Dolphins agree to terms with rush LB Brennan Scarlett

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Kyle Crabbs
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The Miami Dolphins’ bid to fortify their defensive depth chart ahead of the start of the 2021 NFL Draft next month took another step forward on Friday, with the Dolphins coming to terms with a key depth linebacker in Duke Riley and also an additional rush linebacker — who just so happens to be the latest Houston Texan to be making the leap to South Florida this offseason.

First it was LB Benardrick McKinney, then WR Will Fuller V. Now, Brennan Scarlett — he agreed to terms with the Dolphins yesterday afternoon and will compete for a rotational role amid Miami’s rush/outside linebackers in 2021.

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Scarlett’s most impactful season came in 2019, when the linebacker started 10 games for the Texans and logged a total of 51 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.

Projecting him into a starting role is a difficult task given the presence of two former Wisconsin Badgers (and longer tenured defenders in Miami) between Andrew Van Ginkel and Vince Biegel, the latter of which is returning from a torn Achilles in 2020 that cost him the entire season. Scarlett lacks the high level athleticism to offer a high-ceiling role with the Dolphins — but his physical play is very much on brand for the Dolphins and should afford him a strong chance to stick on the 53-man roster if the Dolphins don’t invest in the position early on in the 2021 NFL Draft.

That seems to be a point of emphasis for Miami: adding on depth pieces across the roster as available to ensure they’re not boxed into drafting for need at any point in the NFL Draft next week. That’s typically sound strategy: avoid reaching for needs and instead keep the focus on drafting good football players, which you can never have enough of regardless of position.