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Miami Dolphins’ roster ranks #3 in ESPN’s initial 2023 NFL Unit Grades

On paper, the Dolphins have one of the best rosters in the NFL heading into next season.

SPORTS-FBN-DOLPHINS-49ERS-PREVIEW-MI David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Last season, the Miami Dolphins’ season ended in disappointment. A strong start to the season was overshadowed by multiple losing streaks, and the team’s inability to perform well in big spots proved costly. However, heading into next season, things are looking up.

According to ESPN’s Mike Clay, as things stand, the Dolphins have the 3rd-best roster in the NFL, just behind the Philadelphia Eagles (1st) and Dallas Cowboys (2nd), and slightly ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals (3rd) and Buffalo Bills (4th). Breaking it down even further, Miami’s defense ranks #1 in the NFL, and their offense comes in at #13.

Immediately, a #1 ranking for the Dolphins’ defense stands out as particularly impressive. While Miami’s offensive exploits are well known around the league, their defense was remarkably poor in 2022, finishing the season 24th in total points allowed, 18th in total yards allowed, and 31st in takeaways. But, the additions of cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker David Long in free agency will go a long way next season, and definitely play a huge part in the Dolphins’ improvement in these rankings.

Of course, it’s important to note that at this point in the year, a roster is just that—a roster. Simply names on a spreadsheet, who regardless of talent, haven’t actually done anything on an NFL field together. Crucially, Clay’s rankings don’t factor in coaching either, nor are they set in stone. As the year goes on, and as players switch teams, these rankings will inevitably fluctuate to reflect those changes.

However, these rankings aren’t to be brushed off either. Regardless of how things turn out this season, it’s a fact that the Dolphins’s roster currently sits amongst the league’s best teams, which points to the tremendous work that general manager Chris Grier and head coach Mike McDaniel have done in assembling this team.

What do you think of these rankings? Should the Dolphins be higher? Lower? Let us know in the comments below!