What's up Dol-fans? It's been a while since we answered some of your questions and with some of the league's biggest offseason events coming down the pike, we wanted to open the mailbag for those specific timelines.
If you don't see your question answered here, be sure to check out today's episode of Drive Time with Travis Wingfield where we answered a whole bunch more of your inquiries.
Q: @BrazilCandido - Where do Tyreek and Waddle line up when on the field together. Who gets the boundary spot? Both in the slot? What's the usage look like?
A: Anywhere and everywhere. Among many things, one of the real upshots of this Dolphins wide receivers room is the ability to impact and attack the defense from every position. There are endless permutations for how Head Coach Mike McDaniel and his staff can line up on a given snap, particularly with the two burners you mentioned.
McDaniel has spoken to the design of the 2022 Miami Dolphins offense plenty this offseason, most recently at the league meetings.
"As far as exact ways that we will use Tyreek Hill relative to the way that Deebo Samuel was used in San Francisco, there's probably going to be some overlap to some degree," McDaniel said. "But those are things that Deebo Samuel evolved into that role because of both circumstance and because of skillset while in San Francisco. I expect no difference, really, with Tyreek, where we are going to start with the foundational elements of the receiver position."
If you look at the usage of Hill, Waddle, and the top three receivers in terms of snaps played for McDaniel in San Francisco last season, you see widespread roles to feature their versatility.
The following data from Pro Football Focus outlines player pre-snap alignment for the 2021 season:
Jaylen Waddle: 406 wide, 485 slot
Tyreek Hill: 520 wide, 508 slot
Deebo Samuel: 591 wide, 239 slot
Brandon Aiyuk: 854 wide, 202 slot
Jauan Jennings: 216 wide, 212 slot
Now, to use a McDaniel-ism, there's probably some overlap there, but the roles of this team will present themselves and evolve as we go along.
Q: @noahlagle1 - with our first couple picks gone, who or what position do you think we target with our pick in the 3rd and 4th rounds
A: I think it almost always makes sense to go after the best player available, especially now in a league where turnover is becoming more and more the norm. Your needs now are most likely not going to be your needs in two years or even a year from now.
So while all positions are on the table, I think we can highlight a few. General Manager Chris Grier mentioned adding competition at center, and that's a position that historically slides a little bit relative to other positions, like Creed Humphrey last year. This year's center class has a handful of intriguing options. Two guys that Daniel Jeremiah highlighted when asked a similar question were Luke Fortner from Kentucky and Cole Strange from Chattanooga. Jeremiah identified both as guys who are smart and have the athletic ability the position covets.
I think there could be great wide receiver and running back value there, too. It's a deep class with both and that can sometimes push some talent down. By that same token, there could be some value at the edge position because of the depth and the number of players at that spot who should go early.
Again, best player available is always a good option.
@TdotPhinfan - Hey Travis, I was wondering if you think Deiter has what it takes to be the starting center? I think he played well last year but injury kind of derailed his progress.
A: Yes, I do. And while Chris Grier mentioned adding competition at the center position – something he has often emphasized at all positions to field the best possible team – he also gave a ringing endorsement of Michael Deiter when asked last week.
"Mike (Deiter) really developed as kind of a leader," Grier said. "He became much more vocal. He had an injury last year that was kind of a freak injury. Our doctors had said they hadn't really seen anything like it when they were kind of going through that with him once he got hurt, so he really hasn't played a ton of games at center still. The interesting thing about him is that every year (in the) offseason we've had teams call – multiple teams call – and offer us picks for him. So he's thought of pretty well around the league still as a player. He knows there's still a developmental window for him to go, but he'll have competition at that spot as well."
Deiter never allowed more than two pressures in a game (PFF) in 2021. He was charged with just three QB hits all season and landed at 98.2 in pass-blocking efficiency.
You mentioned his progress and I think that's where you look at the upside. He's pretty unique for a center in both his length and athleticism. If you move his Combine workout numbers from 2019 to the center position (you might recall he was in the guard/tackle distinction then), then he's in the 90th percentile for length at the position and 80th percentile for athleticism for the spot.
Thank you for submitting your questions. To catch the next mailbag, keep an eye on the @WingfieldNFL handle on Twitter and don't forget the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield for more in-depth mailbags -- wherever you get your podcasts.
To submit questions, keep an eye on the @WingfieldNFL Twitter handle each Thursday when the mailbag thread goes up.