Earlier this week, we took a look at the Miami Dolphins on the 2022 edition of the ESPN positional rankings across the NFL. In those listings, we found Tyreek Hill ranked as the fifth-best wide receiver, Xavien Howard as the fourth-best cornerback, Jevon Holland as the first honorable mention safety, and Christian Wilkins among the defensive tackles receiving votes. The annual poll of “more than 50 league executives, scouts, and players” continued on Thursday with the tight ends and concluded on Friday with the offensive tackles. The Dolphins were represented on both lists.
At tight end, Mike Gesicki appears as the first honorable mention. ESPN staff writer Jeremy Fowler wrote of Gesicki:
One of the game’s best vertical tight ends, Gesicki was targeted on 22.2% of his routes last season, resulting in 73 catches for 780 yards and two scores. Voters are torn on his tight end merits. “He’s a negative as a blocker,” an NFL personnel director said. “Has redeeming qualities in the pass game, but that’s not a tight end to me, even though the game is going that way.” Added an AFC scout: “High floor, low ceiling. Kind of like boom or bust in fantasy but in real life.”
Terron Armstead, who signed with the Dolphins in free agency this year, landed as the 10th ranked offensive tackle. Fowler wrote:
After being a fixture in the top five over the past two years, Armstead’s fall to No. 10 is a slight surprise. Miami sees him as a top-shelf tackle after giving him a five-year, $75 million free agency deal this offseason, but he has missed 48 games in nine seasons, and some teams didn’t love his 2021 tape.
“He’s still an above-average pass-blocker; his run-blocking wasn’t great, which is interesting considering where he signed,” an AFC executive said. “The Miami offense will be run-heavy with [coach] Mike McDaniel, probably with designed passes for Tua [Tagovailoa] and keepers.”
But a high-ranking NFL personnel man saw that as a strength: “That system needs tackles with athleticism in space, and Armstead still has that.”
Armstead’s 74.2% run block win rate was 28th among tackles last season, and his 89.8% pass block win rate would have been just outside the top 20 had it qualified (he missed nine games last season).
On a side-note, former Dolphins first-round pick turned never-ending-trade-value and current Houston Texans tackle Laremy Tunsil came in as the sixth-ranked played at the position.
The Dolphins now have six players who are either considered a top ten player at their position, or are close enough to have garnered votes and mentioning. Miami has to put together the on-field results of a team with so many elite-level players. The 2022 season should be one in which the Dolphins return to the national spotlight, especially if these players want to be back on the lists next year, and if any other players from the team want to join them.