clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How will the Miami Dolphins replace linebacker Elandon Roberts?

Former sixth-round pick Elandon Roberts played 17 games in two of three seasons with the Miami Dolphins

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins made significant moves with the additions of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey. The duo joins a roster of players that jump off the page — cornerback Xavien Howard, linebacker Bradley Chubb, and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins — Miami’s defense features plenty of star-power players.

It was a busy offseason for general manager Chris Grier as more than half the team’s roster entered free agency following the 2022 season. Elandon Roberts, a three-year starter for the Dolphins, signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Miami went in a different direction by signing former Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long Jr. and giving Andrew Van Ginkel snaps at inside linebacker during minicamp.

It isn’t a position that could hamstring Miami’s defense, but replacing Roberts won’t be easy. The former sixth-round pick was active for 17 games in back-to-back seasons and flashed flexibility at the second level.

Roberts closed the 2022 season with 95 tackles and a career-high 45 sacks in Josh Boyer’s blitz-happy defense. He was one of the league’s top blitzing inside linebackers last season but played a different role when Brian Flores was head coach.

Roberts had fewer tackles in 2021, 77, but also knocked down three passes and captured his first career pick-six — taking a Derek Carr pass 82 yards back to the house.

Long intercepted two passes in back-to-back seasons and registered a career-high 86 tackles a season ago. Additionally, Van Ginkel's experience gives him a running start at the position — if Miami decides to go in that direction — and there’s always a chance a rookie can emerge during the preseason.

That said, stepping in and replacing a two-time Super Bowl champion who tackled a dude through another due is no easy task.