With just two days remaining until the NFL Draft kicks off (it’s about damn time), Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier still has his eyes everywhere, including his own roster. Per multiple reports, Grier has traded starting guard Ereck Flowers to the Washington Football Team for a swap of late-round draft picks.
The Dolphins signed Flowers following a strong 2019 season in which the former first-round draft pick moved from tackle to guard and excelled, coincidentally, with Washington. He agreed to a three-year, $30 million pact with the Dolphins, a deal that was front-loaded to ensure the team could move on without significant cap ramifications if need be. With Flowers off the books, Grier has cleared upwards of $8 million from Miami’s salary cap.
The Dolphins now head into the draft with second-year players Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley, and Robert Hunt all set to start. Kindley and Hunt both excelled in the later half of last season at guard and right tackle respectively. That said, many analysts projected prior to the 2020 draft that Hunt could move to guard during his NFL career given his build, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports that is now a distinct possibility.
Dolphins are entertaining moving Robert Hunt to guard full time and filling RT with a free agent, per sources, so this move speaks to that. https://t.co/xcOYm7xB5E— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 27, 2021
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald followed up on Fowler’s report, saying that sources claim the Dolphins are indeed planning to move Hunt to right guard, opening up the possibility for the team to select a right tackle high in the draft.
The Dolphins are indeed moving Robert Hunt to right guard and Penei Sewell is a possibility at pick 6, source tells the Miami Herald.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) April 27, 2021
Regardless of where Hunt lands, expect Kindley to continue stepping up at guard. Just take a look at this play, courtesy of our own Jake Mendel.
Solomon Kindley's first snap at left guard after Ereck Flowers left the game with an injury. pic.twitter.com/8xvhZYrvpa— Jake (@JMendel94) December 7, 2020
If Hunt moves to guard, expect the Dolphins to fill in either Jesse Davis, newly signed veteran D.J. Fluker, a high-end draft pick, or a new free agent signee at right tackle. The team’s top offensive line assets, as the roster currently stands, are Jackson, Hunt, Kindley, Davis, Fluker, free agent signee Matt Skura (likely starting at center), and former Wisconsin Badger Michael Deiter. Adam Pankey and Durval Queiroz Neto round out the depth chart. With Flowers out of the picture and Hunt’s potential move to guard in the fold, a variety of starting-five combinations are now in play for head coach Brian Flores and his staff.