The Miami Dolphins´ offensive success in 2016 depended greatly on the health and continuity of their offensive line. When the starters played, we saw greatness from Jay Ajayi and the passing game through Ryan Tannehill. However, when injuries struck, we saw a great drop in quality in the unit. Therefore, the team must turn to the draft and free agency to build depth.
One possible target in the draft is Pittsburgh Panthers OL Dorian Johnson, who has been to be one of the best left-side linemen in all of college football along with his fellow teammate Adam Bisnowaty.According to ESPN, four-star recruit Johnson was ranked second offensive tackle behind Miami Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil.
In 2016, Johnson was named the First Team All-American and the First Team All-ACC. According to the Pittsburgh Panthers official website, Johnson’s stats are as follows: First team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), ESPN.com, SI.com and Sporting News…became the first Pitt offensive lineman to earn first-team All-America honors in 22 years (Ruben Brown,1994).
Johnson additionally was a first-team All-ACC selection by the media and coaches…finished third in the coaches’ voting for the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy with 13 points, behind only repeat winner Roderick Johnson of Florida State (16 points) and Pitt teammate Adam Bisnowaty (15 points)…started all 13 games at left guard…finished his career with a streak of 40 consecutive starts dating back to the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (vs.Bowling Green) his freshman season…played in 51 total games with 42 starting assignments for his career.(via Temple school website)
Another possible target for the team is Dion Dawkins of the Temple Owls. Dawkins has had his fair share of legal issues, But, he considers it to be a small bump in the general lookof his life and career, like Tunsil, Dawkins has a good view for himself and where he will go in the NFL and his stats and personality show it. According to the Temple Owls official website, Johnson’s 2016 honors are as follows:
Senior Bowl invitation ... All-American Athletic Conference First Team (AAC, Phil Steele) ...ECAC First Team All-Star ... Eastern Football/Metro Football Writer´s Offensive Lineman ofthe Week (UCF) ... Offensive Effort Player of the Week (Stony Brook). According to NFL Draft Tracker, Dawkins is a “quality tackle who operates with good balance and solid technique.” He starts out fast and “smooth kick-slide” out of his posture but he´s probably better suited as a guard. He is quite powerful and his wide-hand might be difficult tobreak. Dion Dawkins is “well-schooled, three-year starter who has chance to transition into an early starter.”
Both of this guys would provide an instant boost to an offensive line that struggled with depth last season. Either player would likely compete for starting time their rookie year, and would at worst provide needed depth should a starter go down with injury. Both are projected 2nd-3rd round picks.