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Being Chris Grier: What Would You Do at the Guard Position for 2019?

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Josh Sitton and Jesse Davis? Keep one, draft a replacement? Replace both?

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The debate will rage on as to what the Miami Dolphins should do with their 1st round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Theories will ebb and flow, most notably during free agency when NFL teams shorten their lists of needs and attempt to go into the draft being able to choose the top talent on the board without being pigeonholed by needs. Some teams have that luxury, many do not.

The Miami Dolphins have publicly mentioned a desire to build the trenches in 2019 during Stephen Ross’ post-season press conference. You have every right to question its validity during “Smokescreen Season” as some may think it’s a distraction from the Dolphins’ true intentions of getting a new QB. However, if we take the report at face value, “the trenches” are in the front office’s crosshairs.

The Dolphins brain trust will most certainly look into shaping the defensive line, perhaps the most volatile position group on the team at the moment. “The trenches” no doubt involve the interior offensive line as well, as injuries decimated the interior line by the halfway point of the season. Although Daniel Kilgore is still a relative unknown in aqua-and-orange, and not a shoo-in at center by any stretch of the imagination, I wanted to focus on guard if simply because it captures our desire to completely erase ever having to think about the ghost of Dallas Thomas or Billy Turner again.

Poll

What would you do at guard?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Keep Sitton, replace Davis
    (271 votes)
  • 18%
    Keep Davis, replace Sitton
    (223 votes)
  • 35%
    Keep both
    (426 votes)
  • 21%
    Replace both
    (265 votes)
  • 1%
    Shut up, SUTTON. You’re stupid. Offensive line, dude? Really, offensive line? Your article was about the offensive line? Can’t wait to see your next article on chin straps and mouth guards.
    (24 votes)
1209 votes total Vote Now

Option #1: Keep Sitton, replace Davis

When I saw my beloved team sign a noteworthy guard in the 2018 off-season, my antennae was at its most upright position (not a penis metaphor). Holy moly, do we actually care about guard now? Of course, Josh Sitton would get injured in the opening game vs. the Tennessee Titans and miss the remainder of the season. He’ll be 33 going into the 2019 season — a 1st or 2nd team All-Pro from 2013-2015 and 4-time Pro Bowler (2012, 2014-2016). He could eliminate one hole if he returns healthy.

The caveat is that he can be released for $5 million in cap savings.

Option #2: Keep Davis, replace Sitton

I thought Jesse Davis had better potential at right tackle, but it seemed like a no-brainer to have Jesse Davis slide into the right guard spot for 2018. Davis was named the starter in late May during OTA’s and the last bow wrapped on a new offensive line. Sadly, it worked as well as Ricky passing a drug test.

Davis emerged from 2018 as PFF’s 57th ranked guard (out of a qualifying 77), won’t turn 28 until the beginning of the 2019 regular season, and is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, which simply means the Dolphins own him for cheap if the Dolphins so choose. If you’re not looking to do all the trench modification in one off-season, then you may want to retain a cheap guard that can possibly give you average guard play for a year.

Option #3: Keep both

The “by design” 2018 Dolphins offensive line got to play together for one game. The Dolphins have no idea if this line would’ve been a productive unit or not — the possibility exists to try it all over again. I admit that this scenario seems unlikely given the higher chance of roster turnover under a new coaching regime, but considering how many possible holes on the trenches exist, the front office may find it prudent to focus on the defensive line (or perhaps the value on the board more aligns with a DE or DT investment).

Sitton brings a veteran presence to the OL and Jesse Davis just spent his first season at right guard. Perhaps the front office sees bigger fish to fry, pardon the masochistic pun there.

Option #4: Replace both

If the Dolphins are taking the “long-term” approach, there’s little reason to start a known middling player (Davis) or an injury risk (Sitton), especially if the Dolphins are looking to develop consistency and camaraderie on the offensive line before a rookie QB comes into the fold.

That’s not to say Jesse Davis wouldn’t be kept as guard and swing tackle help, but in this scenario, the Dolphins are looking at filling both starting spots in the draft and/or free agency. This is a highly capable guard class, in my opinion — you could argue half a dozen guards could go in the top 100.

What would you do? Let me know in the Comments!