What analytics site says about Tua, Hill, Waddle and more. And Dolphins begin cuts

David Santiago/dsantiago@miamiherald.com

The Dolphins began trimming their roster on Monday by releasing running back Gerrid Doaks, offensive lineman Adam Pankey and receiver Mohamad Sanu.

Miami also cut linebacker Calvin Munson and Darius Hodge and rookie offensive lineman Blaise Andries, according to sources. And Calvin Munson is going on injured reserve.

We hear running back Sony Michel is very much at risk. Update: Michel and 10 others were released.

Doaks was the team’s seventh-round pick in 2021 but never seriously challenged for a spot on the 53-man roster during camp. He spent last season on the practice squad, never appearing in a game.

Sanu signed with the team before training camp but couldn’t win the No. 5 or potentially, No. 6 wide receiver job.

Pankey has experience at tackle and guard and also played some center in training camp. He could return to the team’s practice squad at some point.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins continue efforts to try to trade receiver Preston Williams, according to a source.

NFL teams must cut their rosters from 80 to 53 by 4 p.m. Tuesday.


Some notes/analysis on the Dolphins offense from Pro Football Focus, which rates Miami 19th (one spot behind New England) in its power ratings:

▪ PFF rates the Dolphins’ wide receiver/tight end group third-best in the NFL, behind only Cincinnati and Tampa Bay, and offers this comment: “Tyreek Hill joined forces with the player closest to his unique blend of speed and twitch in the open field — Jaylen Waddle. Opposing defenses are going to have to grapple with the best way to mitigate risk and limit the damage caused by that duo all season.”

▪ But PFF rates the Dolphins’ running back group only 28th, ahead of Atlanta, Kansas City, the Rams and Houston.

PFF says “the Dolphins are certainly more talented at running back than they were in 2021, but it’s a hodgepodge collection of talent that will have to settle into order over the course of the offseason.”

PFF adds that Raheem Mostert “has the familiarity with new head coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme and the speed that works well in it, but he’s struggled to stay healthy. Chase Edmonds was Miami’s most expensive offseason acquisition at running back, but he has yet to hold down a lead role over the course of his career.”

PFF rated Sony Michel 52nd of 62 backs last season, three spots lower than Myles Gaskin. Michel stands at risk of being cut.

▪ PFF ranks Mike Gesicki 13th among all tight ends, noting: “Gesicki ranks seventh among tight ends in slot receiving grade since 2020. He’s been highly effective against single coverage thanks to his massive frame. Over the past two years, Gesicki has racked up the third-most receiving yards against single coverage among tight ends and leads the pack in contested catches on such plays.”

▪ Sam Monson made some interesting points on the Kyle Shanahan offense that Miami will feature.

“Now his former offensive coordinator is the head coach in Miami, in charge of replicating that magic for the Dolphins.

“Under Shanahan, quarterbacks like Nick Mullens were able to post a career average yards per attempt figure of 7.7. That’s the same as Aaron Rodgers managed last season for the Packers on his way to an MVP award.

“Jimmy Garopollo might be a walking injury report, but he has a career YPA of 8.4! Last season, only Joe Burrow averaged more than Garoppolo. Shanahan’s system is quarterback-friendly. It also has a history of coaxing career years out of offensive lineman, which won’t hurt Miami’s rebuild project there.”

Tagovailoa has averaged 6.6 yards per attempt in his career, and Monson said only Jared Goff “has a lower big-time throw rate over that time than Tua’s 2.5%. By any measure, he has not shown he can be a franchise quarterback, but there is a strong argument that his situation was prohibitively bad and there was no chance for him to do so.”

PFF ranks Tua in a “prove it or lose it” category of NFL quarterbacks, a group that is “potentially in their last year starting.”

Tagovailoa is in that group with Daniel Jones, Jameis Winston, Jalen Hurts and Drew Lock.

▪ PFF ranks Hill fifth among all NFL receivers, noting that he showed “that he was more than a deep threat this past year. His 75 combined first downs and touchdowns tied for the third-most among wide receivers in the regular season, but his average depth of target dipped to 11.0 yards, his lowest since his rookie campaign. Miami will be able to use Hill in various ways, but expect an increase in schemed touches to get the ball in his hands and let him work in space.”

PFF ranks Waddle 30th among all NFL receivers, noting that “from Week 6 on, he was one of the 10 highest-graded wide receivers in the NFL. And the scary part about that is Waddle still has even more untapped potential on top of it.”

▪ And PFF called Terron Armstead the No. 6 offensive tackle in football, noting: “Armstead is one of the position’s best pass protectors and rarely loses in the run game across both gap and zone run concepts. The only real reason for pause in his profile is his injury history given that he’s played over 80% of the team’s offensive snaps just three times in his career.”

Over the past four seasons, he played 62, 88, 82 and 43 percent of the Saints’ offensive snaps.


With a few exceptions, most of ESPN’s analysts have become very pro-Fins and pro-Tagovailoa.

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky said on Monday that “this roster, if Tua takes the step forward, which I think he will, is a team that will compete for championships. They are a sleeper when it comes to an AFC championship run.”