22.
When considering what Miami needs for the 2017/2018 season- a linebacker, cornerback and defensive lineman might come to mind. It’s no secret Miami’s defense struggled last season, setting a franchise record of 6,122 yards allowed. However, the Dolphins used the 2017 Draft to help addresses its defensive needs.
2017 The Draft Break Down
Coming out the gate, Miami focused on building its defense.
For the first round, at No. 22, Miami drafted Charles Harris, a DE out of Missouri. Harris is adept when it comes to the pass rush, and his speed will help him be a solid defensive end at the pro level, but he does have a weakness against the run. That alone spurred questions on why Miami left Alabama LB Reuben Foster and G Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky both on the table. It is believed that Miami plans for Harris to grow behind Cameron Wake to add depth.
The Dolphins did address its linebacker issue, drafting Raekwon McMillian 54 overall. McMillian is one of the top linebackers in this year’s draft. McMillan is a brawny tackler from Ohio State who is rigid against the run. As far as his leadership, McMillian was the captain for the Buckeye defense for two seasons.
Miami continued to pile on its defense drafting Clemson’s Cordrea Tankersley. Tankersley is a CB who fits the Miami mold of tall corners, reaching 6’1. The long defensive back had 65 tackles, four interception and 111 pass breakups as a senior. His length and arm span helps him knock off the receivers’ rhythm.
What about the offense?
According to reports, Ryan Tannehill has recovered and“feels good” about the 2017 season. Tannehill suffered a season ending knee injury in week 14 last seasons, but will operate the Miami offense for the 2017/2018 season.
When it comes to Miami’s receiving unit, it is pretty solid with deep threat Kenny Stills along with Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker. Now adding former Jacksonville Jaguar, Julius Thomas, Miami’s offense should be able to hold its own next season.
What to expect next season
It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins will look next season, but they have a long road ahead before thinking out the post season.
Judging from the schedule, Miami has its work cut out. The Dolphins will kick off its regular season at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and may collect a couple of wins in week two and three when facing off against the LA Chargers and New York Jets.
However Miami may face problems in week four when traveling to London to face one of the league’s top offensive teams, the New Orleans Saints, and now with Adrian Peterson added to the mix, it will be a challenge for the Dolphin’s defense.
It won’t get any easier in week six, Miami will face the dirty birds in their new Mercedes Benz stadium, it’s no secret how potent the Atlanta offense when it comes to the passing attack with QB Matt Ryan and top receiver Julio Jones.
Miami will also have challenge in week nine against the raiders, and when facing the beast of the AFC east the New England Patriots.
Overall Miami could still pull off a 10-6 record and may slide into the playoffs again, it will not be easy, but it is possible.