Entering free agency, the Miami Dolphins have a number of voids to fill if they want to make a deep playoff run in 2017, but one player should be the top target.
The Miami Dolphins have plenty of holes that need filling this offseason, despite an impressive run to make the playoffs in 2016. They desperately need help on the offensive line and at linebacker. They can also stand to add some help on the interior defensive line, a pass rusher and in the secondary. With a number of roles that need addressing, who should be the Dolphins top priority in free agency in the coming months?
Recently our own Chris Spooner wrote an article titled “Melvin Ingram is Free Agency Splash Team (Dolphins) is Looking For,” and I love the idea of bringing in Ingram. He’s a talented player who can have an immediate impact, although, it will come at a cost from a money standpoint. However, he should be second on the team’s wish list. The more pressing need is at offensive guard.
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Miami should go after now former Cincinnati Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler. He’s the top guard on the market and fills a huge need with the ability to be an immediate starter, upgrade and impact player.
He would improve protection for Ryan Tannehill coming off an ACL injury and help open holes for Jay Ajayi and the Dolphins’ running backs. We got a glimpse last year just how close this line is to being great during their impressive winning streak. However, we also saw just how close they are to be disastrous during their dreadful start to the season. Zeitler can be a massive difference maker.
Guard is much more pressing need now that the Dolphins shipped starting left tackle Branden Albert to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2018 seventh-round pick last week. This will presumably push 2016 first-round pick Laremy Tunsil from left guard to left tackle, leaving Jermon Bushrod as the team’s top guard.
Bushrod isn’t awful, but he’s not an acceptable No. 1 offensive guard. Miami proved their good enough to win now and cannot make the mistake of putting all their eggs in the basket of a rookie guard to secure the line.
This is why they should go after Zeitler and fortify the offensive line. Outside of the quarterback position, nothing is more crucial to winning than an offensive line. Especially when your quarterback is coming off a significant knee injury. No position needs to be addressed more in free agency than offensive guard for the Dolphins.