Can the Miami Dolphins Upgrade the RG Position in Free Agency?

By Matthew Cannata
Miami Dolphins Offensive Line
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As the Miami Dolphins head into the negotiating period this weekend and free agency on Tuesday, it’s time to take a look at who can fill some of their needs during this time. Here, I’ll break down the RG position, where the Dolphins are looking to move on from John Jerry.

On the offensive line, the right guard doesn’t need as much quickness as the left guard since he’s not likely to pull as much. This is because on most teams, including the Dolphins, the tight end will be lined up on the right side the majority of the time and teams tend to direct power runs to the strong side of the offensive line. The right guard also has to be a powerful run-blocker first and a pass-blocker second.

The top three right guards on the free-agent market are Jon Asamoah, Geoff Schwartz and Rodger Saffold. If you read my article about the top left guards on the market, you will notice that I also had Schwarz on that list. That is because Schwartz can play both the left and right guard positions and if the Dolphins were to get him, they could put him on either side and open up their options in the draft.

Throughout the article, I’ll be referencing grades from Pro Football Focus. Of course, these grades don’t tell the whole story. One must look at film and offensive schemes and philosophies to get an entire detailed breakdown on a player. We can, however, get a great glimpse of what each one can provide with an overall view.

Asamoah is considered one of the top guards on the market, but he will likely come at a high price tag because there are many teams that are interested in him. Last season, in 682 snaps, he had an overall grade of 6.6, with five games where he had a negative grade. His pass-block grade was 4.6 and his run-block grade was 0.5. In 379 passing plays, he allowed one sack, zero QB hits, 12 hurries and 13 pressures. His pass-blocking efficiency was 97.4 percent.

Asamoah has been playing since 2010 and has missed only five games over the years. Last season, he was sidelined with a shoulder injury for two weeks and a calf injury for one week. However, he’s been relatively injury free since his time in the league.

Schwartz is considered on the same level as Asamoah and last season, he played in 632 snaps and had an overall grade of 18.3, with only two games where he had a negative grade. His pass-block grade was 6.0 and his run-block grade was 9.0. In 293 passing plays, Schwartz allowed two sacks, two QB hits, six hurries and 10 pressures. His pass-blocking efficiency was 97.3 percent.

Schwartz has been playing since 2008 and has only had minor injuries since that time, but only missing three games over the years. It’s easy to see that you don’t need to worry about a prior injury history with Schwartz.

Saffold is a name that’s been floating around the Dolphins over the past several days and their interest in him is high. In 557 snaps, he had an overall grade of 6.7, with four games where he had a negative grade. His pass-block grade was 4.5 and his run-block grade was 1.5. In 112 passing snaps, he allowed zero sacks, zero QB hits, seven hurries and seven pressures. His pass-blocking efficiency was 95.3 percent.

Saffold has been injured every year he’s played since 2010. That year, he battled back and shoulder injuries; in 2011 he ended the season on IR with a pectoral injury; in 2012 he battled a knee injury and in 2013, he battled a knee injury. He has missed 17 out pf 64 games since that time, so injuries are definitely a concern, especially if you’re planning to pay a lot of money to him.

What does all this mean? As I mentioned earlier, the right guard should be a run-blocker first and pass-blocker second. With that in mind, it seems that Schwartz would be the best option for that position. While there are more players on the market with great run-blocking grades, these three are at the top of their position. Due to Saffold’s injury history, I would stay away from him, but would be on board with signing either Asamoah or Schwartz.

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

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