• Fins lose preseason game to Panthers 31-30 Fins lose preseason game to Panthers 31-30 However, the Dolphin starters were dominate and took a 14-0 lead before they were pulled
  • S Delmas lost for season S Delmas lost for season Louis Delmas tore is ACL in practice with the Panthers
  • Dolphins lose in preseason to Bears Dolphins lose in preseason to Bears Miami's starters looked great, but the backups dropped to the Bears, 27-10
  • Parker's return still uncertain Parker's return still uncertain WR Devante Parker is not sure if he will be ready for the season opener

     

AFC East Positional Grades – DL

4) Buffalo Bills
Former GM Buddy Nix invested heavily in Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Marcell Dareus in 2011 and 2012 to add to stalwort Kyle Williams. The Bills are moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under new DC Mike Pettine, and it appears that Williams and Dareus are good players but poor fits. Alan Branch has the size to play NT and versatility to play DE in the 3-4. Former 2nd and 3rd round picks Torrell Troup and Alex Carrington have ability, but their time is running out.
Grade: C+

3) New York Jets
The Jets are #3 by default, as this is still a very good unit with youth. DE Muhammad Wilkerson, whom PFF ranked as the best 3-4 DE in the NFL last season aside from JJ Watt, had 5 sacks, 3 FF’s, and a TD last season. 1st Round pick DE Sheldon Richardson gives the Jets another young bookend, and also allows them to try Quinton Coples at OLB. NT is just OK with greybeard FA Antonio Garay battling Kendrick Ellis, a mammoth 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft whose rookie year was ruined by a knee injury and legal woes.
<strong>Grade: B

2) New England Patriots
The Patriots are the only team fielding a 4-3 front in their base alignment. RDE Chandler Jones displayed star potential in his first 8 starts (6 sacks, 3 FF’s) before injuries limited him to 0 sacks and 0 FF’s in his final 8 games; he should be a star. DT Vince Wilfork is an immovible Pro Bowl force, and will be joined by massive Raiders castoff Tommy Kelly to give the team 700+ pounds of muscle on the inside. LDE Rob Ninkovich is a scheme-versatile Belichick favorite in the Mike Vrabel mold. 2nd round pick Jamie Collins should see time as a pass-rusher on 3rd down. Depth is an issue at both DT and DE.
Grade: B

1) Miami Dolphins
GM Jeff Ireland’s decision to trade-up for DE Dion Jordan gives the Dolphins arguably the best DL in the NFL. Jordan will join Cameron Wake (15 sacks, 3 FF’s in 2012) in terrorizing opposing QB’s. DT’s Paul Soliai and Randy Starks, both in contract years, are an impressive duo constantly knocking on the Pro Bowl door. DE Olivier Vernon, DT Jared Odrick, and DT Vaughn Martin could start for a number of teams.
Grade: A-

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AFC East Positional Grades - DL, 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
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Brian Catanzaro

Brian Catanzaro

I cram as much Miami Dolphins data as possible into one click. Listen to my Tuesday Night Podcast "On The Fin Side" with Brian Miller and Paul Picken and follow me on Twitter @BrianCat13.

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