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The Dolphins in 2020: What Does the Season Hold? (Part One)

By Kevin Hood

Welcome to an 11-part series devoted to finding out what the 2020 Miami Dolphins Season could hold. Football is the coordination of different parts moving as one, a body moving its components in a coordinated effort to accomplish a common goal, winning the Lombardi trophy. With this series, I will be breaking down what we can expect from the Dolphins this year.

Taking an in-depth look at what information is available, taking into account player rankings, what position the team lists players drafted our free-agent additions, and forecasting who might line up where. I have broken drown the articles in 11 parts Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs / Fullback, Tight Ends, Centers / Guards, Tackles, Corners, Safeties, Line Backers, Defensive Line, and Edge Rushers.

I start this series exactly where the Dolphins prioritized this Off-Season. In the trenches, specifically with Offensive Tackles. I start my in-depth look at our Offensive Line by understanding what we already know with returning players.

We started 2019 by trading Pro-Bowl LT Laremy Tunsil to Houston for a fantastic haul of picks and Julie’n Davenport. Davenport injured for most of the year, but when he did see the field, he received 56.5 Overall grade by PFF, making him the 68thrated Tackle out of 81. His 61.5 Pass Block grade by PFF was not acceptable, and his even worse grade of 41.3Run block grade was part of the Dolphins rushing woes. I expect Davenport to compete for the team’s starting left tackle position.

Next up is Fan Favorite Jesse Davis. Davis has moved from between both guard and tackle spots as needed by the coaching staff his entire Dolphins tenure. His improvement in PFF grade is proof his coaches see he can grow, for 2019 Davis registered 58.9 Overall PFF grade, with 59.6 and 53.6 Pass Blocking and Run Blocking PFF grade, respectively. I expect Davis to compete for his starting right tackle position.

The last holdover at the tackle position from the previous year is week 16 and 17 surprise snap earner, Adam Pankey. With 12 snaps during 2019, Pankey graded out decently.

Twelve snaps are hardly a barometer of success, but grading any offensive lineman from 2019 with a 72.9 pass block grade from PFF is a surprise. Pankey’s 63.1 overall grade is dragged down by his 59.3 run block grade. But I can see Pankey fighting for a reserve role as a backup tackle at either spot.

Here is where the optimism comes in—new blood. The Dolphins picked up 4 Rookie Tackles. 2 during the 2020 Draft and two as Undrafted Free Agents. Robert Hunt seems to be written by most analysts as a Guard, BUT on the team’s official website, listed at Tackle.

When you start to look at his college rankings, you begin to understand why. Listed at 6-6 323 on the Dolphins official website he has tackle size, then you look at his college ranking from the 2019 season where Hunt played right Tackle, and you start to believe the Dolphins got an excellent steal for this young man in round 2.

Hunts 87.1 Overall grade with only one sack 0 QB hits and 1 Hurry allowed during his impressive 2019 season with Ragin’ Cajuns. He ranked 14th out of 398 college tackles. I expect Hunt to compete for the teams starting right tackle position with Jesse Davis.

Less controversial when it comes to a position is Austin Jackson, the USC starting left Tackle had a good career at a power five school the University of Southern California—posting a 73.9 overall PFF grade for the 2019 season. His four sacks, 1 QB hit, and nine hurries allowed are coachable flaws that can be corrected.

Jackson is young at only 20 and has increased his size and improved strength during the draft process leading me to believe he can already have improved from last year. I expect Jackson to compete for the Dolphins starting left tackle position with Davenport.

Also added, this offseason is free-agent addition, Ereck Flowers. He makes a list due to the Dolphins listing him on their official website as OL. So m I reading too far into a small detail, or are the Dolphins admitting they have other plans then left guard where he started and was above average for the Washington redskins last year.

His 64.2 Overall grade is propped up by his 69.0 pass block grade. But 60.1 run block grade is nothing to be disappointed. Flowers graded out as the 30 Guard out of 81 qualifying guards. Looking at that alone, you start to think he is only going to put at that spot for the Dolphins But digging into his previous stats; you see his 69.4 overall grade in 2016 ranking him as the 42 tackle out of 76 qualifying tackles.

Coaching is something the Dolphins seem to think they are better than most with their ability to coach a young team full of cast-offs and undrafted guys to 5 wins down the stretch in 2019. So do they think he will be given a shot to receive their coaching into rebirth at either tackle spot? Maybe.

Given his position listing. I expect Flowers to compete for the starting left guard position, BUT if the Dolphins do not like what they see at left Tackle, I fully anticipate this veteran on the rise to be given a shot to fix the issue.

Also added after the Draft is Nick Kalmayer and Jonathan Hubbard. Both are undrafted free agents, not on the PFF draft guide of the top 250 draftees. I expect them to come in and compete for reserve roles or practice squad spots.

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