Since the Miami Dolphins season ended back in December, there has been much talk as to what they are going to do with the linebacker position. Over the course of the season, it was a unit that struggled despite seeing the emergence of Jelani Jenkins. On Tuesday afternoon from the league meetings in Phoenix, head coach Joe Philbin brought some clarity to the situation.
To begin, he said that Dion Jordan would not be moving to the linebacker position, even though it’s something they have considered for the past several months. The reason for this is that the coaching staff wants him to concentrate and focus on learning how to rush the passer. As a linebacker, Philbin noted that he cannot do that. Although the team will be keeping him at defensive end the majority of the time, Phibin noted that they will still continue to use him in a variety of ways as they have done in the past.
With one piece of the puzzle now figured out, it was time to turn the attention to Koa Misi, who was moved to the middle linebacker position in 2014. When asked about it, Philbin didn’t exactly give Misi a ringing endorsement and instead, said that he was the middle linebacker for now.
With the top middle linebackers off the already week free agent linebacker market, it could be assumed that the team will look to upgrade that position in the draft within the first two rounds. There are several players who can start from day one and the Dolphins might be targeting one of them so they can move Misi back to the outside.
If they don’t draft a middle linebacker, Misi would likely return to the middle spot and Philbin said that Chris McCain and Jordan Tripp would then compete for the other outside linebacker position. Philbin said that the staff has a lot of confidence in both of them and feels they can step up to the plate if their name is called upon.
It’s that time of the year where there are plenty of smokescreens so it’s not easy to take whatever anyone says as gospel. With that said, it looks like Philbin did drop some hints with the direction the team wants to go in and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dolphins target a middle linebacker in round one of the upcoming NFL Draft.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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