Putting on a show last season, the Miami Dolphins found themselves all over the map last season. Starting the year with a 1-4 record, the Dolphins recovered and made an improbable run to a 10-6 finish and their first playoff appearance since the 2008 season. While the team was knocked out in the first round, the accomplishment was still impressive.
Making the run even more impressive was the holes all across the roster. Addressing many of these needs this offseason, I have compiled a shortlist of the three most impactful additions that the Dolphins have made during the most recent offseason.
What’s Trending: Raiders’ star QB, Derek Carr, agrees to mammoth five-year contract
cover32 Roundtable: Our national staff previews the 2017 NFL season
Rotissere Periscope: In this week’s edition, Patrick Hatten breaks down the NFC South
Follow us on Twitter here
Lawrence Timmons — Linebacker
The first big signing of the Miami Dolphins offseason this past year was middle linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Despite making the playoffs last season, the Dolphins had an extremely tough campaign on the defensive side of the football. The problems were extremely prevalent when it comes to the team’s linebacking corps.
Outside of Kiko Alonso, the linebacking corps was in disarray. Adding Lawrence Timmons to the roster solidified a lot of those concerns. Moving Alonso to the outside linebacker position should also improve his play as he is a more natural fit for the position. With the drafting of Raekwon McMillan for the other outside linebacker position, both moves can be traced back too the signing of Lawrence Timmons.
A big hitter and downhill type of player, Timmons will be the middle linebacking threat that Miami needs to succeed. While he is a bit older, Timmons should play a major role on the Dolphins defense this season.
T.J. McDonald/Nate Allen — Safety
While this is two different players, both signings are likely to make big impacts on the Dolphins defense this season. With Nate Allen, we find a player who can fill many roles in the safety area of the secondary while also bringing with him a background of success and solid production when called upon.
DOLPHINS NEWS: Projecting Ajayi’s fantasy value in 2017
T.J. McDonald should also be a major player at this position due to his solid levels of play over the course of his career. However, as he is suspended for the first eight games of the season, Nate Allen will have to be the difference maker for the first half of the campaign.
Combining the two players together for this season, Miami have one impactful signing wrapped between two successful players. While it is unlikely that both will remain with the team past this season, I have no doubt that they will have a major impact on the Miami Dolphins defensive success in 2017.
Julius Thomas — Tight End
Building off an already successful offense from last season would have been a difficult ask for the Miami Dolphins. Sure, the team had needs along the offensive line that they could have addressed with more high profile signings, but the team really needed to find a playmaker that could fit into a position of need.
Enter tight end Julius Thomas. Coming to Miami following a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Julius Thomas provides the Dolphins with a big, mean threat when near the goal line and is also a player that make big plays when called upon. Adding his name to the starting roster alongside receivers Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills.
With Thomas providing Ryan Tannehill with another downfield option in the passing game, the tight end could revert back to his Pro Bowl days that he had as a member of the Denver Broncos. If he even comes close to that though, then his acquisition will be a top level one for the Dolphins.