Is there any life left for the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances?

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After the Miami Dolphins Week 1 victory over the New England Patriots, the season has not gone quite as expected. While Week 1 left many questioning the Dolphins’ offensive production, a win came nonetheless. After starting QB Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the Dolphins Week 2 matchup against the Buffalo Bills after playing nine snaps, those questions were replaced with much harder ones. Since having 10:41 left on the clock in the first quarter of Week 2, fans seem to be watching the Miami Dolphins playoff chances fade away. But just how low are they? 

Status of the Miami Dolphins offense

Week 3 featured back-up QB Jacoby Brissett’s first start during Tua’s absence with fractured ribs. Despite coming playing in relief of Tua in Week 2, Brissett still couldn’t get the offense moving during the Bills 35-0 shellacking of Miami. After two early touchdowns for the Dolphins in Week 3, it looked like things were heading for another tragic day. The Las Vegas Raiders scored 25 unanswered points, including a safety featuring some very questionable decision-making. Miami roared back into the game, tying it at the end of regulation, but fell short to the Raiders 31-28 in overtime. 

There is some good news for Miami. First, after being placed on the injured reserve after Week 2, Tua should be cleared to return for Miami’s Week 6 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Secondly, Brissett is a solid back-up should be able to snag one win in Tua’s absence. Lastly, the defense is continuing to force turnovers and make things difficult for their opponents. The points allowed total looks bad, but when a defense is asked to go out repeatedly without support from its offense, the opponent will tire them out quickly.

Now let’s get into the bad news. The offensive line is still a disaster. Buffalo sacked the QB six times in Week 2, while the Raiders snagged two of their own and forced a safety. The unit as a whole is the Achilles heel of this Dolphins squad and holds the key to their playoff chances. If they stand any chance of making it to the 2021 postseason they need to make some changes in the offensive trenches immediately.

A look at the rest of the Dolphins’ season

While things seem to be trending down, a look at the rest of the schedule does not necessarily spell doom for the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances. Before we jump into this, it is worth noting that it is still very early in the season. However, here’s the rest of the Dolphins 2021 regular-season schedule:

  • Week 4: vs. Indianapolis Colts
  • Week 5: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Week 6: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Week 7: vs. Atlanta Falcons
  • Week 8: @ Buffalo Bills
  • Week 9: vs. Houston Texans
  • Week 10: vs. Baltimore Ravens
  • Week 11: @ New York Jets
  • Week 12: vs. Carolina Panthers
  • Week 13: vs. New York Giants
  • Week 14: Bye Week
  • Week 15: vs. New York Jets
  • Week 16: @ New Orleans Saints
  • Week 17: @ Tennessee Titans
  • Week 18: vs. New England

After going through this schedule a few times, eight wins does not feel remotely out of the question. Further, one can plausibly see up to ten wins depending on how the game script goes. Let’s start with the assumed losses. Games against the Buccaneers, Bills, Ravens, and Titans seem out of reach for this offense to keep up with in its current state.

Miami will be without Tagovailoa in Week 5 against Tampa Bay. After failing to score a single point at home against the Bills, a win in Buffalo is a pipe dream in Week 8. Miami has not defeated Baltimore since 2015, with Lamar Jackson under center, that drought won’t be quenched any time soon. Tennessee feels like the closest competition out of this group, but I expect to see a very different Titans team in Week 17 than we see now. 

The 10 crucial games for the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances

The rest of these games have the potential to be won by Miami. The combined record of these opponents (excluding Jacksonville’s Week 4 Thursday night loss) is 8-22 featuring four winless teams, one of which they play twice. The only games that will be a challenge are the Week 12 matchup versus the Panthers and their Week 16 tilt against the Saints. 

Panthers QB Sam Darnold has become a completely different signal-caller than the Dolphins saw in New York. Will they still be able to make him see the ghosts they’ve made him see in his past duels with this Dolphins defense?

Another key to this game will be the status of RB Christian McCaffrey. Carolina was forced to completely change its offensive game plan after losing McCaffery in their Week 3 win over the Texans. Hamstrings can be finicky. However, the Panthers’ RB should remain out until at least Week 6. They face off six weeks later, but given McCaffrey’s injury struggles last season, anything can happen.

Now for the second game can stifle the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances. Winning against Carolina and New Orleans, as well as the other eight, leaves this team with an 11-6 record. Who comes out victorious in Week 16: Sean Payton’s offense or Brian Flores’ defense might just be the precursor to whether or not Miami makes the playoffs.

If Miami can fluster Saints QB Jameis Winston and force the bad Winston to come out, Miami can win this game. However, if Sean Payton and company come out on fire, the Dolphins offense can’t keep up with a juggernaut.

So what are the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances?

It’s about a coin flip right now. The sky might be falling, but as stated earlier, it is only Week 4. A win over the Indianapolis Colts this week, who are missing a number of important starters, would kick things off in the right direction. For Dolphins fans, the magic number is five. This team needs to win at least nine of its last 14 games, preferably 10. Five losses between now and the end of the season leaves Miami with a 10-7 record. Anything more and the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances seem very unlikely. 

Dolphins Officially Cut Down Their Roster

Credit: WPEC 12

After making some cuts yesterday, the Dolphins officially cut down their roster to 53 players.

It’s the end of a life-long dream for some players. Others will sign elsewhere or join Miami’s practice squad.

There aren’t any “surprises,” but there are some moves that will make some Dolphins fans emotional.

Kirk Merritt, WR

Kirk Merritt fought all offseason to make enough of an impression on the coaching staff. Unfortunately for Merritt, Miami has their deepest WR room in years. 

Fans would’ve loved to see Merritt make the team, but there wasn’t room.

Do not be surprised if he joins Miami’s practice squad. Although, for that to happen, Miami hopes he doesn’t get signed elsewhere.

Carl Tucker, TE

Unfortunately for Tucker, he wasn’t going to make this team. He was considered a camp body at best.

In a TE room with a rising-star, rookie, and at least two veterans with experience, he wasn’t going to make it.

Kai Locksley, WR

Kai Locksley is a cool story. He was the starting QB at UTEP for 3-years before going undrafted in the 2020 draft. In an effort to keep his NFL dreams alive, the 6’4 210 pounder converted to WR.

Locksley, like any other receiver being cut, had a lot of guys in front of him. 

Being able to make it to the last wave of cuts for a QB turned WR is impressive.

Chris Myarick, TE

Dolphins fans won’t forget Myarick for a little while. He had the game-winning TD catch against Cincinnati in the final preseason game.

Similarly to Carl Tucker, there aren’t enough spots at TE for Myarick.

Reid Sinnett, QB

The Dolphins have their franchise Qb. They also have one of the best backups in the league. It is uncommon to carry 3 QB’s on the active roster.

Miami is hoping he clears waivers and they can sign him to the practice squad. He showed flashes of potential and Miami would love to have him in case they ever need a familiar face in the QB room.

Jonathan Ledbetter, DE

Ledbetter was someone who could have made one of the final spots in the DE room. He’s been in Miami and made some plays this preseason. As is the case at many positions, he was buried on the depth chart.

Ledbetter is a hard-worker who could be a practice squad candidate.

Cre’von LeBlanc, CB

LeBlanc has been outside looking in for a while now. Competing with other veteran players who are very versatile made it very tough for him to make this team. 

Jason Stowbridge, DL

The Dolphins drafted Stowbridge in the 5th-round of the 2020 draft. 

Last year, in 8 games, he recorded 3 tackles.

Stowbridge was playing with the 3rd-team and didn’t make enough of a jump to beat out the veterans ahead of him.

Patrick Laird, RB

Laird was fighting for the fourth spot in the RB room with rookie Gerrid Doaks. Well, that’s what everyone thought. Then, Miami decided to keep 3 RB’s.

With Ahmed and Gaskin being the duo and FA signing Malcolm Brown being the third back, Laird was out.

He remains a PS candidate as a familiar player within the organization.

Malcolm Perry, WR

The Dolphins released Malcolm Perry, the 2nd year player out of Navy. Unlike the players above who are “PS candidates,” the Dolphins have already decided that they will sign him to the PS if he goes unsigned.

He took reps at PR, but Jakeem Grant kept that job, and he didn’t do enough as a WR yet to keep a spot. Miami knows he can be very useful if utilized properly, and will keep him around if possible.

Calvin Munson, LB

Munson was listed as a 4th-team LB on the depth chart. He appeared in all 16 games for Miami last year, but with FA signings and players returning to full health, Munson was released.

Josh Harvey-Clemons, LB

Harvey-Clemons was an even longer shot than Munson. He was listed 5th on the depth chart.

With a plethora of depth at the position, Miami made an easy move.

Adam Pankey, OL

Pankey could have been a depth piece. Miami traded for Greg Little and Greg Mancz recently, which filled the room a little bit. 

Pankey did not impress in the preseason, which is definitely not what Miami needs right now.

Cameron Tom, C

Miami wasn’t going to carry three center’s. 

Before three days ago, it was going to be Michael Dieter and Matt Skura. However, the Dolphins traded for Greg Mancz yesterday and released Skura.

With Mancz and Dieter clearly safe, the Dolphins released Tom.

Gerrid Doaks, RB

Doaks was waived by Miami. If he clears waivers, Miami might re-sign him to the practice squad. Doaks and Patrick Laird were thought to be competing for the 4th spot in the RB room, but it seems Miami is only keeping three(on the active roster).

Miami is going to need an RB or two on the PS, and Doaks is a great candidate.

Javaris Davis, CB

Similar to most CB’s on this list, it was going to be tough for Davis to make the roster. He was competing with rookie Trill Williams and others, but couldn’t get through the final wave. 

He had shown potential before suffering an injury. According to Barry Jackson, Miami would like him back on the practice squad.

Kylan Johnson, LB

Johnson, similar to Harvey-Clemons, was going to have a tough time making up ground. He was seen as a camp body. It’s not impossible for players like him to make the team, but it was a longer long-shot. 

The Dolphins are deep at LB, which made this move even easier.

Durval Quieroz Neto, OL

Everyone wanted Neto to make this roster. The Brazilian player Miami signed from the IPP program was going to have to fight for his spot.

This move is slightly confusing, as Neto still had a year of exemption left from the IPP program.

Miami is very likely to keep him on the practice squad with that rule, though.

Benito Jones, DL

Benito Jones was waived today as well. He has shown potential during his time in South Florida, but had to battle with other veterans.

With Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins being the young leaders followed by veterans Butler and Jenkins, Jones finds himself the odd man out.

Shaquem Griffin, LB

Griffin was competing for one of the last spots in the LB room. Some thought that the passion and locker room presence he brought to the team would give him the edge over someone else. 

Fans aren’t going to love the move, but if he clears waivers, he may return to the PS. 

Miami will likely make more transactions over the next 24-48 hours. 

Miami Dolphins: Know the opponent

Bengals QB Brandon Allen faces the Dolphins for the first time since their 2020 matchup.

Ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, I collaborated with Bradley Davies at Dolphins ATB to profile the team the Bengals will be hosting in Cincinnati this week. Although we aren’t likely to see a true representation of the team the Dolphins want to present in the regular season on Sunday, there will still be plenty of storylines developing and key players to watch.

Q: Who has been the biggest standout in camp and the preseason so far? Any particular roster battles that are shaping up to produce a different result than would have been expected a few months ago? Anyone we should be keeping a close eye on in the final preseason game?

If you would have asked me this question 2 weeks ago there would have only been one answer and that would be Albert Wilson. Throughout the early weeks he was everywhere and seemed to have seamless chemistry with Tua. From a potential cut candidate to starting receiver on the first depth chart, Wilson had a very impressive camp before being sidelined with injury (as is the case with nearly every Dolphin’s receiver). Ever since I would have to say the camp standout would most likely be either Holland or Waddle, both rookies have hit the ground running with their explosiveness and play making ability. 

Bradley Davies

In relation to the positional battles, the biggest surprise is what is happening with the offensive line. Coming into camp everybody believed that the starting line was set in stone. It was presumed that it would be: Austin Jackson (LT), Solomon Kindley (LG), Matt Skura ( C), Robert Hunt (RG) and Liam Eichenberg  (RT). Since then both Kindley and Skura have had spells with the 3rd team, while Jackson has been bullied throughout joint practices and preseason. Furthermore, Michael Deiter, a player who did not start a single game for the Dolphins, has transitioned from left guard to be the starting center.

The biggest factor going forward is what to do with Liam Eichenberg. After starting camp as starting RT to then starting LG, he is now back at RT in the second team behind Jesse Davis. However with a strong performance against the Falcons he is knocking on the door once again for a starting position.

Going into the final preseason game it is likely that we will not see many starters at all including Tua. The game will primarily focus on players that are on the bubble of the roster and practice squad players. Given the vastly changing nature of the Dolphins wide receiver room on Tuesday, I would keep a close eye on Kirk Merritt for one last push to make the roster. He has been productive throughout camp after failing to break in to the team last season

Bradley Davies

With Joe Burrow seeing his first live-game action since his gruesome knee injury, it’s probably best to protect him. No one wants to see him put his body on the line for a game that doesn’t count. That said, as I referenced in last week’s review, preseason does matter for those fringe roster players. So, it’s interesting to see how guys like Jalen Davis and Eli Apple fare against hungry Miami Dolphins receivers. Wilson and Merritt, in particular, are good ones to watch. Also, I am fascinated to see how Jackson Carman plays this week in comparison to Liam Eichenberg. Eichenberg was a player many Bengals fans were hoping the Bengals would target at 38.

Q: The big talk in the Draft surrounded the Dolphins’ decision to trade down and back up in the Draft. There were a lot of opinions surrounding this decision. But, it seems like they have found a solid player in Jaylen Waddle. Was accumulating picks and drafting Waddle the right move? Should have stayed put and selected Florida TE Kyle Pitts, popular among Florida-based Dolphins fans?

Absolutely. There is no doubting Pitts’ ability, he is a freak athlete that would have created a matchup nightmare. However the Dolphins are not short of contested catch specialists with a strong TE room. As for Waddle, his speed, explosiveness and what he brings to this offense is invaluable. He is just special and has shown that comparisons with Tyreek Hill is no exaggeration. To come away with Waddle and another first round pick from one of the picks robbed from the Texans is nothing short of remarkable. The Dolphins are much further ahead in their rebuild now than anybody could have imagined. They are a legitimate playoff contender already, and their added draft capital over the coming years gives them the flexibility to really build something special.

Bradley Davies

Of all the top pass-catching prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, Chase seemed like the obvious target for the Bengals. But, many fans were hoping for Pitts. Few made the argument for Waddle at the time. However, so far Waddle has been the most impressive of the bunch for the Miami Dolphins. If you believe everything the national media tells you, Chase looks like the most disappointing of the bunch so far. But, he’ll likely have an opportunity to influence that narrative this week as both rookies could get some playing time.

Q: What is going on with Tua Tagovailoa? He had an up-and-down rookie season and that appears to be continuing this preseason so far. What is the general feeling around his potential as the Dolphins’ long-term solution at QB?

It is no secret that Tua’s rookie season was somewhat underwhelming, it wasn’t great but at the same time he didn’t stink like many would lead you to believe. Let us not forget prior to making his NFL debut, Tua was less than a year removed from a potentially career ending injury. I’m sure Bengals’ fans can now sympathise with the ups and downs that you endured throughout Joe Burrow’s return.

I personally believe that the Miami Dolphins had their hand forced into playing Tua before he was fully ready. With the strong starts made by Burrow and Herbert, if the 5th overall pick did not see the field over the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, scepticism over his potential would have been even more rife across the NFL. By allowing Tua the opportunity to make his mistakes in a weakened AFC East, with both the Jets and Patriots very much below par, meant any rookie mistakes that made did not come at the expense of winning in the moment.

Any notions of his rookie struggles continuing this offseason are incorrect. Tua has come on leaps and bounds. Throughout camp the Dolphins’ passing game has improved tremendously. Despite the likes of Will Fuller and DeVante Parker not being on the field, Tua has had no issues in being able to push the ball down the field against an elite Dolphins’ defense. Tua has done this with consistency throughout camp with around 7 times more touchdown passes than interceptions throughout the entirety of camp.

Coming into the preseason games there was much anticipation as to how he would perform in a game setting. When evaluating his rookie season there were a few holes in Tua’s game: elements of his mechanics, decisiveness and confidence in the playbook. Throughout preseason Tua has been efficient with the ball, getting it out quickly with his feet set. In addition his pocket presence has come on enormously, as he has not been afraid to climb the pocket whilst his receivers get open. From what we have seen so far, everything is set for a big leap in 2021. Whether he is the long term solution we will see. A sample size of 9 games in an unprecedented season is not enough to make any judgement whether good or bad.

Bradley Davies

For a large chunk of 2019, a lot of Bengals fans thought the Bengals should target Tagovailoa in the Draft. I know because I was one of them. However, as Burrow’s legend grew, and Tua’s faded after his injury, it became clear who was the obvious choice. The Bengals will likely be seeing Jacoby Brissett and Reid Sinnett taking all the snaps this week. But, understanding the situation around Tua is essential to understanding the Dolphins.

Q: Opinions about head coach Brian Flores have generally ranged from highly impressed to somewhat skeptical. It was an impressive turnaround from the 5-11 team he coached in his first season. But, is there significant pressure to make the playoffs this year? What happens if they don’t?

People should not forget the position the Dolphins were in 2019. With what was considered the worst NFL roster of all time, calls for the league to investigate whether Dolphins were tanking and putting their players at risk. From starting 0-7 the Brian Flores has since gone 15-10 all in one year of a rebuild. Very few of Belichick’s coaches have been successful since leaving New England, Brian Flores is certainly one. The culture that he and Chris Grier have built in Miami is something truly different to what the Dolphins have had in some time and it is refreshing. While missing out on the playoffs this year will inevitably be a disappointment, if the team continues to develop in their rebuild and improve on both sides of the ball, Flores will be just fine. 

However as Tyler DeSena said in one of his articles, there is pressure on Flores to ensure that he has finally sorted the offensive coordinator position at the 3rd time of trying. From Chad O’ Shea’s highly technical and confusing offense, to an archaic offensive system designed by Chan Gailey specifically for Ryan Fitzpatrick, all eyes are now on George Godsey and Eric Studesville to modernise the Dolphins’ offense. However, so far so good. Pre-snap motions are being used to create separation, creating leverage allowing them to beat the defenses.

Bradley Davies

There are actually quite a few similarities between the Miami Dolphins’ turnaround and the Bengals’ rebuild with Zac Taylor. Both teams are run by young, first-time head coaches and both looked bad enough to draw tanking claims in 2019. Each targeted a franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. Both teams hope to have found a game-breaking wide receiver with their top pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Each head into 2021 needing to prove the rebuild is working.

The biggest difference? The Bengals have a 6-25-1 record in that time frame and the Miami Dolphins are 15-17. In fact, the Dolphins just barely missed the playoffs. Flores’ job could be in jeopardy if the Dolphins put together an abysmal season. But, Taylor is under pressure to show progress now. Another sub .500 season with no hope of playoff contention would absolutely be a death knell for this regime.

Sam Eguavoen: Have a Day!

Credit: Jim Rassol, Palm Beach Post

Yesterday the Miami Dolphins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 37-17 in week two of preseason. The team overall looked like they are ready to be serious contenders this year. One player in particular had himself a day, and that player was Sam Eguavoen.

Stats

Eguavoen had a ridiculous stat line last night. He had 11 tackles and four sacks one of which was a safety. Even though it is still preseason, it is very rare a player has that big of an impact on a game. Last night, Eguavoen had more sacks than he does in his career so far (3.5). His 11 tackles is also a career high. Eguavoen did have a horrible pass interference call on him last night as well. He really did not have to commit the penalty as the ball was not close to the receiver but it seems like he panicked because his back was to the ball and the receiver was faster than him. Man coverage is not his strong suit and you saw that later on in the game as he dominated by blitzing and playing in the box.

Stock

Sam Eguavoen was never fighting for a roster spot as he has been a prominent special teams player and a serviceable back up since 2019. However, the former CFL player is showing that he is progressing each year and may fight for more playing time this year. Playing behind free agent signing Benardrick McKinney, Eguavoen seems to be learning from him and is becoming a better run defender. Head coach Brian Flores loves to blitz linebackers and Eguavoen showed that he may be the best blitzing linebacker on the team (aside from Jerome Baker). As I said above he did have the DPI called against him and the only negative Egauvoen had last night.

Outlook

I doubt that Eguavoen will have a repeat performance next week against the Bengals. That is no knock on him, but it is very rare that players have back to back career games. However, if he can show that he can continue to improve and make plays, Eguavoen may be the teams third linebacker after Baker and McKinney. Stopping the run has been something Flores wants to do since coming to Miami and Eguavoen may be a piece to the puzzle. While he won’t be a starter, we may seem him take more and more snap from McKinney or even replace Baker on run obvious situations.

Prize Picks

PrizePicks operates in EVERY US state and Canada EXCEPT for the following: AZ CO DE HI ID IN IA LA MD ME MS MO MT NV NH NJ OH PA TN VA WA.

  • Use promo code “ATB” to receive a 100% instant deposit match up to $100
  • PrizePicks is the simplest fantasy game on the market.
  • You pick 2-5 players and can win up 10x on any entry.
  • PrizePicks has no sharks, optimizers, or mass-multi entry (It’s just you vs. the projection).
  • Allows mixed-sport entries (You can take the OVER on Lebron parlayed with the UNDER on Mahomes).
  • PrizePicks has a slick easy to use mobile app, both on the App Store and Google Play

How to use PrizePicks:

check out this article!

Way too early Miami Dolphins 2022 4th Round Mock Draft

Mykael Wright and Nick Ford may be options in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft

Next up in the Miami Dolphins way too early mock draft series is round 4. Below are the links to the previous rounds as well as a list of the following picks. The two players who will be broken down today are prefect fits for the Dolphins. Both players fit what head coach Brain Flores looks for in a player and could contribute immediately.

Previous Way too Early Miami Dolphins 2022 Mock drafts:

The Dolphins have the following picks remaining:

  • 4th round: Current pick and Steelers Pick
  • 5th round: Current Pick
  • 6th round: Current Pick and Patriots Pick
  • 7th round: Tennessee Titans Pick

With the uncertainty of Xavien Howard past 2022, poor play of Noah Igbinoghene, and a struggling offensive line these two PAC-12 players may be of service to the Miami Dolphins in 2022.

Mykael Wright

Mykael Wright has been a rising star in the Ducks backfield. Wright boasts fluid body movements and blazing speed in the secondary and as a kick returner.

Wright stands at 5’10 173 pounds and has shown that he has the ability to play as an outside corner in college. Due to his of his measurables some teams may see him as an inside corner.

What stands out about the Oregon defender is his loose hips, as a result he’s able to burst out of and phenomenal footwork allowing him to recover when beat.

Furthermore, Wright tends to keep his eye level disciplines continuously matching Receivers tempo by looking at their torso.

I watched his 2020 tape against USC and he played mostly to the field. I noticed his effort in trying to keep his front shoulder down to help keep his balance and not loose his vision against bigger WRs.

When playing press man he does not tend to stay square at the LOS, he tries to run with his man instead of playing physically and jamming them, this can be a lingering issue given his stature and build.

Speed masks some of Wrights deficiencies, especially when Wright gets caught on double moves, at times he mirrors well and at times he drops his shoulders and plays with a high pad level.

He needs to be consistent.

Another year of playing time in the Ducks defense should help Wright be more consistent and increase his awareness in man and zone coverage.

“I think the next development for Mykael is to continue to develop his body. He’s a very sharp young man in terms of the football [knowledge], not a man of many words but in terms of schematically understanding coverage, understanding concepts that the offense is trying to throw at him, he’s very astute.”

Rod Chance, Oregon Ducks DB Coach

Wright is already an intellectual player, he knows where to get in place and understand route concepts and angles well. He’s got a knack for evading rub routes and collides with WR’s at the point of attack to make a play on the ball.

If Miami wants to get a solid corner that has experience on the outside and the tools to play nickel I wouldn’t doubt Brian Flores being interested in Mykael Wright.

Nick Ford

The Miami Dolphins love versatility on their team, especially amongst the Offensive line.

In 2018, Ford started 6 games at Left Guard and one game at Right tackle.

In 2019, one game at Right Tackle and 13 games at Right Guard. In 2020, one game at Left Tackle and four games at Center

With a 6’5 315 pound frame Ford looks to be a prospect the Dolphins may consider come draft day. He fits the current OL profile being over 6’4 and 310 pounds.

Ford looks to be the starting Center for the Utes in 2021 but can play inside if needed. He opted to stay with Utah this season

“I got my grade thing back, which said I was a 3rd, maybe 4th round, with a chance to improve my stock by the combine to maybe 2nd or 3rd round.”

Nick Ford on returning for another season at Utah

Currently, Solomon Kindley still struggles in the passing game, he’s been demoted to 3rd team OL, Nick Ford can be a plug and play Left guard.

Ford’s experience playing tackle shows up in pass protection. He has good patience and anchor against various player types and different blitzes

When working up the field, Ford is able to comfortably navigate in space for his size.

In the run game, he plays similar to Kindley as he’s physical at the point of attack and a bully that makes OL coaches happy. His powerful lower body helps to get that initial push off the LOS and gain momentum in tight spaces.

Ford is limited in scheme aspects as he may not fit zone schemes. He’s best suited in a power run scheme where he is able to make on his man and beat him. If he was put into a zone scheme his redirection and footwork would be too slow to get upfield, especially in pulling situations.

If the Dolphins decide that OL depth is important in the mid rounds of the NFL Draft Ford could be a name to watch out for.

Follow Hussam Patel on Twitter