Miami has been struggling to find consistency with their offensive line this entire decade. There is a transition again as left tackle Branden Albert was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a salary dump. ProFootballFocus.com rated the Dolphins as the third-worst offensive line in the league. This was after they spent almost $30 million to the line with three first-round draft picks and two former left tackles starting at the guard spots all season.
Miami’s solution was to cross their fingers and hope everything works out with basically the same cast. Center Mike Pouncey has been struggling with injuries but the three-time Pro Bowl selection will be 28 when training camp begins. He has not played sixteen games since his second season in the league in 2012. He had a stem cell procedure this offseason for his hip and his readiness to start the season is in question.
Former first-round draft picks Ja’Wuan James is a solid if unspectacular right tackle, very good in the running game but pushed around in the passing game. James was drafted to play left tackle but has resisted the move repeatedly and is locked in at right tackle. Laremy Tunsil moves from guard to left tackle in his second season. Tunsil was very good in pass blocking playing guard last season but struggles in the running game.
Miami imported former left tackle Jermon Bushrod to start at guard and the 32-year-old was abysmal in 2016. With no better options, the Dolphins are planning to line him up as a starter again. With Tunsil at tackle, the Dolphins signed Ted Larsen from the scrap heap. Larsen will compete with fifth-round draft pick Isaac Asiata and career backup Kraig Urbik.
Miami did not have a very good offensive line last year and now have to hope that Pouncey stays healthy, Tunsil steps in at left tackle and keeps his quarterback upright, and the mess at guard sorting itself out with some semblance of blocking ability in the trenches. Asiata may be a steal in the fifth-round, but the Dolphins may not have time to wait for him to develop with their lack of talent at guard.