Monday, June 4, 2012
AFC East offseason report card: Dolphins
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins are the final installment of our AFC East offseason report cards.
What I liked: Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland received a lot of heat this offseason. The best thing he could do to relieve the pressure was to have a solid draft. By most accounts, he accomplished that goal. First-round pick Ryan Tannehill is the quarterback of the future and second-rounder Jonathan Martin is the right tackle of the present. Miami also has high hopes for local University of Miami products Lamar Miller and Olivier Vernon and rookie tight end Michael Egnew. The Dolphins could be competitive if they get instant production from the draft. Miami didn't make a significant impact in free agency, but nickel corner Richard Marshall should help.
What I didn't like: I have a lot of questions about what Miami is doing on offense. It started with getting rid of No. 1 receiver Brandon Marshall. I understand the character concerns, but the Dolphins should’ve had a better plan to replace Marshall. Instead, the Dolphins didn’t do much and now have the one of the worst receiver groups in the NFL. Brian Hartline (35 receptions in 2011) will be asked to be the No. 1 receiver. That’s not a good match for a West Coast offense, which relies heavily on precision passing. Potential starting quarterback David Garrard also has a lot to prove after missing football in 2011. Miami’s new-look defense should be solid but there are questions at safety.