The Dolphins have had difficulty generating a surge at the point of attack in the run game and keeping quarterback Jay Cutler upright. Coach Adam Gase has become frustrated with the offensive line occasionally placing the failures of the offense at their feet.
The Dolphins invested a fifth-round pick in guard Isaac Asiata in the 2017 NFL draft, but the team would prefer to give him a redshirt year before inserting him into the lineup. The Dolphins are also dealing with center Mike Pouncey’s chronic hip issues.
Pouncey has had surgery on both of his hips in recent years, and says he no longer has a “normal hip.” Pouncey also revealed that he might need a hip replacement at the end of his playing days.
If the Dolphins are unable to improve upon their rushing attack, which is currently ranked No. 31 in the NFL (74.8 ypg), or their last place passing game (156.5 ypg), they will likely look to the draft to improve in the trenches.
Here are three offensive linemen the Dolphins should keep an eye on during the college football season:
Billy Price: C/G, OSU
The Dolphins could have taken Ohio State center/guard Pat Elflein with their second round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, but the Vikings took him 16 picks later and he has played well for them so far in rookie season.
The Dolphins will have an opportunity to take another OSU star offensive lineman in the 2018 draft in center/guard Billy Price. Price has very good lateral quickness; he’s capable of pulling and does a great job of sinking his hips and anchoring against larger interior defensive linemen as a pass blocker. Price has the versatility to be a dominant guard next to Mike Pouncey, and he could step in at center in the event that Pouncey is unable to contribute.
Frank Ragnow: C/G, Arkansas
Ragnow is another C/G prospect Dolphins fans should keep an eye on. He’s routinely graded as one of Arkansas’ best offensive lineman and has not allowed a sack in 26 starts. Ragnow plays low, bends at the knees as opposed to bending at the waist and has very good hand placement.
Ragnow is a very good run blocker as well, as he’s proven to be capable of consistently generating a surge at the point of attack. Like Price, Ragnow has the requisite versatility to play Center and guard at a high level.
Jake Hanson: C/G, Oregon
Hanson was an integral part of Oregon’s stellar rushing attack that finished second in the Pac-12 in 2016. As a red shirt freshman last year, Hanson was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 and is arrow is certainly pointing up. Hanson is light on his feet and is well adept at securing blocks in space.
Hanson has the athleticism to quickly get into the second level of a defense and secure blocks to spring running backs for big gains. Hanson also has great motor. His 91 snaps against California and his 92 snaps against Arizona State are emblematic of his endurance.