The offensive line is the key to the offense, and adding UTEP's Will Hernandez could keep Tannehill clean and keep the Dolphins in the hunt for the playoffs.
As we all know, the Dolphins have had a poor offensive line in recent years. In the 2014 and 2015 seasons the offense allowed 46 and 45 sacks, respectively. Tannehill broke 4,000 yards both of those seasons, but the Dolphins also finished with 8-8 and 6-10 records for those two seasons.
And as we all know, that's the ultimate bottom line.
Then something changed. In 2016 Tannehill was having a career year with just shy of 3,000 yards and his best QBR to date. The Dolphins were finding a groove and just coming along until an unfortunate knee injury took Tannehill out for the remainder of the season in week 14. The Dolphins had only allowed 29 sacks until that point, the lowest of Tannehill’s career. The Dolphins were able to recover still under Matt Moore and make it to the playoffs, only to make a first round exit at the hands of the Steelers.
They ended up giving up 30 sacks total on the season and 33 in 2017. Clearly there have been strides made to shore up the line, but they could make more.
The point here is this: Tannehill is much more valuable to the Dolphins team on his feet, rather than on his back. Here is where Hernandez would come in mighty handy. Sure, I’ve heard the argument that he is undersized, but at 6’3 and 330 pounds. I think he will do just fine (NFL average for O-linemen is: 6’5, 312 lbs). Hernandez is a quick brute of a man. Much like that of Richie Incognito, who has had quite the career.
Here are the things that jump out when looking at Hernandez:
These are all very good attributes would help sure up both the run and passing game. Larsen has been a decent option for the Dolphins, but at 30 with not stellar production and basically no upside they may need to look in a new direction.
Hernandez does struggle in open space trying to get the block, and with defenders who are able to extend and keep him from getting in. All in all he would still be an upgrade and breathe of fresh air to the O-line. Also he is predicted to be a 2-3 round talent which makes him a very good option for the Dolphins.
Hernandez has a ton of upside and can clean up defenders. The Dolphins need more from the offensive line to be successful. If they limit the pressure and give Tannehill the time to get the ball out there will be a much higher chance of success in the future. We have seen it happen, and hopefully the Dolphins will address the line early and often in this draft to keep the playoff hopes alive, both for next season and hopefully many more to come.
This story was written by Nate Tucek. Follow him on Twitter: @ntucek
What is there to say about Jarvis Landry that hasn't already been said?
Landry wants to get paid, and quite frankly, the man deserves to be paid. His career so far has him at just over 4,000 yards and right at 400 receptions, he has shown that he has both the ability and determination to be a dynamic part of any offense. So why aren’t the Dolphins paying him the money he wants?
Well, for starters, Landry has been known to have a little too much passion at the wrong times, which can be a detriment to a team in crunch time. He also has dealt with some off-the-field issues over this last season. The Dolphins don’t want to give him top-dollar because they are scared of what he might cost the team if he doesn’t figure out how to contain that fire that the fans definitely love.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the big dogs upstairs aren’t paying him because of a receiver that they could potentially get at the 11th spot in this upcoming draft: Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk.
Kirk has shown himself to be a top 20 draft talent in this upcoming draft, so there is the potential for Miami to actually land him, yet I surprisingly haven’t heard the Dolphins as being linked to Kirk. He makes so much sense for them to take. Especially if we let someone as sure-handed and deadly with the ball as Landry, walk.
Kirk is roughly the same size as Landry - both register in at 5'11" and roughly 200 pounds - and also gets a ton of receptions each year. Kirk has solid hands and is actually more of a vertical target than what Miami gets from Landry. He has great speed and explosiveness to make it very difficult to guard him one-on-one. In the Belk Bowl, a game in which he didn’t have to even play in, Kirk made 13 receptions for 189 yards and three touchdowns.
Now I know Wake Forest isn’t playing with the blue chips, but to show that kind of heart in a bowl game that means nothing to a man who is about to make millions shows me how dedicated this guy is to his team.
I'll end this by saying that I believe the Dolphins should try their very best to keep Jarvis Landry on the team. I’m sure the fans want him back, the coaches want him back, and I can guarantee you that Ryan Tannehill wants him back. But, at the end of the day the NFL is a business, and the Dolphins have shown in the last 10-15 years that they don’t handle business well.
I will say that in the last couple of years we have finally started to keep our own home-grown talent, but that’s not to say we will get to keep Landry. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him making spectacular plays on another team next year, and you shouldn’t be either, but if he is just hope that Miami grabs Kirk to make it a little less bitter.
This story was written by Nate Tucek: Follow him on Twitter: @ntucek
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