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Miami Dolphins offseason needs 2017: Defense dominates fan poll results

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins had a highly successful season, one that saw them make the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2008, despite the common pre-season prediction that they were a four to six win team this year. Unfortunately, the team lost their Wildcard Round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and, while the Playoffs are still ongoing, we are turning toward 2017 offseason analysis of the team.

We started that last week by asking you, the fans of the team, to take a look at the Dolphins’ roster, and determine their biggest needs. We asked you to vote in a survey ordering all of the positions (minus running back because we somehow left it off - but I will trust Jay Ajayi to continue to man the position with Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake behind him). Now, we take a look at the results.

Based on your votes, each position was given a score, 12 points for a first place vote down to one point for a 12th place vote. The overall points were then averaged over the 1,200 votes received, and the needs were ranked by that average.

Not surprisingly, the defense ranked highly in your rankings. There were defensive positions in the all three of the top three sports, four of the top five, and all six defensive positions were in the top nine. Breaking up the defensive domination in the top five was guard in the fourth spot.

If there was any surprise, it probably was defensive end in the third position above cornerback and defensive tackle, which got a lot of attention throughout the year. That said, defensive end is probably the right choice from among those three as the team needs to find some youth to put behind their veterans, youth they can develop for whenever those vets retire. The team does need to add cornerback and defensive tackle depth, but defensive end might be a bigger need.

Guard makes sense on the offensive line, with Miami continue to work on upgrades for the line. The Dolphins could be looking to replace Jermon Bushrod as the starting right guard, as well as looking for the left guard to replace Laremy Tunsil whenever the team moves their 2016 first-round pick out to left tackle whenever Branden Albert retires or leaves the team.

Here is how you ranked all of the Dolphins’ needs this season:

  1. Outside linebacker (457 first place votes, 10.30 average score)
  2. Middle linebacker (454 first place votes, 9.06 average score)
  3. Defensive end (60 first place votes, 8.63 average score)
  4. Guard (34 first place votes, 8.42 average score)
  5. Cornerback (80 first place votes, 7.81 average score)
  6. Tight end (16 first place votes, 7.62 average score)
  7. Center (9 first place votes, 6.01 average score)
  8. Defensive tackle (18 first place votes, 5.92 average score)
  9. Safety (18 first place votes, 5.82 average score)
  10. Offensive tackle (11 first place votes, 4.83 average score)
  11. Wide receiver (9 first place votes, 2.67 average score)
  12. Quarterback (25 first place votes, 2.27 average score)