The Miami Dolphins ended the 2019 season with a 5-11 record, yet there’s plenty of reason for optimism. After entering the year with one of the worst rosters in the league, head coach Brian Flores found a way to get the most out of every single player on the roster while building up draft capital for the future. Let’s dive into the 2019 Miami Dolphins report card and see how each position performed, and what Dolphins fans can expect moving forward.
2019 Miami Dolphins Report Card: The Offense
Ryan Fitzpatrick was everything the Miami Dolphins could have ever hoped for in 2019. Despite playing in an objectively terrible situation, Fitzpatrick managed to have arguably the best season of his career. Appearing in 15 games, Fitzpatrick completed 62% of his passes for 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, an 85.5 passer rating, and a 64.7 QBR. He was the biggest reason Miami managed to win five games and his reckless style of play produced more positive plays than negative plays.
The biggest disappointment from the 2019 quarterbacks was easily Josh Rosen. Acquired during the 2019 NFL Draft, Rosen was supposed to beat out Fitzpatrick and use 2019 as an audition to be the future of the franchise. That didn’t happen, as Rosen completed just 53.2% of his passes for 567 yards, one touchdown, and five interceptions on 109 pass attempts. Perhaps he can improve with a full offseason under his belt, but the Dolphins shouldn’t bank on it. The Dolphins could bring Fitzpatrick and Rosen back in 2020, but they’ll probably add a new face to the quarterback room before the start of the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins in rushing yards, which tells you everything you need to know about Miami’s running backs. Kenyan Drake played as well as could be expected, considering the circumstances. However, Miami shipped him off at the trade deadline and never found an adequate replacement. Mark Walton was serviceable before yet another arrest and Kalen Ballage couldn’t do anything right. The one silver lining was Patrick Laird, who didn’t show much as a runner but offered some upside in the passing game. The Dolphins need to improve their running back situation, but they have too many needs throughout the roster to use a high pick at the position. Don’t be surprised if the Dolphins attack the position in free agency and with a mid- to late-round pick.
The DeVante Parker breakout season finally happened! After years of inconsistency, Parker finally lived up to his first-round draft pedigree by hauling in 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns. He capped off his season by recording eight receptions for 137 yards against Stephon Gilmore and should be the top receiver moving forward. Parker wasn’t the only star, as undrafted free agent Preston Williams looked like the real deal before landing on the injured reserve. Albert Wilson struggled to stay on the field but played well when healthy, ending the year with 43 receptions for 351 yards and a touchdown. Even if Wilson isn’t back in 2020, Parker and Williams should form a strong receiving duo for the foreseeable future.
There weren’t many offensive lines worse than Miami’s in 2019. An already-bad line was made worse when the Dolphins traded away Laremy Tunsil for a king’s ransom before the start of the season. According to Football Outsiders, Miami ranked dead last in run blocking efficiency and 29th in adjusted sack rate. Pro Football Focus wasn’t any nicer, as center Daniel Kilgore was the only player to grade within the top 60 at their position. Finding a quarterback is the most important thing for the Dolphins, but fixing the offensive line is a close second. Literally every starting spot should be up for grabs heading into 2020.
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