The Miami Dolphins are projected to be among the worst teams in the NFL in 2019. The Dolphins are rebuilding a franchise that has been band-aid and patched multiple times through multiple coaching and front office regimes, leading to a rough salary cap situation, older players on expensive contracts, and a continuing period of mediocrity. As they start a deliberate attempt to get out of that issue, the immediate future looks bleak for the franchise.
That does not mean the immediate future is the long-term future for the Dolphins, and, despite being seen as among the league’s worst for 2019, there is some hope for the Dolphins. After adding a rookie like defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft then using a trade and some maneuvering to turn a second round pick into a 2020 second-round choice and 2018 tenth-overall pick, quarterback Josh Rosen, the Dolphins are looking to set themselves up to turn this rebuilding into a short stay near the bottom.
In NFL.com’s post-Draft power rankings, Elliot Harrison sees exactly that. Moving Miami down one spot to the 32nd and last position, Harrison writes about Miami’s future, explaining:
The Dolphins aren’t playing around, huh? Christian Wilkins (No. 13 overall) should step in and start from Day 1. On a team undergoing much roster turnover, including the installation of a younger nucleus, Wilkins’ character, as much as his talent, will play a role in that locker room. Part of the youth movement was the acquisition of Josh Rosen from the Cardinals in exchange for the 62nd pick. Think about that: This guy went 10th overall last year. Come on. Third-round pick Michael Deiter (No. 78 overall) can do everything, which is why he started double-digit games at left tackle, left guard and center -- he can also show up to fix your cable in the first 20 minutes of that four-hour appointment window. Did you know he and his fellow offensive linemen met at Red Robin every week to discuss issues and take down 19,000 calories? They called it the “Red Robin High Council” ... not to be confused with the Fellowship of the Ring. You’re welcome. Miami might not be down here for long.
The Dolphins may have jump started their rebuild with the trade for Rosen. If the former UCLA quarterback cannot live up to the potential that saw the Arizona Cardinals move up to select him tenth overall last year, then Miami can move on from him without any major impact to their salary cap. He could also be seen as the backup to a quarterback they select in the 2020 NFL Draft.
If Rosen does show that potential for the Dolphins, however, they will now be ahead of where they were projected to be in 2020, and can start building the weapons around Rosen. It really was a good deal for the Dolphins, and they should be able to start building themselves out of the league’s basement.