This new mailbag features your questions and my answers on the Dolphins backup situation, a late-round draft sleeper for the secondary, draft priorities on defense and the status of an Emmanuel Ogbah extension, among various topics.
So here we go.
From Craig M (@Dolfan2334):
What should the Dolphins do at the backup QB spot this off-season? I’d like a vet to help/push Tua. Choices could be Mariota, Brissett, Tyrod, Fitz, Hoyer or Alex Smith. Who do you like to play backup in ‘21 for Miami?
Personally, I'd love to see Fitz back because I think he's perfect for that role, except it's not going to happen because he wants to start and also because the Dolphins aren't going to want a situation where Tua is constantly looking over his shoulder (which clearly would happen considering Fitz came off the bench twice last year).
I also have a hard time seeing Smith settling for an obvious backup role after what he overcame to get back to the NFL. I'm fine with Mariota, but certainly not in a trade scenario and certainly not at his scheduled 2021 salary ($10.6 million base).
Of the final three, I think I'd rank them as you listed them: Brissett, Taylor and Hoyer. The appeal for Brissett, of course, would be a return to South Florida.
From Juice (@AirXAlpha1721):
What defensive back should the Dolphins be looking towards the late rounds in the draft?
I'll assume by "late rounds," you mean fifth or later, so let's operate under that premise.
I'll give you name: CB Keith Taylor, University of Washington.
I'm looking around draft websites and don't see him ranked high at all, and the guy completely blew me away at the Senior Bowl. I tweeted that day that I didn't remember being that impressed by a cornerback at the Senior Bowl since Richard Sherman came out of Stanford — and Sherman was drafted in the fifth round 10 years ago.
Taylor is listed at 6-3, same as Sherman. Now, I'm certainly not suggesting he's going to become another Richard Sherman, but he's one guy I would love to see the Dolphins take on the third day of the draft.
From John Fiorino (@jtwin17):
What is the biggest priority for this defense? A solid setting-the-edge DE who can rush the passer or the hybrid LB who can rush the passer and drop into coverage but not as stout against the run?
How about a hybrid LB who can rush the passer, drop into coverage AND be stout against the run?
OK, just kidding. If I have to pick between those two, it's a close call, but I think the Dolphins have more edge candidates (Ogbah, Lawson, AVG, KVN, Biegel) than they do off-the-ball linebackers, so I go with option B.
That's why Zavien Collins from Tulsa is so appealing as a possibility for the 18th overall selection.
From Alex Armenteros (@Terros21):
How do you feel about Ahmed being the lead back in 2022? Very impressed with him.
If we're talking 2022, that's too far into the future to predict. I did see nice flashes from him as a rookie in 2020, but it's hard to forget that he followed his breakout game against New England by doing nothing the next week against the Raiders.
If we're talking 2021, then the answer is no. Again, he showed flashes, but nothing to declare him "lead back" material. It's the same with Myles Gaskin, really. The guy was impressive in his second season, but I'm not convinced he's lead-back material and I'm not the only one — which is why so many are pegging the Dolphins to take a running back early in the draft.
From mr. mojo risin' (@dennisgriffin7):
My guess is Fins let Godchaux go and not re-sign him for price he will probably will get. What do you think?
Well, if we're being honest, how much should Godchaux realistically expect to get?
He's a solid player with a lot of starting experience, but does anybody look at Godchaux as an impact player on the defensive line? I don't believe so. It's also not good for him that the Dolphins defense became much better against the run late in the season in 2020 — and that was with Raekwon Davis in the lineup and Godchaux on IR.
I'm not sure exactly how much Godchaux is thinking he'll be getting in terms of a free agent contract, but I have a hard time seeing any team throwing big money at him.
It could be that Godchaux is going to see what's out there in terms of a market and eventually circle back to the Dolphins, but I certainly don't see Miami getting involved in a bidding war for him.
From DJ (@djackson1609):
Is Ogbah going to be signed to an extension at some point or is this just my wishful thinking?
At some point? I certainly would think so.
The reason we haven't seen a ton of extensions done, not just by the Dolphins but around the league, is that the salary cap hasn't been set yet and teams want to know what that will look like before they start spending.
Here's another factor to consider, and I'm sure some fans will not be happy about this: While Ogbah did have a great year and led the team in sacks with nine, eight of those came in the first nine games and only one in the final seven.
Did Ogbah run out of gas? Did opponents figure out how to scheme against him?
Those are questions the Dolphins want to evaluate before they spend big money on Ogbah because pass rushers can command big dollars and Ogbah's market value might never be greater.
The Dolphins might want to see if Ogbah can keep up his production in 2021 before giving him an extension, though the gamble there financially is that another big year would make him even more expensive than he is now.
I would think Ogbah would get an extension this offseason once the salary cap is set, though I don't think it's a lock by any means.