There are several reasons the Miami Dolphins find themselves with a 7-3 record at their bye and in great position to make some noise in the AFC playoff picture in 2022.
One of them most definitely has to be the many contributions from the team's veteran newcomers, a list long enough that Dolphins GM Chris Grier absolutely belongs in the conversations when it comes to the 2022 NFL Executive of the Year award.
With the Dolphins at the bye, we decided it would be a good time to revisit every veteran acquisition the team made this year and rank them by order of impact so far this season and, to a lesser degree, potentially in the future.
So here we go:
1. WR Tyreek Hill (trade from Kansas City)
Should there be any question about this one? And the thing is that Hill not only has been a massive difference-maker on the field, he's also brought major positivity to the Dolphins along with a tremendous work ethic. Hill has been so good and so impactful on the field that he would be in serious contention for NFL MVP honors if not for the fact that non-quarterbacks basically are eliminated from consideration.
2. T Terron Armstead (UFA from New Orleans)
The Dolphins offensive line was a major issue for the Dolphins the past two issues and its performance in 2022 has mostly been very good. Armstead is the biggest reason for that, and the proof came when he was out of the lineup against the Jets and Vikings in October.
3. C Connor Williams (UFA from Dallas)
While maybe not quite as impactful as Armstead, Williams has been very good at center, something made even more impressive by the fact he played guard for the Cowboys. The shotgun snap issues that were a problem haven't really materialized in the regular season — other than the one snag against the Browns on Sunday.
4. LB Melvin Ingram (UFA from Kansas City)
The veteran edge defender has been a situational player for the Dolphins, but he's come up big several times. His two fumble recoveries were big in the September victories against New England and Buffalo, to the point he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month.
5. RB Raheem Mostert (UFA from San Francisco)
The Dolphins have gone the veteran route to try to find running backs in recent years, but never really found much success. They sure look like they've hit with old friend Mostert, whose circuitous NFL career actually had begun in Miami several years back.
6. WR Trent Sherfield (UFA from San Francisco)
Gonna guess not that many fans and media members expected Sherfield to be this much of a factor for the Dolphins in 2022 because he was signed mainly as a special teams contributor. He has done that, but also has seized the third wide receiver position behind Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
7. T Brandon Shell (Free agent)
The Dolphins quickly found themselves testing their depth after right tackle Austin Jackson was injured in the opener, and Shell has really solidified the position since moving into the lineup after first starting off on the practice squad.
8. RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (Trade from San Francisco)
Wilson has been dynamite in his first two games with the Dolphins after arriving at the trade deadline and he very well could work his way up this list before very long.
9. LB Bradley Chubb (UFA from Denver)
Like Wilson, one would expect (and hope) that Chubb starts making more and more of an impact as the weeks go by. For the time being, we'll put him in this spot after a much more active outing against the Browns than in his debut against the Bears.
10. FB Alec Ingold (Free agent)
Ingold scored his second touchdown of the season against Cleveland, doing so in spectacular fashion as he dove into the end zone after catching a pass in the flat, but he needs to be recognized for all the dirty work he does.
11. QB Teddy Bridgewater (UFA from Denver)
Bridgewater was a very good acquisition for the Dolphins and he ranks as one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. Two of his three appearances came in relief and he topped 300 yards in less than three quarters against Minnesota after passing for 193 yards in 35 minutes of action after replacing Tua Tagovailoa in the Thursday night game against Cincinnati. The hope is the Dolphins won't need Bridgewater to start a game again 2022, but if it happens, everyone should feel confident that the offense still would be productive.
12. CB Justin Bethel (Free agent)
This was a very, very good late signing, with Bethel joining the team right before the opener when safety Clayton Fejedelem was placed on injured reserve. Bethel not only has been impressive on special teams, he's also responded well every time he's been called on to play cornerback.
13. WR River Cracraft (Free agent)
Talk about a low-key really good signing. This is where Mike McDaniel's familiarity with the 49ers players paid off because the Dolphins grabbed him after the 49ers released him in January and he worked his way onto the 53-man roster off the practice squad and had a touchdown in the wild Week 2 victory at Baltimore.
14. CB Keion Crossen (UFA from N.Y. Giants)
While he wasn't a big name with the Texans and Giants, Crossen always had the big speed and it's come in handy for the Dolphins, whether it be on special teams or in the secondary, where Crossen has helped make up for a rash of injuries at cornerback.
15. P Thomas Morstead (UFA from Atlanta)
Morstead's overall impact isn't terribly significant week to week, but that's mainly because the Dolphins just don't have to punt very often. But they should feel comfort knowing Morstead can deliver when needed, which is exactly what he did with his low-key huge booming free punt after the late safety against Buffalo that helped preserve the Week 3 victory.
16. LB Trey Flowers (Free agent)
Flowers was a proven veteran joining the Dolphins, though he didn't make much of an impact before landing on IR with a foot injury. His status for the remainder of 2022 remains unkown.
17. WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. (UFA from Dallas)
Before the trade for Hill, this was the big offseason move at wide receiver for the Dolphins, but Wilson just hasn't made much of an impact on offense. While he does provide veteran depth, Wilson had only seven catches on the season. He has of late taken over the punt return duties.
18. RB Chase Edmonds (UFA from Arizona)
Edmonds really looked like he was going to be a great acquisition for the Dolphins after a really impressive training camp and a nice start to the regular season that included his key run to set up the game-winning touchdown pass from Tua to Waddle at Baltimore. But Edmonds' production dipped, he started dropping passes and he was overtaken by Mostert as the lead back. By the time he was included in the trade for Chubb, Edmonds had become almost a non-factor on offense.
19. CB Mackensie Alexander (Free agent)
The veteran signed in the wake of multiple cornerback injuries never got a chance because he wound up getting injured himself.
20. RB Sony Michel (Free agent)
Michel brought a nice resume to the Dolphins when he signed during the summer, including his status as a former first-round pick and two Super Bowl rings to his name. But when he waived in favor of holdovers Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, it was not — or at least shouldn't have been — a surprise because he didn't look like somebody who was going to make much of an impact.
21. WR Mohamed Sanu (Free agent)
While he's had himself a nice NFL career, Sanu isn't the player he once was and his signing just before the start of training camp was rather strange. That he wound up not making the active roster seemed like a given for a while before it happened.
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