No team needed an offensive tackle more entering the 2019 NFL season than the Houston Texans, and the team’s brass paid dearly to acquire one just days ahead of their season opener.
Per NFL Media, Houston’s brass is trading two first-round picks, a second-round pick, Johnson Bademosi and Julie’n Davenport to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and a fourth-round pick. The moves are contingent on players passing physicals
Tunsil, the No. 13 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, ranks 21st among the 87 tackles with 400-plus pass-blocking snaps over the past two seasons in pass-blocking grade (79.8). In his three years in the NFL, Tunsil has yet to earn a single-season pass-blocking grade below 74.5.
Where Tunsil struggles is the run game. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder ranks 50th in run-blocking grade (53.8) among the 64 NFL offensive tackles with 400-plus run-blocking snaps over the past two seasons. He’s also yet to earn a single-season run-blocking grade above 62.3 in his career.
Now entering his seventh season in the NFL, Stills is a 6-foot-1, 202-pound speedster that has yet to live up to the hype stemming from his 2014 season with the New Orleans Saints. Still earned career-high marks in receiving grade (77.7) and yards per route run (1.93) in 2014 and was traded to Miami in exchange for Dannell Ellerbe and a third-round pick the following offseason. Stills has since earned just a 66.6 receiving grade across his 2,081 routes run with Miami (2015-18), ranking 81st among the 109 wide receivers with at least 800 routes run in the four-year span. He also ranks 73rd in yards per route run (1.34) among the same group of qualifiers.
Stills is due $9.75M in 2019 and another $8.75M in 2020, per Over the Cap, but can be released without penalty following the 2019 season. Tunsil is on the books for $3.9M this upcoming season and carries his 2020 fifth-year option with him to Houston.
Losing Tunsil takes a Miami offensive line that entered the preseason as PFF’s lowest-ranked offensive line in the NFL to another level of bad. And the addition of Davenport is more of a problem than a solution at the position.
Brought in as a fourth-round pick out of Bucknell in 2017, Davenport earned a dismal 50.6 overall grade across 238 offensive snaps as a rookie and a 54.9 overall grade across 1,084 offensive snaps in Year 2 of his NFL career. Among the 75 offensive tackles with 800 or more offensive snaps played over the past two seasons, Davenport ranks 69th in overall grade (53.3), 68th in pass-blocking grade (56.1) and T-60th in run-blocking grade (53.3).
Bademosi, a Stanford product originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012, doesn’t offer much defensively, but he’s special teams ace. He’s played more 250 special teams snaps every year of his NFL career and has logged 56 combined special teams tackles in the process.
Of course, Miami didn’t make this trade to win now with Davenport and Bademosi. The Dolphins’ brass has their sights set on the future, one that should (in theory) be a bit brighter if the team can acquire premier talent with its bevy of draft picks in the coming years.