An In-Depth Look at the 2020 Miami Dolphins – Power Ranking 32

Mason Thompson | June 11th, 2020

Now that it is June, it’s time to look ahead to the 2020 season instead of talking about the offseason. Last year, I decided to make my power rankings ahead of the season, scaling each position in the order of importance to myself. Of course, there were a few difficulties and switches that had to be made to the scale to accurately make the power rankings for this year. Next to each position in parenthesis, there will be the amount each position was weighed as well as the rating and ranking in the league.

Starting things off in the 32nd spot is the Miami Dolphins. This may come as a surprise considering the team had five selections in the first two rounds and spent mightily in free agency. There is still a long road for the Dolphins in their current rebuild and fans should temper expectations this year.

Make sure to check out all of our in-depth power rankings here.

  • Overall – 71.895 (32nd)
  • Offense – 68.505 (31st)
  • Defense – 76.12 (25th)
  • Coach and Culture – 72 (31st)
  • Home Field Advantage – 75, 27th (4% Defense, 2% Overall)

Quarterbacks – 68.5, 30th (36% Offense, 27% Overall)

The Dolphins still managed to get Tua Tagovailoa after sliding to the fifth selection of the draft after months of speculation. He might not be ready for the season opener due to a hip injury suffered last year. Ryan Fitzpatrick helped turn the team around after an abysmal start last year and should be the starter for the first few weeks of the season, whether Tagovailoa is healthy or not. Fitzpatrick has chemistry with some of the receivers from last year and should be given the nod in week one.

Josh Rosen is still on the roster, although he might be traded or cut before the start of the regular season. It wouldn’t be surprising if Miami held onto Rosen through the first few weeks. Waiting for an injury to happen to another team’s starter would maximizing his value. If Tagovailoa was healthy, this ranking would be higher. However, since there is still a lot of unknown about his injury and how acquainted he will be with the system in this strange offseason, the Dolphins rank 30th.

Running Backs – 74.5, 30th (4% Offense, 3% Overall)

It was no secret that the Dolphins rushing attack was awful last year as Fitzpatrick led the team in rushing. Miami added Jordan Howard in free agency while trading for Matt Breida on day three of the draft. Howard figures to be the bruiser on first and second downs, while Breida will factor in as a change-of-pace back, as well as a safety valve for whoever is starting at quarterback. Behind them, the depth chart is rough. Patrick Laird had a combined 372 yards on 62 rushes and 23 catches, rushing for a measly 2.7 yards per carry. Kalen Ballage was even worse, averaging 1.8 yards per carry on 74 attempts. Myles Gaskin rounds out the depth chart.

Pass Catchers – 73, 30th (17% Offense, 8% Overall)

DeVante Parker finally came into his own last year catching 72 passes for 1,202 yards, and nine touchdowns. The Dolphins found a diamond in the rough last year with the undrafted free agent, Preston Williams. In eight games, he caught 32 passes for 428 yards, and three touchdowns before suffering a torn ACL. Mike Gesicki is the team’s third option and seems poised for a breakout year after snagging 51 passes for 570 yards, and five touchdowns. Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant fill the slot receiver role, as well as Grant being the return specialist. Allen Hurns is the veteran of the room and is a reliable fourth receiver. Miami took two dart throws at Mack Hollins and Gary Jennings as players with solid draft capital invested in them who had been cut by their previous teams.

Offensive Line – 66, 32nd (24% Offense, 12% Overall)

The offensive line, or lack thereof one, is another reason why the Dolphins would be wise to sit Tagovailoa for as long as possible. The offensive line will most likely have four new starters, with Michael Deiter being the only holdover from last year at the right guard spot. The two tackle spots are up for grabs between rookie first-round pick Austin Jackson, Julie’n Davenport, Jesse Davis, and second-round pick Robert Hunt. Ted Karras was brought in this offseason from New England and projects as the starting center, while the Dolphins paid Ereck Flowers a ton of money to come in and start at left guard.

If I had to guess, the starting five would be Jackson, Flowers, Karras, Deiter, and Hunt with Davis, Davenport, and fourth-round pick Solomon Kindley being the depth behind the starting five. This offensive line is a far cry from what Tagovailoa had at Alabama and could hurt his development in this system.

Run Defense – 76.5, 24th (6% Defense, 2% Overall)

Miami has two stout, young run-defending defensive tackles in Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux returning again this year. Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah were added to the defensive line to serve as run defenders while also rushing the passer. Raekwon McMillan has been a stable of the defense since he was drafted and is an old-school type linebacker, while the Dolphins also brought in Elandon Roberts from New England to serve that purpose as well. Raekwon Davis and Jason Strowbridge were brought in from the draft to serve as rotational pieces on the defensive line.

Pass Rush – 67, 32nd (21% Defense, 10% Overall)

The Dolphins ranked last in sacks in 2019 with only 23 sacks on the season. Miami brought in a lot of bodies to try to solve that problem. However, they still lack a true number one edge rusher. Lawson was brought over from the division-rival Bills and is coming off of a 6.5 sack season.  Meanwhile, Ogbah fills that same role as a run defender with the ability to provide some pass rush. Kyle Van Noy was also brought over from New England this offseason (sensing a trend yet?) and is the team’s best pass rusher coming off a 6.5 sack season of his own.

Vince Biegel finally made his presence known after not finding playing time in Green Bay and New Orleans and will line up opposite of Van Noy. Curtis Weaver is a bit of a tweener who can play a variety of roles for Miami at defensive end or outside linebacker. The Dolphins should give Jadeveon Clowney a call to help out this lackluster pass rush unit.

Linebackers – 78,T-19th (15% Defense, 4% Overall)

McMillan and Roberts are the typical run-stopping linebackers for Miami. Jerome Baker has been a mainstay on the defense as well and offers a lot more coverage ability than either of McMillan and Roberts. Behind those three, the Dolphins have a ton of situational-based players at the linebacker spot with Van Noy, Weaver, Kamu Grugier-Hill, and Andrew Van Ginkel. Brian Flores should be able to make the most of the versatility of each of the players and scheme each to his advantage.

Secondary – 81,T-13th (26% Defense, 17% Overall)

Xavien Howard finally has a worthy complement as Miami signed Byron Jones to a massive contract during free agency. The two of them guard the sidelines while Nik Needham and first-round selection, Noah Igbinoghene man the inside of the secondary in nickel and slot roles. With the four of them, Miami has plenty of cover ability at the cornerback position. Cordrea Tankersley could potentially be cut before the season as a former high draft pick, in favor of Tae Hayes or Nate Brooks.

The safety position is a bit of an unknown with Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe returning as likely starters with Adrian Colbert returning as depth and Clayton Fejedelem being brought in from Cincinnati who has performed well when given the opportunity. Brandon Jones was brought in as a third-round selection from Texas who can play in multiple packages as well as special teams. Jones is a smart, instinctive player who will fit in well with this defense.

Coach and Culture – 72, 31st (19% Offense, 28% Defense, 15% Overall)

Offensively, the Dolphins took a step back when they fired Chad O’Shea for having a “complicated playbook”, instead opting to bring in Chan Gailey. With O’Shea as the offensive coordinator, Fitzpatrick and Parker were great, and Parker had a career-year under O’Shea. With Gailey, the Dolphins are taking a major risk as he hasn’t had a job in three years. The only positive is that Fitzpatrick has worked in Gailey’s system before. He threw for just 12 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions in 2016 under Gailey. Miami ranks 32nd in offensive coach and culture.

Defensively, meanwhile, the Dolphins have a lot of potential. Flores has brought in a lot of familiar faces from New England. This is to help out some of the younger players and use the most out of certain skillsets. The defense seems primed for a big year with an above-average secondary with two strong cornerbacks on the perimeter. The Dolphins are tied for 20th for their defensive coach and culture.

Miami still has a long way to go in this rebuild before having a playoff-ready roster. There could potentially be six or seven new starters on offense. In addition, the team will be learning a whole new playbook along with an abysmal offensive line. The secondary is great but could look bad due to the lack of a pass rush. Flores has his work cut out for him again this year. However, the future is looking a bit brighter in Miami.

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