After beginning the 2023 season as one of the most dominant teams in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins vastly underperformed expectations down the stretch and ultimately found themselves bumped from the playoffs in the Wildcard round after, unfortunately, drawing the Kansas City Chiefs right out of the gate.

While some of this had to do with the league catching up with what Mike McDaniel was doing on offense, as the team scored more points in Week 3 than their final three games combined, a series of injuries and general fatigue at key positions also broke the team down when it mattered most, with a need to bolster the overall depth a key goal heading into the offseason.

Fortunately, the Dolphins were able to do just that, including a pair of incredibly athletic edge rushers and a supersized offensive lineman who may just find a second home on the inside.

These rookies could be players for the Miami Dolphins in 2024.

Edge rusher Chop Robinson, the Dolphins' first-round draft pick, meets with reporters on May 10, 2024.
Edge rusher Chop Robinson, the Dolphins' first-round draft pick, meets with reporters on May 10, 2024.

2. Mohamed Kamara and Chop Robinson will push Jaelan Phillips

After watching Andrew Gynkle leave Miami alongside Vic Fangio earlier this year, the Dolphins are expecting big things for Jaelan Phillips, their first-round pick back in 2021, who has consistently impressed with his pass-rushing ability in a part-time starting role.

Standing 6-foot-5, 263 pounds, Phillips looks like an ideal modern edge rusher and has the athletic testing numbers to back it up, as his blazing 4.58 40 time and 125-inch broad jump clearly prove. Though he has only played more than 650 snaps once in his career, he has still remained an incredible rusher despite being a rotational performer, amassing 22 sacks over 42 games, including a career-high 8.5 as a rookie.

Could Phillips become a full-time starter in 2024 opposite Bradley Chubb in 2024? Sure thing but after drafting not one but two very interesting edge rushers in the 2024 NFL draft in Chop Robinson and Mohamed Kamara, whoever wins the spot will have certainly earned it, as they will have to work very hard to win the battle in camp and the preseason.

On paper, Robinson and Kamara are about as different as one could imagine from rushers who play the same position; Robinson is an athletic wonder who turned in incredible numbers at the combine but was curiously unproductive at Penn State, whereas Kamara was incredibly productive during his career at Colorado State, picking up 29.5 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss during his run with the Rams.

Now granted, could the duo play together, or could one of the two rushers bulk up a bit to play more inside? Potentially so; Robinson and Kamara are both interesting prospects with room to grow, and there's no telling how their careers will shake out, let alone what Miami sees for them long-term. Still, assuming Chubb continues to play at the same level fans are accustomed to, it's safe to say Miami will be rolling deep regardless of who ends up starting opposite the former Denver Pro Bowler.

1. Patrick Paul will push Robert Jones and Jack Driscoll at right guard

Heading into 2024, the Dolphins really needed to figure out a plan at right guard.

First, they decided to hand out a contract extension to Robert Jones, who played eight games with five starts for the Dolphins in 2024. Then, the team signed former Philadelphia Eagles lineman Jack Driscoll, who played guard and tackle for the team as a former fourth-round pick out of Auburn.

Could Miami get away with that duo in 2024, with Isaiah Wynn filling the left guard spot and the dynamic duo Terron Armstead and Austin Jackson manning the starting tackle spots? Potentially so, but needless to say, fans wanted to see the Dolphins come away with at least one interior lineman in the 2024 NFL draft in order to shore up the front five and give Tua Tagovailoa a chance to set up Mike McDaniel's deep passing game.

And yet, despite going to the bat seven times over the draft's three days, the Dolphins selected only one offensive lineman: Patrick Paul, a supersized tackle from Houston who many assume will fill a swing tackle role in 2024, backing up Armstead and Jackson.

Unfortunate? Sure, but hey, just because the team didn't draft a Day 3 lineman instead of loading up on wide receivers doesn't mean they can't improve in the trenches right away, as Paul could theoretically kick it inside to take some snaps between Jackson and center Aaron Brewer this summer.

Now granted, would it be a tad unusual to have a team starting a 6-foot-7, 331-pound guard with massive 36.25-inch arms and a 29-inch vertical jump? You bet, but if the Dolphins want to shore up their pass protection and add some meat in the middle of the offensive line should Jones and/or Driscoll struggle, well, placing Paul in the starting lineup might just be the best option for him to get immediate snaps during the final years of Armstead's career.