Part eight in out look at depth from CBS Sports takes a look at the defemnsive tackle position. CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan recently asked what it means to have depth in the NFL, then developed 13 different questions about each NFL franchise, looking at key positions on the field and who would fill in if needed, in an effort to find the clubs that do have "depth." Kirwan ultimately reached the conclusion that two teams, the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals, best fit the idea of "depth" on a roster.
He also listed five teams that could be considered "honorable mention" franchises when it comes to the ever-important depth: the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and a "tossup" between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Kirwan explained the honorable mention list, writing, "they don't satisfy all the categories but they did better than most teams hitting on at least nine of the 13."
The depth questions start with an entry criteria question, one that if you answer no, you do not move on to the rest of the fields and simply do not have depth. Since the Dolphins met the entry criteria for the depth discussion by having a backup quarterback that "can go at least 2-2 in a four-game stretch" with Matt Moore, we have been breaking down the rest of the questions Kirwan poses. The eighth area for consideration is:
Is there a third defensive tackle that not only plays in a rotation but could play the whole game if need be?
This should be an absolute yes for the Dolphins, with an already set rotation of Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, and Earl MItchell. Any of those three, who will play in a three man starter rotation for the two defensive tackle spots, could play an entire game if needed, and all three should see plenty of playing time even if they are all healthy and playing.
That is, of course, speculating that Mitchell will be able to replace Paul Soliai as the third person in the rotation. Nothing from Organized Team Activites and Minicamp has made it seem as though Mitchell will not be able to fill the role.
Miami's defensive line is deep, even with the loss of defensive end Dion Jordan for the first four games of the season, and the team could actually go to packages with Starks and Mitchell at defensive tackle, while Odrick moves back to his former position of defensive end.
The Dolphins can absolutely man the starting positions with any of the three main defensive tackles, and any of the three would be able to play a full game.