A couple of weeks ago, CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan introduced his methodology of determining if an NFL franchise has "depth." It was his way of looking at a roster, and trying to determine which teams were best set-up for a grueling 16-week NFL season.
Once he was done, Kirwan determined that the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals best fit the idea of depth, while the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and a "tossup" between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers all received honorable mention. Kirwan described the honorable mentions as teams that may not have answers for every question, "but they did better than most teams, hitting on at least nine of the 13."
To get an idea of exactly how many of the 13 criteria the Dolphins met, we went over all 13 categories, looking to see if Miami met the standard. While each question received its own post, linked in the chart below, we now pull the results together to see what the Dolphins' final score was.
The Dolphins hit fairly solidly on nine of the 13, with two question marks and two missing the criteria. The Dolphins have to answer the "pass rush specialist" question as this season begins while second year defensive end Dion Jordan serves a four game suspension. As for the kick and punt returner, Miami may have an answer in Marcus Thigpen, but could be looking to move on from him after a year in which he lost nearly five yards per return on both kicks and punts.
The no answers could also change as the Dolphins work their way through training camp and the preseason. The team currently does not have a true swing tackle, someone who can play both left and right tackle if needed. The concern is the backup left tackle behind Branden Albert, as there is really not a player ideally set-up to be the second string player behind the Pro Bowler. The team will look to use Jason Fox or Nate Garner in that role, with Garner possibly meeting the "swing tackle" definition, but for now, it's a negative answer here.
The second no, a good second tight end, is also a matter of hoping someone develops into the role. Charles Clay broke out last year as the team's starting tight end. Behind him, Michael Egnew, Dion Sims, Arthur Lynch, Kyle Miller, and Harold Hoskins are all hoping to claim the primary backup role, and be ready to play in two tight end sets.
Why Kirwan lists the Dolphins as an honorable mention team is pretty obvious when all 13 questions are laid out. The team is set up well with depth, and could eventually have answers to all 13 questions. Now it's just a matter of developing the depth players and getting execution out of the starters.