The biggest blockbuster of the trade deadline was the Dolphins trading a 2023 first-round pick, their 2024 fourth-round pick and running back Chase Edmonds to the Broncos for pass rusher Bradley Chubb and a 2025 fifth-round pick.
It brings the 49ers-Dolphins Trey Lance blockbuster to a close as Miami used the three first-round picks it received from that deal to trade up for wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, trade for WR Tyreek Hill in the offseason and now acquire Chubb.
In Dolphins trade back with 49ers: 2021 Trey Lance deal, they used SF 21 pick to trade up for Jaylen Waddle, 2022 SF 1st rounder (main piece in Tyreek Hill trade) & 2023 SF 1st rounder (main piece in Bradley Chubb deal).— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) November 1, 2022
Lesser picks involved but what a haul: Waddle, Hill, Chubb
While Hill and Waddle have made Miami's offense one of the most dangerous in the league, the Chubb deal fills the biggest remaining hole on the team. The Dolphins needed a pass rusher to boost a defense that ranks 22nd in EPA per game this year after ranking fifth last year.
Now, the Dolphins are getting one of the most effective edge rushers in the league. Chubb ranks third in pass-rush win rate according to ESPN analytics/NFL Next Gen Stats, beating his blocks on 27% of pass plays. The only players who win more consistently are the Cowboys' Micah Parsons and Browns' Myles Garrett, two favorites for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Highest pass-rush win rate: Edge rushers
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Paired with 2021 first-round pick LB Jaelan Phillips, Miami could suddenly have one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL. Phillips ranks 10th in pass-rush win rate among edge rushers this season. The only other team with two players in the top 10 is the Eagles (Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick).
With Miami's new duo, and depth from Melvin Ingram, the Dolphins could have the luxury of getting pressure with a standard pass rush and getting away from a blitz-heavy approach that hasn't worked with a leaky secondary. This move was foreshadowed by ESPN's Dan Orlovsky earlier Tuesday:
If the Dolphins think they’re legit (which I do) they need to be less dependent on “all out pressure blitz wise” and get better/better people to help with a 4 or 5 man rush— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 1, 2022
The Dolphins weren't getting home despite playing one of the most aggressive styles in the league. They have the third-highest blitz rate in the NFL but get actual pressure at just the 21st-highest rate. This after leading the NFL in that category last year. Miami's signature blitz has been abysmal, ranking bottom five in the league in nearly every category.
Dolphins blitz success
In the past, the Dolphins have been able to rely on blitzing because they could leave Pro Bowl cornerbacks Byron Jones and Xavien Howard on islands, but that hasn't been the case in 2022. Jones hasn't played this year while recovering from ankle/Achilles surgery, and Howard has given up the second-most touchdowns in the NFL (five).
Howard as primary defender in coverage
In the playoffs, you need a closer on offense and defense. Miami's offense -- led by Tua Tagovailoa with Hill and Waddle -- has the potential to hang with the Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes & Co.) and Bills (Josh Allen & Co.). Now, the defense has enough pass rushing talent to pressure the AFC's elite.