Each offseason, each NFL team focuses on at least one area in need of an upgrade. So what aspect of the Miami Dolphins is looking better these days?
Training camp begins later this month for all 32 NFL teams. So that means another preview series from End Zone Score. Dating back to early March, we have taken time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers and previewed an up-and-coming player for each franchise.
Contrary to popular opinions, no team in the league is perfect. That’s why there’s a constant search for talent when it comes to this game. Each club has done its best to bolster its roster. So in this instance, we are going to take a glance at each franchise and pinpoint the department in which it made the most strides this offseason. We’re going division by division this time around. We are starting with the AFC East and have already looked at the New England Patriots. Now we’ll preview the Miami Dolphins.
One of the first moves we saw around the league this offseason was the Miami Dolphins sending left tackle Branden Albert to the Jacksonville Jaguars for tight end Julius Thomas. It filled an area of need for both clubs. For Adam Gase’s team, it’s another way to diversify its passing game. This past season, the Dolphins didn’t get a lot from the position as now-retired Jordan Cameron caught only eight passes in his three appearances. Dion Sims, now a member of the Chicago Bears, totaled 26 receptions – four for scores. But he averaged just 9.8 yards per grab and was fifth on the team in catches.
Thomas spent the past two seasons with the Jaguars after four years with the Denver Broncos. It was his last two seasons in the Mile High City (primarily with quarterback Peyton Manning) that saw him score 24 touchdowns in 27 regular-season outings. Over these past two seasons, he missed 11 games due to injuries. But Thomas still showed a nose for the end zone, totaling nine scores on 76 receptions in 21 contests. Surrounded by wideouts such as Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker, he should thrive in Gase’s attack.
But arguably the better news is the return of 11-year pro Anthony Fasano to the organization he spent five seasons with from 2008-12. While he’s never put up huge numbers in terms of receptions, he’s Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked tight end when it comes to run-blocking. He’s also Top 5 in terms of pass protection. That adds up to good news for both quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Jay Ajayi.
A season ago, the Miami Dolphins returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. They may still have some issues when it comes to their defense. But the additions of Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano make for an excellent 1-2 punch at tight end.