With the ever-increasing likelihood that Jake Long will not return, one of the most pressing needs facing the Dolphins this year is at offensive tackle. While it is important that Jeff Ireland finds those playmakers this year, it is also imperative that we protect second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. To make those throws, you need to give your young quarterback time in the pocket. It's also imperative that the offensive line creates holes for the running back. Sure, we are a pass-first team right now, but we need Lamar Miller to build on the promise that he showed during his rookie year. One such offensive lineman that could perform that role for us this year is projected free agent Gosder Cherilus, of the Detroit Lions.


Gosder Cherilus has quietly emerged as one of the best right tackles in the NFL in recent seasons. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the seventh best tackle in 2012, and in the top half of all tackles in 2011. One of the first things to consider is the NFL experience Cherilus would bring to this football team. At twenty-eight years old, the former Boston College product has played five seasons on the offensive line. And of those five seasons, Cherilus has only missed five games due to injury. He's an extremely durable player. More good news for Ryan Tannehill is that the twenty- eight year old is a reliable pass blocker, allowing only five sacks last year. In short, Cherilus would bring experience, reliability and stability to the offensive line in 2013. By tackling one of our biggest needs in Free Agency, it would allow the Dolphins to make a big push towards the skill positions in the draft.

Gosder Cherilus may also not be as expensive as people think. We all know that the draft has some very good prospects at tackle this year. But it is also interesting that there is good depth at the position in Free Agency too, with our very own Jake Long, Sebastian Vollmer, and Phil Loadholt being some of the big names projected to be up for grabs next month. Because of this, don't be surprised to see the contracts offered to some of these tackles be slightly lower than the contracts given to offensive lineman in past years.