There are two things that are undeniable about the Miami Dolphins within the last year. First, the Dolphins want to put their 2019 season behind them. Second, Miami has had the best offseason and NFL Draft combination out of any team in the league heading into the 2020 season.
2019 Woes Plagued Dolphins Weekly
The 2019 NFL season was one to forget. The team went 5-11 behind a rookie coach and allowed more points scored than any other team in the NFL. On top of that, it had a bottom-five offense in terms of yardage and was bottom-seven in terms of scoring.
The Dolphins also started the season with six consecutive losses before etching their name in the win column during week eight. That was due in-part to them struggling to settle on a starting quarterback up until that point.
Trading Broke Team Down Even Before the Season
Miami made very few moves to progress itself for the 2019 regular season and some could say that they made even more moves to take talent away from the team.
On Aug. 31, the Dolphins traded their starting wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans. They followed that up by trading starting running back Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 28. This practically left wide receiver DeVante Parker to be the offensive weapon by himself.
Parker Broke Out When Ultimately Left Alone
No. 11 came away with 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns- the only position player on the Dolphins with more than 600 yards on the season. The two quarterbacks on the team, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, combined for just over 4,000 passing yards on the season, but their combined 21 passing touchdowns is short of anything special. Statistically, things couldn’t get much worse for Miami.
New Tides in South Beach
Things changed going into the offseason.
The Dolphins made moves to directly improve the current roster. By far the best move by Miami this offseason was when it drafted QB Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa was the second overall QB prospect and the Dolphins put in work all offseason to decide on their next franchise-hopeful-player.
The team also came away with a handful of linemen with its remaining picks. Miami used pick numbers 18, 39, 111 and 185 all on the position. With the 27th ranked offense and a tie for the dead last sack ranking in 2019, those picks should correlate to some better offensive production and QB protection for the team.
Miami managed to snag cornerback Byron Jones, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive backs Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson in free agency, which should provide much needed support to new defensive coordinator Josh Boyer’s inexperienced defense. The group will be nice additions to the Dolphins’ pass defense with Xavien Howard already being a heavy presence in the Dolphins’ secondary.
Miami also added running back Jordan Howard to its roster as well. It may not be much of a battle for him to get the starting position, considering Fitzpatrick led the team in rushing last season, but he will have to watch out for 49ers transfer Matt Breida.
Will Successful Offseason Reap Rewards Quickly?
The moves the Miami Dolphins have made with the 2020 offseason will likely prove to be effective in the upcoming season. It’s doubtful the team will do a full circle and come out on top of the division, but without QB Tom Brady in the AFC East, and a reshuffle of team-order coming, anything can happen.