Many have speculated that 4 out of the 5 line spots are already set. 2 time Pro Bowler Branden Albert at Left Tackle. First Round Draft Pick Laremy Tunsil at Left Guard. Former First Rounder and 3 time Pro Bowler Mike Pouncey at Center and Former First Rounder Ja’Wuan James at Right Tackle. The credentials are impressive but the production hasn’t been… yet.
The only question mark on this Line is the Right Guard position and the Dolphins have put themselves in a position to have 4-5 capable players battle it out in camp to let the best possible fit rise to the top and solidify this years Offensive Line. These are the players in play for that spot and my prediction for the eventual starter.
JERMON BUSHROD – Bushrod has spent many years in the NFL as an above average Left Tackle. He comes to Miami with a resume that includes 2 Pro Bowl appearances and being the blind side anchor to New Orleans Super Bowl run. At 31 Bushrod’s days as a Left Tackle are behind him. With nagging back injuries and coming off of a shoulder injury Bushrod is facing an uphill battle to be an everyday difference maker for this team. For the Right Guard position though he is equipped with a powerful hands at the point of attack and still has the ability to get to the second level and knock smaller defenders backwards. He’s a smart veteran that knows how to play to his strengths and mask his weaknesses
BILLY TURNER – Turner was drafted with a day 2 pick and expectations were high for this developmental prospect out of North Dakota State. In his few opportunities in game action he turned in inconsistent play. Turner has the strength and athleticism to be a star interior lineman. All of his negative plays start with technique, footwork, hand placement. This coaching staff is billed as building players up through technique and scheme fit. Turner should benefit from this type of tweaking to bring out his full potential.
KRAIG URBIK – Kraig Urbik is the definition of a lunch pale guy. He’s a savvy veteran who understands his strengths and weaknesses and uses them to his benefit. He’s not the strongest but he’s strong enough, he’s not the most athletic but he’s athletic enough. He uses good leverage and has a strong punch. He’s a steady performer, team first guy who uses technique and veteran smarts to find himself in advantageous situations.
JAMIL DOUGLAS – Everybody remembers the snap. The snap against the Colts that came early that ended in him being bull rushed into Tannehill to end the game. Douglas didn’t have a stellar season. He was drafted as a freakishly strong and athletic Guard prospect. He’s another technique guy who needs to learn how to translate his Strength into Functional Game day Strength. He often waited for the action to come to him in lew of being on the aggressive. He’s a guy that I wouldn’t write off because of a poor rookie season. He still has plenty of upside and is a guy that Gase’s coaching staff will enjoy working with.
PROJECTED STARTER – BILLY TURNER
Regardless of who ultimately wins the starting job in September, an emphasis on cross training at multiple positions means the Dolphins are deep at a position that has been a liability for years.