Dolphins Defense Post-Draft Breakdown

April 30, 2024

Examining the impact of the 2024 NFL draft on the Miami Dolphins depth chart

Chop Robinson

The Miami Dolphins’ 2024 draft class featured seven players, including three on defense.

Here’s a quick look at where the Dolphins stand on defense after the first wave of free agency and the draft selections of edge rushers Chop Robinson and Mohamed Kamara, and safety Patrick McMorris.

Note that this breakdown does not include undrafted rookie free agents, whose signings usually don’t become official until the eve of rookie minicamp, which this year is scheduled for May 10-11.


On the roster (9): Zach Sieler, Da’Shawn Hand, Brandon Pili, Teair Tart, Benito Jones, Neville Gallimore, Jonathan Harris, Isaiah Mack, Daviyon Nixon

Projected opening-day starters: Zach Sieler, Teair Tart

Breakdown: Was it really that shocking that the Dolphins did not draft a pure defensive lineman this year … after they signed five newcomers in the offseason and re-signed Hand? It should be pretty clear the Dolphins don’t have anybody on the roster anywhere close to Christian Wilkins at this time, but that guy simply wasn’t avaiable in the draft past the top two prospects at the position — Byron Murphy II and Jer’Zhan Newton. One thing the Dolphins will look to do in 2024 is spread out the playing time much more than they did last year when Sieler and Wilkins gobbled up most of the snaps. A veteran addition here is not out of the question, with Calais Campbell standing out as the most logical potential pick-up.


On the roster (9: Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb, Cameron Goode, Shaquil Barrett, Chop Robinson, Mohamed Kamara, Quinton Bell, Zeke Vandenburgh, Cam Brown

Projected opening-day starter(s): Shaquil Barrett, Jaelan Phillips

Breakdown: Pretty much everything here needs to be discussed within the context of the health status of both Phillips and Chubb. We can start with the draft and the additions of Robinson and Kamara, which should help this season if Chubb and/or Phillips have issues coming back from the major 2023 season-ending injuries. Then there’s the question of exactly who will be ready for the start of the regular season and, as you saw, our best projection at this time is that one of the two will be ready. After the signing of Barrett and the drafting of Robinson and Kamara, one would think the Dolphins are done making moves here. But, of course, never say never. How much the Dolphins will have to rely on their two draft picks here remains to be seen, but Robinson at the very least should be able to contribute as a pass rusher. If both Phillips and Chubb are unable to go at the start of the regular season, it could be that the winner of a Robinson-Kamara camp battle would wind up starting.


On the roster (5): David Long Jr., Jordyn Brooks, Anthony Walker Jr., Duke Riley, Channing Tindall

Projected opening-day starters: David Long Jr., Jordyn Brooks

Breakdown: The Dolphins did better work at this position in the offseason than probably anywhere else on the roster other than maybe tight end. The additions of Brooks and Walker, two veteran starts have upgraded the depth here and Brooks’ superior speed gives him a chance to be an upgrade over Baker. The one question here is whether Tindall, the top Dolphins pick in the 2022 NFL draft, will be able to make the 53-man roster. While any addition is possible, this doesn’t look like an area where another veteran is needed.


On the roster (7): Jalen Ramsey, Kendall Fuller, Nik Needham, Kader Kohou, Cam Smith, Ethan Bonner, Siran Neal,

Projected opening-day starter(s): Jalen Ramsey, Kendall Fuller, Kader Kohou

Breakdown: The Dolphins didn’t address this position in the draft, perhaps because we can view Smith as a draft pick after being selected in the second round last year, even though he practically never saw the field on defense. You wil notice we had three starters in our projected lineup, and that’s because the Dolphins figure to use the nickel a lot and we’re predicting Kohou to hold off Needham for that role. It would not be surprising to see the Dolphins add a veteran or two at this position, maybe even re-sign somebody like Eli Apple. Other names to watch would include Steven Nelson and Stephon Gilmore.


On the roster (4): Jevon Holland, Jordan Poyer, Elijah Campbell, Patrick McMorris

Projected opening-day starters: Jevon Holland, Jordan Poyer

Breakdown: What obviously stands out here is the really low number of players on the roster at this position, especially when you consider that Campbell is a cornerback/safety hybrid. Poyer has the potential of becoming a great offseason acquisition for the Dolphins, but the reality is he just turned 33 and his play slipped in 2023, so expectations there should be tempered. It’s also why safety stands out as the one position on defense where we should expect a veteran addition in the coming weeks. There are a lot of big-name free agents on the market — Jamal Adams, Justin Simmons, Eddie Jackson, Quandre Diggs, Micah Hyde, to name five — but the price will have to be right for any of them. Simmons clearly stands out as the best of the bunch here. McMorris likely will see most of his playing time as a rookie on special teams, assuming he’s able to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.