Dolphins must find better protection for QB Ryan Tannehill in free agency

Here are the moves the Miami Dolphins should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday:

Get a top-shelf guard: The Dolphins proved over the years that they cannot properly evaluate the guard position in the NFL draft. Failed picks such as Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner have hurt the offense and protection for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was sacked 91 times the past two seasons. It’s time to get a proven commodity in free agency. Fortunately for the Dolphins, there are several quality guards available. Miami should start right at the top with veterans Kelechi Osemele and Alex Boone.

Add secondary help: Miami needs help at all three levels defensively, but free agency offers the best chance to boost the secondary. New defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who coached with the Cincinnati Bengals last year, is implementing a new system and has intimate knowledge of several key free agents. Bengals nickel corner Leon Hall, cornerback Adam Jones and safeties George Iloka and Reggie Nelson will all be available next week, and Cincinnati can’t keep them all. The Dolphins and Joseph should make a push for at least two of these players, with Iloka being the best fit in terms of age and value.

Find depth: The Dolphins are in the midst of a seven-year playoff drought, and an underrated reason for that is a consistent lack of depth. The front office has spent a lot of money the past few years making splash signings, such as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, receiver Mike Wallace and left tackle Branden Albert. However, it has been the players behind the starters who continually fail to step up when injuries happen. With limited cap room, the Dolphins must wisely find affordable gems who can step up when needed.