Dolphins in bottom half of ESPN’s three-season future projections

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The Miami Dolphins spent this offseason improving their roster with the hopes of going from a team that just missed the postseason to a team that can compete and become playoff contenders.

During this break between organized team activities (OTAs) and training camp, this is a perfect time to evaluate where the team stands and how they stack up with other teams in the NFL.

Recently, ESPN put together a power ranking for the future of all 32 teams over the next three seasons. Each team was graded on a number of different factors, including their quarterback situation, rest of the roster, drafting ability, front office and coaching on a scale similar to the one used in school.

The analysts then weighted the scores, giving 30% to the roster, 20% to the quarterback, 20% to coaching, 15% to drafting and 15% to the front office.

After all this math, the Dolphins were listed as No. 22 with an overall score of 75.6, between average and very good. The roster scored 81.5 (15th in the NFL), the quarterback scored 74 (21st), coaching scored 72.8 (27th), drafting scored 72 (31st) and the front office scored 73 (28th).

Here’s what ESPN’s Field Yates wrote about Miami’s ranking for the next three seasons:

Miami has won 19 games over the past two years, has a young and imposing defense and supercharged its offense via a massive trade for receiver Tyreek Hill and a busy free agency. There is a palpable energy that has been absent for some time in Miami and with good reason — this team can be really good. Mike McDaniel steps into a head-coaching role for the first time, and the key determinant of this team’s ceiling this season is quarterback Tua Tagovailoa; if he becomes the player we’ve seen in flashes through two seasons, Miami will catapult up this list. If he does not, there will be questions next offseason about whether Miami ought to use its draft capital to make a play for one of the QBs in the draft. It’s a huge year for him.

For comparison, the Buffalo Bills came in at No. 1, New England Patriots came in at No. 13 and the New York Jets even finished above the Dolphins at No. 21.

The Jets have a bunch of young talent. They added three first-round picks in this year’s draft alone, not to mention they grabbed their starting running back in the second round.

At this point, the Dolphins, while they may be the more talented team, on paper, in 2022, there’s a chance that New York steps up and proves to be just as talented if not more.

That’s why this season is such a big deal. If Tua Tagovailoa proves that he can lead this team and do it well, the Dolphins would have the question mark checked off the list and would likely move up in these rankings.

The same could be said about their coaching. Right now, Mike McDaniel and his staff are viewed as the 27th-best in the league. However, with McDaniel yet to lead his team onto the field for a game, this could change, either way, resulting in a move up or down.

Miami has a lot to prove.

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