Healthy Raekwon McMillan is ‘huge acquisition’ for Dolphins’ defense

Raekwon McMillan will resume his role as middle linebacker this season. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — Every conversation about the Dolphins’ offseason seems to steer back to the return of Ryan Tannehill. Adam Gase has brought it up constantly, and a healthy Tannehill should make a difference.

Defensive coordinator Matt Burke feels similarly about Raekwon McMillan, who was all set to be the starting middle linebacker last year before tearing his ACL in the preseason. Getting him on the field is should be more helpful than any linebacker move Miami could’ve made in free agency this year.

“If it works out the way we think it can and hope it does, that’s a huge acquisition for us,” Burke said today.

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McMillan was the 54th overall pick in 2017, the seventh linebacker selected, and was impressive upon arrival. He had 102 tackles in his final year at Ohio State and turned pro at age 20.

Burke said he and linebackers coach Frank Bush were recently reviewing the practice film from training camp and saw a player that was on the cusp of taking hold of his role.

McMillan has not been on the field since the injury, but much like Tannehill, he’s remained involved in meetings and film sessions to stay up to date on what the defense is doing. The Dolphins have not specified exactly what he’ll be doing when Organized Team Activities begin May 22, but his rehabilitation is going well.

“We really felt like he was just starting to take that step when we got him going before he got injured,” Burke said. “We had high hopes for him last year. Nothing he’s done since then has discouraged that. He’s been really in-tune, been really sharp. He’s got all the leadership skills and things that we look for, especially at that position.

“He’s worked his (butt) off to get better. He’s rehabbed. He’s in here every day. He hasn’t shown any limitations so far, which has been encouraging. Hopefully he’s a big piece for us. I’m encouraged by him and I’m excited to see him get some work.”

The team has already made clear McMillan will be the starting middle linebacker this season, leaving Kiko Alonso to play on the outside. The position as a whole is one of the biggest question marks for Miami this year, so the defense has almost as much at stake in McMillan’s return as the offense does with Tannehill.

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