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Dolphins Q&A: What is impact on AFC East of Bills trading Stefon Diggs?

Here’s the latest installment of our Miami Dolphins Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel writers David Furones and Chris Perkins answer questions from readers.

Q: Dave, saw your tweet about how disappointing it would be if the Dolphins don’t win the AFC East now that the Bills traded Stefon Diggs. I don’t know, once they make moves to replace Diggs as WR1, I still see Buffalo as the favorite. Besides, Diggs was phased out of the offense over there once they started finding success second half of the season. — Anthony B., via email

My feeling on this is more so an extension of how disappointing it already was to blow a three-game lead with five games remaining in the division last year than just a knee-jerk reaction to Diggs being traded from Buffalo.

It cannot happen again.

Let’s set some expectations for the Dolphins.

Stop being content to make the playoffs as a wild-card team that gets swept by the Bills and, instead of playing at home in the first round, has to go on the road against the defending and eventual repeat Super Bowl champs in the fourth-coldest kickoff temperature in league history.

We’re currently in a stretch of the most talented rosters the Dolphins have had in two decades — and maybe more than that.

I already felt it would be a disappointment if it played out the same way in 2024, and now, the opportunity is only more tailor-made for Miami to win the division for the first time since 2008 and set itself up for a playoff win for the first time since 2000.

Yes, Diggs was less and less of the Bills offense as their 2023 turned around midseason, but his presence was still vital to everything else that opened up for Buffalo. It will be a huge difference when opposing defenses no longer have to game plan for him.

Plus, Gabe Davis isn’t there anymore either. They have Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox at tight end. At receiver, it’s Khalil Shakir, Mack Hollins, Curtis Samuel and whoever else they add in the draft or free agency.

If Miami can’t get over the hump of the Bills this year or if the Jets pass up the Dolphins, yes, serious questions have to start being asked.

Q: Do you think Miami stays at pick 21 or do they trade out?Eric on X

If the right scenario presents itself, I could absolutely see the Dolphins trading down from the No. 21 pick.

Let’s say Miami is torn between a number of available prospects when their selection comes up. Maybe it’s UCLA edge defender Laiatu Latu, Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson, Duke interior offensive lineman Graham Barton, Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy and some others all still on the board.

If Dolphins decision-makers don’t feel greatly about one over the others, make some calls to see if teams lower in the first round are willing to move up.

Especially since Miami is without a third- or fourth-round pick, it can add an extra pick or two in the movement while still getting one of the guys the team wanted.

Q: Who will be Miami’s RB1? Is it still Mostert? Or Achane?@JSportsNetwork on X

When you have a rookie that averaged 7.8 yards per carry on 103 rushing attempts, you want to give him every opportunity to get the ball even more in his second season.

So De’Von Achane should definitely see an expanded role in the Dolphins offense. Who starts isn’t so important as who gets what portion of the workload. At this point, I could see the game plan being to make sure each gets double-digit carries every game, with the ability to adjust depending on the game plan against a given opponent or to keep feeding a hot hand.