The NFL Free Agency period impacts a team's depth chart like no other time of the year. From players signing with other teams to new arrivals, a team can have a very drastic change from one year to the next, simply over a few days in March. For the Miami Dolphins, that is exactly what is happening, so we stop and take a look at the club's depth chart after the fourth day of free agency, continuing now with the defense.
Left Defensive End:
Remarks: No question about how this portion of the depth chart plays out, and there's little likelihood the team makes any major roster moves that would change it.
Right Defensive End:
Remarks: While left defensive end is set, the right defensive end is full of questions - and not because there's no talent at the position. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. Somehow, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has to get both Vernon and Jordan on the field, so throughout the season, we should see some creative solutions to the backlog the team has right now.
Remarks: The Dolphins added Mitchell to replace Paul Soliai, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons, and re-signed Starks, so the defensive tackle position should be fairly well locked down. Starks, Odrick, and Mitchell should resume the three-man rotation at the position the Dolphins used last year. Francis and Aaitui both have potential, so it will be interesting to see if Miami finds a way to keep all five defensive tackles on the roster.
Remarks: Linebacker is commonly listed as a need for Miami at this point, and it's mostly because of the disappointing play from Ellerbe and Wheeler. Personally, I believe Wheeler and Ellerbe will play better this year, having had a year to get used to Coyle's system and to each other, but I am not against adding competition to the position as well. Part of that could come from Dion Jordan, who may see time at linebacker as Coyle finds ways to get him on the field. Drafting a linebacker is an option, which would likely be bad news for Trusnik.
Remarks: Grimes is clearly the head of the cornerback class. Behind him, Finnegan has to be assumed to have the second spot for now, though both Taylor and Davis should be considered competition for him. Drafting another cornerback could be an option, given the age of both Grimes and Finnegan.
Remarks: The signing of Delmas puts the Miami starting tandem in place, though Wilson could make a run at the position - or he could be back into his nickel cornerback role. The final three all are developmental players, any of which could eventually become a starter. Unless a stellar draft prospect is on the board for Miami, there likely won't be much shakeup to the safety position this season.