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NFL Miami Dolphins

Top 5 LTs Miami Dolphins Should Target In NFL Free Agency

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Miami Dolphins: Top 5 LT Targets Expected to Hit Free Agency

Free Agent Left Tackles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will be in the market for a left tackle once free agency begins on March 11 and they better hope that they land one. This is because they hold the 19th pick in the draft and by the time their pick comes around, there will be no elite left tackles left. While there are others like Zack Martin, he is no sure thing to be that cornerstone the Dolphins desperately need for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

There is a general consensus out there of the top five left tackles heading into free agency. These players are highlighted in this slideshow along with rankings and grades I have compiled from Pro Football Focus. When ranking these players, I took into account various factors. This included their grades and rankings from PFF, their injury history and the teams they have played on throughout their careers.

While there will be a lot of left tackles on the market, there aren’t many that the Dolphins should chase and offer a large amount of money to because there aren’t many that can be relied upon to finish a full season. It will be a very competitive market and the Dolphins will have their hands full trying to get their primary target.

There is a possibility this list changes if any of these players sign a deal with their current team before free agency begins. For now, here are my rankings of the top five left tackles that are expected to hit free agency.

Matthew Cannata covers the Miami Dolphins for Follow him Twitter @PhinManiacs. Like him on Facebook and add him to your Google Network.

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5. Rodger Saffold

Rodger Saffold
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Rodger Saffold had an overall grade of 6.7. His pass block grade was 4.5 and his run block grade was 1.5. Saffold played in 12 games and graded positive in eight of them and negative in four of them. He missed four weeks of the season due to a knee injury.

Saffold has been in the league since 2010 and has played in 16, 9, 10 and 12 games, respectively. He has battled a pectoral muscle and neck injury along with a MCL sprain.

Saffold’s grades come in well but his injuries cannot go unnoticed.

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4. Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Anthony Collins had an overall grade for the season of 16.3. He had a pass block grade of 14.9 and a run block grade of -1.7. Of the 15 games he played including the first round of the playoffs, he graded positive eleven times, broke even four times, and didn’t post a negative grade once.

Collins has been playing since 2008 but hasn’t ever played a full season. He has played in 9, 14, 9, 7, 5, and 15 games, respectively. He has battled knee and ankle injuries over the years.

His grades are good but his injuries concern me.

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3. Branden Albert

Branden Albert
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Branden Albert had an overall grade of 11.5. His pass block grade was 14.7 and his run block was -2.3. Of the 14 games he played including the first round of the playoffs, he graded positive nine times and negative four times.

Albert has been playing since 2008 and has only played a full season once. He has played in 15, 14, 15, 16, 13 and 12 games, respectively. Over the years, he has battled foot, elbow, ankle, groin, back and knee injuries.

Albert is going to be command a lot of money on the market but like Collins and Saffold, his injuries concern me.

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2. Jared Veldheer

Jared Veldheer
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Jared Veldheer had an overall grade of -5.5. His pass block grade was -1.6 and his run block grade was -3.1. Out of the five games he played due to a triceps injury, he only graded positive once and negative the other four games.

Veldheer has been playing since 2010 and has played 16 games every year with the exception of last year.

Veldheer is my second option. While his grades don’t seem to be the best, remember that he came back at the end of the season and was on a very bad team. With better coaching, he can turn into an elite left tackle.

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1. Eugene Monroe

Eugene Monroe
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Eugene Monroe finished the season with an overall grade of 20.4. His pass block grade was 15.6 and his run blocking grade was 1.5. He played in 15 games and graded positive 13 times and negative only twice.

Monroe has been playing since 2009 and played in 15 games in 2010, 2011 and 2013. In 2012, he played in 16 games.

Monroe is the best left tackle on the market and the Dolphins should throw everything at him. He will be the cornerstone of the offensive line and his injury history isn’t anything too serious, briefly battling shoulder and ankle injuries in 2011.