Why Bradley Chubb and Jeff Wilson Jr. just catapulted Miami Dolphins Super Bowl chances

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL trade deadline was a prosperous one for the Miami Dolphins, as the team executed two trades to improve the roster and make a playoff push in the 2022 campaign.

Miami, which currently has a 5-3 record on the season, traded with the Denver Broncos for pass rusher Bradley Chubb and the San Francisco 49ers for running back Jeff Wilson Jr.

Both deals should help Miami compete in the AFC playoff race, especially with the AFC East turning out to be one of the better divisions in the NFL this season.

The Dolphins clearly feel that this team is close to making a Super Bowl run, as they parted ways with draft picks to bring in two impact players. This season, the Dolphins have gone 5-1 in games that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has started, and their lone loss in his starts came when he was knocked out of the game early in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Adding Tyreek Hill, Terron Armstead and Raheem Mostert to the roster this offseason was the first step for the Dolphins in building a true contender.

They furthered that goal at the deadline. Here’s how Chubb and Wilson should impact Miami’s roster for the rest of the season.

Bradley Chubb

The Dolphins paid a major price for Chubb, who is a free agent following the 2022 season, giving up a first-round pick, fourth-round pick and running back Chase Edmonds for Chubb and a fifth-round selection.

The good news for Dolphins fans is that Miami reportedly is expected to work out a long-term deal with Chubb. That should make the price of a first-round selection a little easier to deal with.

Chubb was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Injuries have derailed the start of his NFL career, limiting him to just seven games last season and four games in the 2019 campaign. However, Chubb is in the middle of arguably his best season in the NFL, recording 5.5 sacks and 26 tackles in eight games.

The Dolphins desperately needed to bolster their pass rush at the deadline, and Chubb will do just that. Miami has just 15 sacks as a team this season, so adding Chubb alongside Jaelan Phillips is a huge upgrade for the defense.

With so many great quarterbacks in the AFC (Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert), Miami needed a way to make them uncomfortable in the pocket.

The addition of Chubb should also make things easier on the team’s secondary. A stronger pass rush will hopefully force quarterbacks to get the ball out quicker, meaning the defensive backs won’t have to cover for as long on each play.

Losing Edmonds, who was signed in free agency this offseason, may seem like a big loss, but the running back saw his role diminish greatly after the first few weeks of the season.

Edmonds didn’t receive double-digit carries in any game since Week 1, and Mostert has clearly taken over as the team’s top running back. It may be better for both Edmonds and the Dolphins to start fresh.

Jeff Wilson Jr.

The Dolphins didn’t waste any time replacing Edmonds, and they grabbed a familiar face for head coach Mike McDaniel in the process.

Miami traded a fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for running back Wilson., who McDaniel coached in San Francisco.

Wilson is a much different back than Edmonds and Mostert, as he thrives between the tackles. He should make for a perfect complement to Mostert in Miami’s new backfield.

After going undrafted, Wilson latched on with the 49ers in the 2018 season and has racked up 1,733 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground in his career. He handled the starting role in the backfield for San Francisco for several weeks this season after Elijah Mitchell went down with an injury in Week 1.

However, Wilson became expendable when the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey earlier this season. With Mitchell nearing a return, the Dolphins swooped in to grab Wilson, who should already be familiar with some of McDaniel’s offensive scheme.

For his career, Wilson averages 4.4 yards per carry, but he’s been even better this season. He’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has already caught 10 passes on the season (his career high for catches is 13).

Both of these moves help the Dolphins in the 2022 season, and Chubb should become a fixture on the team’s defense for years to come once the two sides agree on a long-term deal.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.