Here's the good news: The Miami Dolphins just need to add eight above-average players to their roster to be Super Bowl contenders. That's not that many.
The bad news? Of the 30 teams that didn't make the Super Bowl this year, the Dolphins rank 17th in how many "good" or "elite" players the team would need to add.
ESPN reports that scouting service Pro Football Focus studied the 28 teams who have made the conference championship games between 2007 and 2013, and found that on average about 40 percent of those teams were rated either "good" or "elite" by its standards. Though, note that only players who have played 250 snaps were taken into account.
The Dolphins current have 31 players who are eligible for evaluation. Only two are considered "elite" (Cameron Wake and Rashad Jones), and three are considered "good" (Branden Albert, Koa Misi and Jarvis Landry).
Twenty other players are considered average, including Ryan Tannahill and Pro Bowler Brent Grimes. And six are considered just flat out bad, including Mike Pouncy.
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That's stunningly mediocre. The average NFL team has two elite players, 4.3 good players, 21 average players, and 5.8 bad players. Not surprising for a team that continually posts mind-numbingly mediocre records season after season.
To balance out, the team would need to add eight players who are either "elite" or "good." That could come through drafts, trades, or, for the optimists, developing currently "average" players into "good" players.
As it turns out the Dolphins might want to find a few more "good" men for the offensive line, considering it was the worst in the NFL this year. Perhaps that could help Tannahill bump up his rating as well.