Lack of Depth/Talent: The biggest thing that has been exposed over the last few weeks is the Dolphins lack of depth and talent. The Dolphins have been very fortunate with limited injuries this season. However, the injuries they have sustained have shown that there is a lack of overall talent on this roster. That doesn’t bode well for Jeff Ireland, whom I know a lot of you were already unhappy with. Just take the offensive line as an example; The Dolphins have a #1 overall pick at LT, a 1st rounder at C, a 2nd rounder at RT, a 3rd rounder at RG, and a free agent hitman at LG. The Dolphins have invested a lot in their offensive line, but at this point, they are getting very little return on that investment.
When Richard Marshall went down with his season ending injury, the Dolphins plugged Nolan Carroll into the starting lineup. He’s been very inconsistent and has not proven he can be a reliable option at starting corner. Jimmy Wilson has also been a liability in coverage, allowing opposing QB’s to throw for a 100+ passer rating, when throwing to the receiver Wilson is covering.
The Dolphins have a big offseason coming up, because they’ll have $40-50 mil in cap room. A part of that cap room will go towards resigning their own players that they deem worthy. The Dolphins upcoming free agents include: Jake Long, Sean Smith, Randy Starks, Brian Hartline, and Reggie Bush. Is Jake Long worth the $10+ mil he’s going to ask for? Is Sean Smith worth over $6 mil per season? Is Reggie Bush worth $5 mil? Big decisions for Jeff Ireland, if he’s the one still calling the shots.
The Dolphins do have some ammunition in the draft, but my faith in that will depend on who’s calling the shots. The Dolphins have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds of the draft (1-1st, 2-2nd, 2-3rd). There will certainly be some good players available, but the Dolphins can’t continue to miss with premium draft picks. Among the misses of late? Using 2nd rounders on guys like Pat White, Chad Henne, and Daniel Thomas will keep this team mediocre. Some of you will question why I put Daniel Thomas in that mix. Well, this season he’s seen an increased role, but is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. That’s simply not good enough from a 2nd round pick that the Dolphins traded up to get!
We’re getting ahead of ourselves, the offseason is still a month and a half away. Just know that it will be a big one. If the Dolphins season continues to head in the direction it’s going, Mr. Ross may need to make a big decision on who should be calling the shots for this crucial offseason. But for now, let’s enjoy the rest of this season and hope for improvement in the above areas. We all knew this was a rebuilding year and the primary thing we need to see is progression from Ryan Tannehill. If he can get passed the rookie wall and the Dolphins can beat some of the big teams on their schedule, we all might feel a little bit better about how 2013 will unfold.
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