DAVIE—Andre Branch contends that the current version of the Dolphins’ defensive line is the best on which he’s played. It’s even better than last year’s.
Side note: It better be. Miami is paying a league-high $45.2 million to that unit.
“I think last year—I mean, no one knew who I was,” Branch said. “We had talented players that had played at high levels, but at the same time, they were a little bit older. For us, just having that youth in our room is going to be great.”
Branch was an unknown four modest seasons in Jacksonville before coming up with 5.5 sacks, 49 tackles and two forced fumbles last season. That earned him a three-year, $24 million deal in March.
Even though the Dolphins returned the same starting four, counting Jordan Phillips, there’s good reason to believe Branch’s assessment is correct. Branch and Cameron Wake were not full-time starters last season, and Wake is a year healthier after tearing his Achilles in 2015.
Suh, who just turned 30, continues to dominate and command double and triple teams.
On top of that core, the Dolphins traded for noted run stopper William Hayes and added three draft picks on the line: first-round defensive end Charles Harris, and fifth-round defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor. Godchaux is currently ahead of Phillips as the starter next to Suh.
“The younger players are extremely talented and we have the perfect veteran guys in our room,” Branch said. “It’s great. Everyone is everyone’s brother. We talk each and every day after we leave here. That’s the good thing. You never want to let your brother down.”
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