The Baltimore Ravens were always looking to shop Bryant McKinnie after acquiring Eugene Monroe as an upgrade, and the Miami Dolphins always made sense as a landing spot for McKinnie. The Dolphins dealt a conditional late-round pick for McKinnie earlier this week, and he gives the Dolphins an upgrade at tackle. Second-year pro Jonathan Martin has struggled on the left side, and veteran Tyson Clabo has been thoroughly unimpressive on the right side. Clabo has been a massive disappointment, because he has been a huge liability despite looking like a big value signing for the Dolphins this offseason.
The Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley reports that the Dolphins are expect to start McKinnie at left tackle against the New England Patriots tomorrow, and they aren’t going to waste any time making an upgrade. The expect starting duo for the Dolphins is McKinnie and Martin, as Clabo has been worse than Martin and is expected to drop to the bench.
Starting McKinnie at left tackle instead of right tackle makes the most sense, because he is clearly more comfortable on the left side; switching sides is not an easy thing for veteran offensive linemen to do. The Miami Dolphins shouldn’t realistically expect much out of McKinnie as a run blocker, but they are definitely expecting an upgrade to their pass protection. They could have rested McKinnie this week and allowed him to better learn the offense, but they have decided that it is critical for him to start this week against a big division foe. New England Patriots right end Chandler Jones isn’t a great player yet, but he racks up sacks and plays the run pretty well; Jones can cause a lot of problems for an offensive line when he isn’t contained.