The upside of trading starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil is the Miami Dolphins got multiple first-round picks in the exchange with the Houston Texans. But there is a downside.
And that is the team has to actually replace Tunsil.
Like, now -- in time for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
And that is what the Dolphins will be doing this week by juggling players who know the system and hoping to integrate players who don’t know the system.
One of the approaches the Dolphins have decided to try, according to a team source, is moving Jesse Davis from right tackle to left tackle.
Davis has 26 career starts with the Dolphins the past two seasons but has rarely practiced at left tackle for Miami. He had a stint at left tackle in a game against the New York Jets years ago.
Davis started every game at right guard in 2018 and moved to right tackle this training camp and preseason.
“We’ll see how it shakes out by the end of the week,” Davis said. “I’ll probably get reps at it. We’ll see what happens. Maybe we bring in another guy, I don’t know.
“You got to get reps at it.”
The team might also consider using recently acquired Julien Davenport at left tackle if he gets up to speed quickly with the Miami playbook and game plan for the opener. Davenport, who started 15 games for Houston last season at left tackle, isn’t necessarily a great option even when he does learn the plays.
Davenport yielded a team-high 12 sacks and between 66 and 71 QB hurries (depending on the metric employed) during the 15 games he started.
“He’s big, he’s athletic, he’s got good length. He’s a good, young tackle,” Flores said of Davenport on Monday. “We’re excited to have him.”
But Flores should be well aware of the player’s 2018 struggles because the Texans played at New England last year when Flores was the Patriots defensive play-caller.
And the Flores defense sacked Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson three times in that game -- with Davenport allowing two of those and two quarterback hits. also.
“I’m here ready to work,” Davenport said. “I’m definitely developing. I know I’ve got a level I have to tap into. I’m working to get there because I know I can go down and be one of the best in the league and I’m continually working to get there and not stopping.”
If Davis is the starter on the left side, the Dolphins are considering starting rookie Isaiah Prince at right tackle, the spot vacated by Davis moving to the left side.
Prince, a rookie, was Miami’s sixth-round pick out of Ohio State and was a reserve player throughout training camp.
The only stable positions currently along the Dolphins starting offensive line seem to be the center position, where veteran Daniel Kilgore is apparently locked in as the starter, and left guard where rookie Michael Deiter is the starter.
The right guard spot currently belongs to undrafted rookie Shaq Calhoun, who started every preseason. But the Dolphins two days ago traded for former Miami Hurricanes and Minnesota Vikings guard Danny Isidora and he is busy getting up to speed on the Miami playbook and game plan.
Once Isidora gets comfortable with Miami’s playbook he will be given a chance to compete for the starting right guard job. Whether that happens as quickly as Sunday against Baltimore is uncertain.