New England Patriots AFC East Offseason Analysis: Miami Dolphins

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Mar 11, 2015; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (right) poses with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (left) after a press conference at Doctors Hospital Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

One position which was solid for Miami last year was defensive tackle. Although veteran Randy Starks seemed to lose a step last year when he struggled after suffering from a back injury, the Dolphins opened up their checkbook and hamstrung their future salary cap flexibility by signing All Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as a replacement for the Jacksonville-bound Jared Odrick.

Jared Odrick had a terrific 2014 campaign, as he got to the quarterback frequently and also was sound against the run until a late-season injury limited him a bit. Odrick, who won’t be 28 until December, can fit into any scheme, which helped him land a big contract with the Jaguars. Suh is an upgrade over any other defensive lineman not named J.J. Watt, but for the cost how much of an upgrade is he really over Odrick?

Ndamukong Suh is capable of dominating games against most NFL guards and centers in the trenches and is a major force as both a run-stopper and a pass-rusher. He’s arguably the top 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL, but his on-the-field idiotic antics have to be at least some concern for Miami. Another stomping incident could bring a longer suspension this time. His cap hit is manageable this year, but balloons quickly. With Miami needing to re-sign Ryan Tannehill and running back Lamar Miller in the near future, his contract could become a burden in a hurry.

To keep Suh company, the team signed his Detroit teammate C.J. Mosley. Mosley, also a defensive tackle, is 32 years old and played well last year stepping in for an injured Nick Fairley in Detroit. He is a solid player both against the run and applying pressure on the quarterback. How much he has left in the tank remains to be seen.

Despite still having solid veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, the Dolphins spent their second round draft pick on massive Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Phillips is massive with NFL size and surprising athleticism. The problem is that the athleticism and strength did not translate onto the field in college. His best position seemed to be a 3-4 nose tackle which makes his selection by Miami puzzling. For a position which was not a major need, the Dolphins went all in at defensive tackle this offseason.

Next: The Biggest Weakness for Miami: The O-Line