2022 NFL Offseason: Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins (Last Year: 9-8)

2022 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Raheem Mostert, RB Chase Edmonds, RB Sony Michel, FB Alec Ingold, WR Tyreek Hill, WR Cedrick Wilson, WR Trent Sherfield, OT Terron Armstead, G Connor Williams, DE Melvin Ingram, CB Keion Crossen.
Early Draft Picks:
LB Channing Tindall, WR Erik Ezukanma. Dolphins Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Matt Breida, C Ted Karras, DE Shaq Lawson, DT Davon Godchaux, OLB Kyle Van Noy, OLB Kamu Grugier-Hill, S Bobby McCain, P Matt Haack.

2022 Miami Dolphins Offense:
Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert have both taken the league by storm. The same can’t be said of Tua Tagovailoa, the “other” quarterback in the 2020 class. Tagovailoa endured a rough rookie campaign, and while his second season was better, it wasn’t enough to warrant the No. 5 overall selection used on him two years ago. Tagovailoa, however, didn’t deserve complete blame, as he was surrounded by the worst supporting cast of the three quarterbacks.

The Dolphins front office recognized this and made the biggest non-quarterback splash during the offseason, trading for Tyreek Hill. The former Chief is perhaps the most dynamic receiving threat in the NFL. He won’t accumulate the same stats he assembled with Patrick Mahomes, but he’ll still be a big-time producer for the Dolphins. Opposing defenses won’t be able to key in on him at all, thanks to Jaylen Waddle’s presence. Waddle had an amazing rookie year, catching 104 passes for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns. Miami also signed Cedrick Wilson, who figures to be an effective slot receiver. There’s also Mike Gesicki, a talented tight end.

Despite having all of these weapons at his disposal, Tagovailoa needed more help because he received blocking from one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last year. That certainly won’t be the case in 2022. Miami signed two very talented blockers, completely overhauling the left side of their unit. They obtained Terron Armstead, a terrific blind-side protector when healthy, and Connor Williams, who has played well in the past couple of years following a rough start to his career. These two linemen will be enormous upgrades over what Miami had last year.

The rest of the offensive line has some promising players. Liam Eichenberg didn’t perform well as a second-round rookie last year, but he was forced into playing left tackle. He should be much better on the right side. Another second-round choice, Robert Hunt, improved this past season, so he should be even better in his third year as Miami’s right guard. Center Michael Deiter is probably the weakest link up front, but he’s not a terrible player. Williams could end up playing center.

The improved blocking group will help the rushing attack, as will the infusion of talent at running back. Rather than utilizing the likes of Myles Gaskin and Duke Johnson again, the Dolphins now have a trio of Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel and Chase Edmonds to handle the workload. Mostert is the best player of the group, but he’s also the most injury-prone. Michel did a fine job with the Rams last year, while Edmonds is at his best when he’s used as a receiver out of the backfield.

2022 Miami Dolphins Defense:
To compete in the AFC, especially against a divisional foe like the Bills, teams will need to harass the quarterback as consistently as possible. Miami’s 20th-ranked pressure rate from last year won’t cut it, and the front office recognized that. This would explain why it signed Melvin Ingram this offseason. Ingram is on the decline at 33, but he was still an effective player for the Chiefs last year, helping to improve their pass rush down the stretch.

Unless Ingram completely falls off a cliff, the Dolphins, as a result of the signing, figure to finish in the top half of pressure rate this year. Ingram will work in a three-man rotation, joining Emmanuel Ogbah and Jaelan Phillips. Ogbah had a slow start to his career in Cleveland, but he has tallied 18 sacks in the past two years and has been rewarded with a $65 million contract. Phillips, conversely, made a splash instantly, recording 8.5 sacks as a rookie. He was trampled in the running game, however, so he needs to get stronger.

Miami received a nice rush from the defensive line via Christian Wilkins. The former first-round pick notched 4.5 sacks, enjoying his best year as a pro. Only 26, Wilkins should continue to improve. He’ll start in a group comprised of Zach Sieler, Raekwon Davis and Adam Butler. Those three players each have their strengths and weaknesses, but none of them are very good as a whole.

Rounding out the front seven, the Dolphins wanted to bolster their linebacking corps in the 2022 NFL Draft, given the high number of players at the position they brought in for top-30 visits. Channing Tindall was their first choice this April. Tindall is a highly athletic player and an effective blitzer. He could compete for a job to start next to Jerome Baker, who also does a good job of getting to the quarterback. Baker covers well, but gets trampled in the running game.

With an improved pass rush, Miami’s defensive backs will stand to benefit. This includes Xavien Howard, who received a $90 million extension this spring. This was well deserved, as Howard is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. He’ll start across from Byron Jones, who is talented, but has been the subject of trade rumors because he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in Miami. Nik Needham, meanwhile, will reprise his role as the slot corner, a job he handles well. Miami will be hoping that former first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene takes one of the jobs this year, but he seems like a lost cause at this point.

A recent early choice of Miami’s who has panned out is Jevon Holland, who enjoyed a spectacular rookie year. The instinctive safety will once again start next to Brandon Jones, who didn’t perform nearly as well in 2021.

2022 Miami Dolphins Schedule and Intangibles:
Jason Sanders was excellent in 2020, going 36-of-39, including 8-of-9 from 50-plus. He was much worse in 2021; he was just 23-of-31, including 2-of-6 from beyond 50.

Thomas Morstead finished sixth in net punting last year.

Miami surrendered two special teams touchdowns to the opposition in 2020, but things improved last year when they didn’t give up a score. They didn’t get into the end zone either.

The Dolphins have a rough start to their schedule, battling the Patriots, Ravens, Bills and Bengals to start the season. Things get easier after that, but the Dolphins could be in a hole again.

2022 Miami Dolphins Rookies:
Go here for the Dolphins Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2022 Miami Dolphins Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2022 Miami Dolphins Analysis: The Dolphins’ outlook in 2022 hinges on Tua Tagovailoa’s development. This was also the case last year, but the Miami front office gave him so much talent. There are no excuses for Tagovailoa anymore. If he takes the next step, the Dolphins will likely be a playoff team. If he struggles or suffers another injury, Miami fans will be disappointed once again. It’s more likely than not that the latter scenario will occur, given the immense expectations on the Dolphins, as well as the difficult schedule.

Projection: 8-9 (3rd in AFC East)

2021 Projection: 10-7. 2021 Actual Result: 9-8.
2020 Projection: 4-12. 2020 Actual Result: 10-6.
2019 Projection: 1-15. 2019 Actual Result: 5-11.
2018 Projection: 4-12. 2018 Actual Result: 7-9.
2017 Projection: 7-9. 2017 Actual Result: 6-10.
2016 Projection: 4-12. 2016 Actual Result: 10-6.

NFL Draft Team Grade: D Grade

Goals Entering the 2022 NFL Draft: The Dolphins have just two picks in the first six rounds, and none in the top 100. They won’t be able to do much to help their roster any further. Something that could help is trading down a couple of times from Nos. 102 and 125.

2022 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Miami did not trade down, after all. It’s unclear if the Dolphins attempted to do so and failed, but they picked just twice in the seventh round, landing Channing Tindall and Erik Ezukanma.

Tindall was a solid selection, but Ezukanma was a waste. Receiver was the last thing the Dolphins needed, so Ezukanma won’t contribute offensively anytime soon unless there are injuries. The Dolphins should have looked in another direction with the pick, provided they couldn’t trade down.

One of Miami’s seventh-rounders was thrown away as well; it was used on quarterback Skylar Thompson, who might be used like Taysom Hill. Given that Hill hurt the Saints when he was on the field, the Dolphins should have done something differently here as well.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

102. Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia – B Grade
Channing Tindall isn’t much of a surprise with this pick. The Dolphins brought in so many linebackers for top-30 visits because they really needed help at the position. Tindall makes sense in this range as an athletic defender with nice upside.

125. Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech – C Grade
It feels like the one thing the Dolphins didn’t need was a receiver, so why spend a pick on one with so few selections. Erik Ezukanma is an intruging receiver with nice size, but where does he fit into the roster?

224. Cameron Goode, LB, California – B+ Grade
Cameron Goode was in the sixth round of my final mock, so this is a slight value pick. It also fills a need; once again, the Dolphins brought in so many linebackers for visits, so they really wanted to address this position.

247. Skylar Thompson, QB, Kansas State – C Grade
The Dolphins may view Skylar Thompson as their Taysom Hill, but with so few picks, they couldn’t really afford to take a gadget player like this. Besides, Hill hasn’t been all that good for the Saints anyway.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Season Summary:
The Dolphins began the season 1-7, but did not quit. They won seven in a row before losing to the Titans. Still, this game them plenty of momentum of hope for 2022, but that changed when Brian Flores was inexplicably fired.

Offseason Moves:
  • Dolphins sign DE Melvin Ingram
  • Dolphins sign RB Sony Michel
  • Dolphins sign P Thomas Morstead
  • Patriots acquire WR DeVante Parker from Dolphins for draft pick swap
  • Dolphins acquire WR Tyreek Hill from Dolphins for draft picks
  • Dolphins sign OT Terron Armstead
  • Dolphins sign WR Trent Sherfield
  • Dolphins sign RB Raheem Mostert
  • Dolphins sign FB Alec Ingold
  • Dolphins sign G Connor Williams
  • Dolphins sign CB Keion Crossen
  • Dolphins sign QB Teddy Bridgewater
  • Dolphins sign WR Cedrick Wilson
  • Dolphins sign RB Chase Edmonds

    Team Needs:
    1. Offensive Tackle: Miami’s greatest liability is the offensive line. The team had one of the worst blocking units in the NFL last year. Perhaps Liam Eichenberg can become a solid tackle one day, but the team has nothing on the other side. Signed Terron Armstead

    2. Two Interior Offensive Linemen: The Dolphins also have severe issues at guard and center that must be addressed. Robert Hunt is the best of this group, but there are two other holes here. Signed Connor Williams

    3. Running Back: Duke Johnson flashed at the end of the year, but the Dolphins must find an upgrade at running back. They can do so on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft. Signed Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds

    4. Defensive End: Emmanuel Ogbah is an impending free agent who must be re-signed. He has recorded 18 sacks in the past two years. Re-signed Emmanuel Ogbah

    5. Linebacker: Miami has some impending free agent linebackers, including Elandon Roberts and Duke Riley. If they leave, another linebacker will be needed to play alongside Jerome Baker. Re-signed Elandon Roberts and Duke Riley

    6. Quarterback: The Dolphins may want to bring in some competition for Tua Tagovailoa, who has not looked the same since his devastating injury in college. At the very least, Miami needs to retain or replace Jacoby Brissett as the backup. Signed Teddy Bridgewater

    7. Tight End: Mike Gesicki is an impending free agent who must be retained. Franchised Mike Gesicki

    8. Punter: Michael Palardy was one of the worst punters in the NFL last year. Signed Thomas Morstead

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2022 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Terron Armstead, OT, Saints. Age: 31.
      Signed with Dolphins (5 years, $75 million)

      Terron Armstead is one of the best tackles in the NFL when healthy, but he gets injured every year. He missed nine games in 2021.

    2. Connor Williams, G, Cowboys. Age: 25.
      Signed with Dolphins (2 years, $14 million)

      Connor Williams is coming off his best season, as he proved to be a major strength at guard for once. He’s only 25, so he’ll continue to improve.

    3. Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals. Age: 26.
      Signed with Dolphins

      Chase Edmonds is an excellent receiver out of the backfield who can handle a substantial workload. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry last yar and caught 43 passes despite missing five games.

    4. Sony Michel, RB, Rams. Age: 27.
      Signed with Dolphins

      Sony Michel finally met first-round expectations last year, usurping the job from Darrell Henderson before Cam Akers returned. Michel dashed for 845 yards and caught 21 passes.

    5. Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers. Age: 30.
      Signed with Dolphins

      Raheem Mostert would have a much better ranking if he could stay healthy. Unfortunately, Mostert is always hurt. He has missed 31 games in the past four years. Now 30, Mostert is unlikely to have improved luck in this regard.

    6. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 33.
      Signed with Dolphins

      Melvin Ingram was a nice addition to Kansas City’s roster. He recorded only one sack, but was a force against the run.

    7. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Broncos. Age: 29.
      Signed with Dolphins (1 year)

      Teddy Bridgewater is a capable starting quarterback, capable of taking a team to the playoffs if everything around him is right. Bridgewater becomes a liability if things fall apart around him, however.

    8. Thomas Morstead, P, Falcons. Age: 36.
      Signed with Dolphins

      Thomas Morstead finished 11th in net punting last year, but he’s now 36.

    9. Cedrick Wilson, WR, Cowboys. Age: 27.
      Signed with Dolphins (3 years, $22.8 million)

      Cedrick Wilson played well in place of Michael Gallup whenever Gallup has been out of the lineup.

    10. Alec Ingold, FB, Raiders. Age: 26.
      Signed with Dolphins (2 years, $7.5 million)

      Alec Ingold is a quality fullback, but is coming off an ACL tear.

    11. Trent Sherfield, WR, 49ers. Age: 26. — Signed with Dolphins (1 year)
    12. Keion Crossen, CB, Giants. Age: 28. — Signed with Dolphins
    13. Mohamed Sanu, WR, 49ers. Age: 33. — Signed with Dolphins

    Miami Dolphins Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins. Age: 26.
      Franchised by Dolphins

      Mike Gesicki notched career-best figures in receptions and yards this past season. He’s only 26, so he’ll continue to grow.

    2. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Dolphins. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Dolphins (4 years, $65 million; $32 million guaranteed)

      Emmanuel Ogbah has made strides in his development in recent years. He has recorded 18 total sacks in the past two seasons.

    3. Will Fuller, WR, Dolphins. Age: 28.
      Will Fuller is an explosive receiver, but has severe issues staying healthy. He has missed 40 games in the past five years!

    4. Jason McCourty, S/CB, Dolphins. Age: 35.
      Announced retirement

      The usually reliable Jason McCourty struggled through a foot injury last year before being placed on injured reserve. He turns 35 just prior to the 2022 season.

    5. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Dolphins. Age: 28.
      Signed with Colts

      Phillip Lindsay has regressed in each of his NFL seasons. It’s puzzling why he has gotten worse every year, but perhaps he’ll rebound somewhere in 2022.

    6. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Dolphins. Age: 29.
      Signed with Browns (1 year)

      Jacoby Brissett was considered one of the top backup quarterbacks in the NFL heading into 2021. Perhaps that’s still the case, but Brissett struggled in relief of Tua Tagovailoa, maintaining a poor 5.7 YPA. That said, the horrendous offensive line played a part.

    7. Elandon Roberts, LB, Dolphins. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Dolphins (1 year)
    8. Durham Smythe, TE, Dolphins. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Dolphins
    9. Justin Coleman, CB, Dolphins. Age: 29. — Signed with Seahawks
    10. Mack Hollins, WR, Dolphins. Age: 29. — Signed with Raiders (1 year)
    11. Albert Wilson, WR, Dolphins. Age: 30.
    12. Greg Mancz, C, Dolphins. Age: 30. — Signed with Bills
    13. Duke Riley, LB, Dolphins. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Dolphins (1 year)
    14. Brennan Scarlett, DE/OLB, Dolphins. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Dolphins (1 year)
    15. John Jenkins, DT, Dolphins. Age: 33. — Re-signed with Dolphins
    16. Jesse Davis, OT, Dolphins. Age: 30. — Signed with Vikings
    17. Malcolm Brown, RB, Dolphins. Age: 29.
    18. Michael Palardy, P, Dolphins. Age: 30.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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