Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dolphins shore up interior of D-line with Mitchell


The Miami Dolphins created a gaping hole in their defense when they decided to not re-sign defensive tackles Paul Soliai and Randy Starks.

They used the first day of free agency to start patching that hole back up.

According to an ESPN report, the Dolphins have signed former Houston Texans defensive tackle Earl Mitchell to a four year, $16 million deal. Previously a nose tackle in Houston's 3-4 defense, Mitchell projects as a one-technique defensive tackle in Miami's 4-3.

Mitchell recorded four sacks and 12 total pressures (per Pro Football Focus) in 2013, his first season as a primary starter since being drafted in the third round in 2010. That's solid production from an interior pass rusher, though he undoubtedly benefited from the double teams drawn by all-world defensive end J.J. Watt.

The Dolphins will likely look for another defensive tackle through free agency or the draft, either to starter or serve as depth behind Mitchell and Jared Odrick.

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