As the Miami Dolphins continue to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft, one focus they reportedly have is adding a couple of guards to bolster the offensive line.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald looked at a number of different positions the Dolphins are scouting.
“The Dolphins have interest in adding a couple of guards in the draft process; they’ve given serious thought to drafting one, according to a source, and will be looking for interior linemen after the draft as well,” wrote Jackson.
“Among several guards that have drawn their interest, according to sources: Hawaii’s Micah Vanterpool (who didn’t allow a sack last season) and North Carolina State’s Chandler Zavala.”
Trying to draft two guards could be difficult for the Dolphins in this particular draft. That’s because the team doesn’t have picks in the first, fourth and fifth rounds, which explains why the Dolphins are trying to zero in on a variety of possibilities.
Last season, the Dolphins allowed 35 sacks, which was an improvement from the 40 allowed during the 2021 campaign. Yet, it’s clear that the Dolphins’ brain trust feels a need to add more talent to the interior line if the team hopes to make a deep playoff run this season.
One of the unspoken reasons why the Dolphins are making a concerted effort to add to their offensive line is quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Last season, Tagovailoa had a solid campaign in which he offered signs that he is the Dolphins’ quarterback of the future, something they surely envisioned when he was drafted three years ago.
However, the University of Alabama product also endured multiple concussions last season and was carted off the field during the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in late September. That was just four days after he had staggered to the ground after hitting his head against the Buffalo Bills.
Entering the closing weeks of the season, the controversy over Tagovailoa’s health largely died down. However, things quickly erupted again after the Dolphins’ Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers.
In that game, Tagovailoa took a hit late in the first half, and his struggles in the second half resulted in the Packers picking up a comeback victory.
The former first-round pick didn’t take the field for the remainder of the campaign, including the team’s playoff loss to the Bills, due to the concussion he suffered against the Packers.
Keeping Tagovailoa upright could go a long way toward projecting how the Dolphins will do in the upcoming season and beyond. Whether or not any guards the team is able to add in the near future help toward that end is a question waiting to be answered.