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The Big Questions Up Front

Second-year player Robert Hunt says he's practicing at different spots on the Miami Dolphins offensive line

As the Miami Dolphins continue going through their offseason program, there are questions that remain at several spots on the roster.

There might not be a position, though, with more questions than the offensive line And that's the result of a large group of players capable of playing multiple positions.

So it's not just a matter of who will start, but also of who will play where.

Outside of 2020 first-round pick Austin Jackson pretty much being locked in at tackle, even though he says he could play guard, and 2020 fourth-round pick Solomon Kindley being locked in at guard, just about everybody else can line up at multiple positions.

That includes guard/tackle Jesse Davis, guard/tackle D.J. Fluker, guard/center Michael Deiter, guard/center Cameron Tom, guard/center Matt Skura, rookie second-round pick Liam Eichenberg at guard or tackle and 2020 second-round pick Robert Hunt at guard or tackle.

Hunt, mind you, played tackle his final two years at Louisiana-Lafayette and played tackle only as a rookie last season, though it's already been reported that the Dolphins were moving him to guard in 2021.

Offensive line coach Lemuel Jeanpierre said recently that no decision has been made regarding Hunt's position for next season, and Hunt himself also was careful not to reveal anything when he spoke to the media via Zoom on Tuesday afternoon.

"I think all of us train to play all five positions," Hunt said. "I've been training that way since college and I've been training that way last year. Next man up or wherever coaches need me to play specifically, that's where I'll go. I've been working a couple of positions and it's not bad.

"Everybody's training different positions, so everybody's always helping each other with everything. Since college, I've always been playing every position so I've already got the idea of how to switch. I played in college left guard, right guard, left tackle, right tackle. Whatever I'm needed to do, I'll do, just to help the team."

Maybe the closest thing to revelation came when Hunt was asked what about his size and power could translate to guard.

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"This is going to be my first year playing guard since my sophomore year of college, if I do play it," Hunt said. "We are all moving around. But it's football, at the end of the day and I think whatever I am needed to do, I think my body will allow me to do it. Whatever I am needed to do, my body should work for me to help me do that."

Here's the thing: It certainly is possible the Dolphins will end up using Hunt at guard because, as was well documented, most draft analysts believed his NFL ceiling was much higher inside than at tackle.

But the Dolphins ultimately will put their five best offensive linemen on the field and that will determine where Hunt lines up.

And if we want to start looking at all the permutations for what the starting offensive line could look like, it might make heads spin.

At this point, it would be foolish to eliminate from starting contention any of the following players based on draft status or NFL experience: Jackson, Kindley, Skura, Davis, Hunt, Fluker and Eichenberg.

That's seven players for five spots.

All things being equal, it's pretty obvious the Dolphins would prefer the young players being in there, whether it be Jackson, Kindley, Hunt or Eichenberg.

When it comes to Hunt, who started 11 games in 2020, let's just say it's a safe assumption he'll end up in the starting lineup.

When Pro Football Focus ranked its top players at every position heading into the 2021 season, the analytics site made Hunt the only Dolphins offensive lineman among its top 32 at a position. Hunt was ranked among the guards.

Wherever he lines up, Hunt should play a big role for the Dolphins in 2021.