The Miami Dolphins were deliberate and effective in how they attacked the 2017 NFL Draft, grabbing highly rated players at positions of need throughout most of the three-day selection process. They did not “reach” for players and they did make huge jumps up in the Draft in an effort to grab a player who may have still be available at the team’s original pick position.
All-in-all, the Draft was a really solid one for the south Florida franchise.
But, it might not have filled all the holes on the roster. According to the NFL Players Association, the Dolphins still have about $20 million in salary cap space for this year. While some of that money will go toward signing the draft class and some will be saved for in-season signings due to injuries, there is still plenty of money for the Dolphins to consider signing a remaining free agent.
Who is still available? We found five players who could be a consideration for the Dolphins:
(Caveat: I do not necessarily see Miami needing to go get any of these players, and there has not seemed to be any reportable interest. There are just options that could be out there for consideration.)
LeGarrette Blount, RB
Blount is still available after his 299 carry, 1,161 yards, 18 touchdown performance last year with the New England Patriots. Those 18 touchdowns led the NFL. That is pretty improceessive for a guy who had not broken 1,000 yards since his rookie season in 2010. Despite having the most carries in his career last year, almost 100 more than that 2010 season, Blount is not going to be an every-down type of back for anyone this year, but he could provide some relief carries and depth behind a player like Jay Ajayi. The Dolphins technically do not have Damien Williams back yet - he cannot negotiate with another team, but he has not signed his restricted free agent tender either - so adding Blount could be a move to solidify the running back group with or without Williams.
Jairus Byrd, S
The Dolphins could be comfortable with the safeties they have on the roster already, but they could also be considering a free safety addition at some point. Reshad Jones will obviously return as the team’s strong safety after his should injury last year, but the free safety position might be made up of some combination of Nate Allen, T.J. McDonald (suspended for the first eight weeks of the season), and Michael Thomas. Byrd could come in and give Miami another option in that group.
Jared Odrick, DT
Miami added two rookies to provide rotational depth behind Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. They also have Nick Williams and Lawrence Okoye on the roster, but adding a depth veteran could be a solid move to ensure the team has the players they need to rotate into the lineup as games progress.
Austin Pasztor, OL
A five-year veteran who is still only 26, Pasztor has experience playing right tackle and both guard positions. From that sense, he seems to fit the Dolphins’ prototype of an offensive lineman and could give the team some reserve options for multiple positions on the line. He started all 16 games last year with the Cleveland Browns, primarily as a right tackle.
Nick Mangold, C
Could the long-time New York Jets center provide depth for Mike Pouncey in the middle of the Dolphins’ offensive line? Miami is optimistic that Pouncey will be healthy this year, but preparing for a “just-in-case” scenario is not a bad thing. Anthony Steen should be better this year after filling in for Pouncey last year, but Mangold could provide depth if needed.