Lets get this out of the way first and foremost. On paper, the Miami Dolphins have done a stellar job in replenishing certain positions on the roster where players did not fit the scheme. Wide receiver is one case in point.
Yet, the Dolphins continue to roll the dice at the offensive guard position.
True. One of Jeffrey Linkenbach, Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner, Jacques McClendon and Jamil Douglas SHOULD start at one of the guard positions. But asking for two of these players which to become starters is only asking for trouble. In reality, all of these players are decent back-ups, but should not be relied upon to take most of the snaps on offense.
As of present, the script reads that Turner will start at right guard, while the left guard position is an open competition - but mainly between Thomas and Douglas.
Thomas has had numerous opportunities to start at multiple positions on the offensive line. However at this point, he appears to be a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. He's a decent run blocker, but his pass protection still needs work after two year; a critical attribute that all offensive linemen in Miami's zone blocking should be fundamentally sound at.
Jamil Douglas is the opposite. His main strength lies in pass protection, but his run blocking needs refinement. Douglas also needs a season in the weight room in order to anchor when in pass protection. He needs to learn his craft, just like Billy Turner did last season. Douglas is a player I like, and can be the starter at left guard for many years to come, but he isn't ready yet.
If the Miami Dolphins well and truly want to make the playoffs, this front office need to consider other options at offensive guard. Whether they bring in Evan Mathis, hope another veteran guard hits the free agent market or experiment with other players currently on the roster (including, Jason Fox), this team needs to be proactive rather than reactive.
Miami, go and get us a guard.
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @AlexParish89.