Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?
For a change of pace, I'm going to try to keep this boxers. Wait, brief. Yes. More succinct than my typical drivel.
Every year I put on Chris Grier's hat that I keep stashed under my pillow and pretend to be Miami's GM. It's unbelievably that time of year again and very believably, we fans are again without a Dolphins' Superb Owl.
Whaddya say we fix that?
Before we begin, I just want to take a very boxers sidebar to complain about how completely and utterly asinine it is that the *Patriots won another Superbowl. I don't ask for much. I'm not the type of fan that demands my team run deep into the playoffs every year or else I become a whiny little Crybrady. I just ask that the *Patriots not win. I have a 31/32 chance every season. And yet I still get boned as hard as the ottoman Gronk keeps confusing for a dumpy stripper. I'll cease my frivilous complaining now.
On to frivilous speculation!
If I Could Turn Back Time
To see how good of a GM Past Me was, I'm going to list the picks I suggested we make in 2017 and 2018 along with a 'Where Are They Now' of sorts. Did I do better than the real life Dolphins?
RD1 - Zach Cunningham, LB: 107 Tackles, 2 FF starting for the Texans.
RD2 - Demarcus Walker, DE: 2 career sacks. Closing in on Charles Harris' career mark of 3.
RD3 - Eddie Vanderdoes, DT: Injured all last year. Now we're talking, baby.
RD5 - Kyle Fuller, C: Backup G for Washington. Might be as good as our 5th round backup G.
RD5 - Stacy Coley, WR: No career stats. Backup for NYJ. Solid again.
RD5 - Jalen Myrick, S: No career stats. Backup CB for MIN. Loving this.
RD6 - Sefo Liufau, QB: Not even on an AAF roster. (Memphis Express #WOOWOO)
EgregiousPhilbin: 1 starting LB, 1 bad starting DE, 1 backup G, 1 injured DT
The Real Miami Dolphins: 1 starting LB (McMillan), 1 bad starting DE (Harris), 1 backup G (Asiata), 2 rotational DTs (Taylor, Godchaux)
Edge = Dolphins
Eerily similar output, but Taylor and Godchaux are good late round finds that I didn't have an answer for.
RD1 - Roquan Smith, LB: 122 tackles, 5 sacks as a key part of a top 3 defense. He and Cunningham would make a better set of linebackers than we've seen in a while (no disrespect to McMillan and Baker, both of whom I like).
RD2 - Marcus Allen, S: 2 tackles as a backup S for PIT. A wide miss, Kendra. A wide miss.
RD3 - Sony Michel, RB: 931 yds, 6 TDs in 13 games for the devils up North on the way to yet another Godforsaken Superbowl.
RD4 - Adam Breneman, TE: Retired to become a political operative. Not a typo.
RD6 - Tanner Lee, QB: Backup for JAX. Basically Luke Falk.
RD7 - Bradley Bozeman, C: Backup C for BAL.
RD7 - DaeSean Hamilton, WR: 30 rec, 243 yds, 2 TDs as a slot WR in DEN.
EgregiousPhilbin: 1 backup S, 1 TE with 0 potential, 1 stud LB, 1 stud RB, 1 backup C, 1 starting WR, and a QB who'd have as much chance to start as our current crop
The Real Miami Dolphins: 1 stud S (#Fitzmagic), 2 starting TEs with potential (Gesicki, Smythe), 1 starting LB (Baker), 1 rotational RB (Ballage), 1 starting K (Sanders)
Edge = I'm going to give myself the win on this one. 2 studs, 1 starter, and 2 backups vs. 1 stud, 4 starters, and a lot of hope, but it's probably a toss up. Still, not too bad for completely pretend online nonsense.
Now, TO THE FUTURE!
If I Could Find a Way
I'm going to try to simplify this format and just get to the gettin. If I could make this a pop-up book, I would. By position, here's what I'd do if the Dolphins wanted to put their future in a pair of hands that haven't been on Robert Kraft in a Florida spa. Heyo!
A lot of this took place already and I'm happy with the way the team went. Streamlining the power structure was long overdue and I don't mind keeping Chris Grier since we fans don't really know what his input has been in the preceding successes and failures of the regime. Reggie McKenzie is a nice addition as long as it doesn't muddy the waters when it's time to make decisions.
This also had all of its turmoil before I got my lazy ass to my keyboard. Looking at my notes, Brian Flores was nowhere on my list. But, in my defense, I assume every *Patriots employee is a banshee too busy sucking the lifeblood out of innocent passersby to ever look for a job elsewhere.
I like Flores. I like him more than Gase simply because he's defensive minded and he's humble. His ego seems small enough to fit in a room with other people. I love that he went for some experience with Jim Caldwell and familiarity with a few hires from his staff in NE. His eyes also don't bug out of his skull like he loaded an oxygen tank with cocaine and stapled it to his face. J-E-T-S enjoy-that-guy!
For each player, I'm going to list what I think we should aim for followed by a few options. Don't judge me. This is undoubtedly more work than Tannenbaum ever put into player evaluation. If I list any Free Agent targets, rest assured I'm only interested in them on the cheap. If they don't come cheap, they don't come at all (something something Robert Kraft again).
Byron Tangerfill, despite all of the respect he's gotten from his fans over the years, is as good as gone. I sincerely belive he gave us everything he had. I hope he ends up in a good situation and I wish him all the best. For 2019, give me some guys to evaluate. We might be pleasantly surprised or we might win 3 games. That's cool with me (and Steven Ross, evidently). We can stock up on draft capital and shoot for our 'sure thing' in 2020. Or later. I don't care; just get it right.
Incumbents - Cut Tannehill. Let Osweiler go. Let Fales go. Scout your little hearts out.
Free Agency - No one
Trade - Josh Rosen for a 2nd or later
Draft - Mid rounds
Avoid - Joe Flacco (Thankfully that's been handled for us).
Resign Gore and Bolden and keep on keepin on.
Avoid - Spending money
A big bodied possession WR a la an actually successful DVP would be nice.
Incumbents - Cut DVP. Amendola is a coin flip whether the coaching staff wants him. Butler, Carroo, and Ford can fight it out for the last spot.
Free Agency - Devin Funchess
Draft - Mid rounds
Avoid - Terrelle Pryor
Trust that our new regime will put our young TEs in a position to succeed. Leave it alone this year.
Avoid - Drafting a TE who retires to become a political operative. Or one who commits multiple homicides.
A veteran backup wouldn't hurt, but like all FAs, only at the right (cheap) price.
Incumbents - Resign James. Extend Tunsil as soon as reasonable.
Free Agency - Jordan Mills
Avoid - Letting James walk and replacing him with a different expensive FA
This is the cheap kind of position to buy in Free Agency. Since we are likely cutting Sitton and because Davis is below average, we have 2 spots to fill, so don't rule out FA and the draft both.
Incumbents - Cut Sitton. Cut Larsen. Start over. Get dudes that can play.
Free Agency - Quinton Spain, DJ Fluker, AJ Cann
Draft - Early/mid rounds
Avoid - Doing nothing
I feel about Center the way I feel about Guard, except for doubling down. Either a strong FA or a draft pick because I don't think Kilgore is it, certainly not for the long term. Swanson held his own and would be worth a resign if we can't net a better option.
Incumbents - Resign Swanson if we don't go out of the building for a replacement. Cut Kilgore.
Free Agency - Matt Paradis
Draft - Mid rounds
Avoid - Begging the Chargers for Mike Pouncey back
Seems like we're losing DEs like Christian Hackenberg loses starting spots (RIP buddy). With pass rushers being at such a premium, the DL is where I hope we put our early draft capital to work, whether that's a true DE or versatile DT.
Incumbents - Resign Cam Wake if he wants it. Already cutting Branch and Quinn, and I don't disagree. Let Hayes walk.
Free Agency - None
Draft - Early rounds/same as DT
Avoid - Paying Trey Flowers a billion dollars
I like our young DTs, but wouldn't shy away from either a run stuffing vet or a dominant prospect.
Incumbents - Let Williams and Hood walk.
Free Agency - Danny Shelton, Malcolm Brown
Draft - Early rounds/same as DE
Avoid - Ndamukong Suh
The new defensive scheme will show us how dire a need LB is. Some of our forgotten guys like Chase Allen and Mike Hull might be suited to a Flores brand defense more than someone like Jerome Baker. But he may view none of them as good enough. Or maybe they'll all excel? Like TE, I'm tempted to say we need to give the guys we have a chance in a new scheme. But, just in case, we could look at a FA, if one can be had dirt cheap.
Incumbents - Let Anthony walk. Keep the rest. If they don't blow us away, next offseason, this becomes the focal point.
Free Agency - Preston Brown, Avery Williamson
Avoid - Clay Matthews
Besides replacing our hemorrhaging defensive linemen, CB2 is the highest need in my book. If we can get a complement to X Man, then our defensive options really open up. FA CBs are typically expensive, so if there's no screaming deal, I'd spend in the draft.
Incumbents - Keep everyone and let the bottom churn itself in camp.
Free Agency - Eric Rowe, Darqueze Dennard, Ronald Darby
Draft - Early rounds
Avoid - Jamar Taylor, Vontae Davis
We already have too many. Simmer down.
Avoid - Hiring more Safeties.
We could get Cody Parkey back. Eh? Just me? Our K, P, and immortal LS are all good under the hood.
Avoid - Pissing off John Denney and incurring the Great Wrath of Eru Illuvatar.
I hope the Dolphins trade back and back and back until we're picking in 2029. It's a lottery and we should get all the tickets we can. For the sake of this exercise though, as always, I'll just pick straight down the list. Mock done using Fanspeak draft simulator with default board.
1.13 - Christian Wilkins, DL Clemson
2.16 - Amani Oruwariye, CB Penn State
3.14 - Beau Benzschawel, G Wisconsin
4.14 - Ross Pierschbacher G, Alabama
5.13 - Stanley Morgan, Jr., WR Nebraska
6.15 - DeMarcus Christmas, DL Florida State
7.20 - Jordan Ta'Amu, QB Mississippi
2019 Miami Dolphins M1 Abrams Depth Chart
QB (3) - Luke Falk, Jordan Ta'Amu, Jake Ruddock, Me Probably
RB (4) - Kenyan Drake, Frank Gore, Kalen Ballage, Brandon Bolden
WR (5) - Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Danny Amendola, Jakeem Grant, Stanley Morgan Jr., Brice Butler
TE (4) - Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, Nick O'Leary, Marquise Grey
OL1 (5) - Laremy Tunsil, Beau Benzschawel, Matt Paradis, Ross Pierschbacher, Ja'Wuan James
OL2 (4) - Jordan Mills, Jesse Davis, Jake Brendel, Isaac Asiata
DE (5) - Christian Wilkins, Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, DeMarcus Christmas, Tank Carradine
DT (4) - Danny Shelton, Vincent Taylor, Davon Godchaux, Akeem Spence
WLB (2) - Jerome Baker, Quentin Poling
MLB (2) - Raekwon McMillan, Mike Hull
SLB (2) - Kiko Alonso, Chase Allen
CB (6) - Xavien Howard, Amani Oruwariye, Bobby McCain, Torry McTyer, Jalen Davis, Cordrea Tankersly
FS (2) - Minkah Fitzpatrick, Walt Aikens
SS (2) - Reshad Jones, T.J. McDonald
Special Teams (2 + 1,000,000)
K - Jason Sanders
P - Matt Haack
LS - Charlemagne Tha God
There you have it. Nice and simple. Just look at the flowers, Lenny.
I said this would be short. HAH! Don't you feel like a Gronkowski ottoman right about now?
See you all at the victory parade!
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.