by Travis Wingfield
The man nicknamed The Big Fish is now a member of the Miami Dolphins. Trading picks 136 and 141 to move near the top of the fourth round, Chris Grier made Solomon Kindley the 111th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Kindley earned his nickname through his first job in high school, where he served as a lifeguard in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. For one young swimmer, it’s a good thing Kindley was on duty that day.
“Every time anybody came to the pool, they didn’t expect me to be a lifeguard,” Kindley said. “I saved a kid one time who slipped on the bottom of the pool while I was giving swim lessons; but other than that it was a great experience.”
Miami’s new Big Fish comes to South Florida with a diverse sports background. He’s a swimmer, a basketball player, but above all, a mountain of an offensive lineman.
The Dolphins are adding size, physicality and toughness inside this offseason, and no lineman addition is bigger than the 336-pound guard from Georgia.
“It shows the type of power we have and the big bodies that we have and what the Miami offensive line is about,” Kindley said about joining a line with fellow big bodies. “Being big, it helps to move people [off the ball].”
That big frame affords Kindley a lot of power and drive at the point of attack in the run game, but the sheer density helps in pass protection too. Scouts rave over Kindley’s ability to drop the anchor and hold up in pass protection against bull rushers.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein notes Kindley’s toughness, and a guy that’s looking to engage in a three-hour fight every Sunday.
“Nasty guard who lives in scrap mode, looking for fights inside a relatively small phone booth,” Zierlein writes. “Kindley has the frame of a powerful guard. He’s a mauler with enough finesse to get to some reach and cut-off blocks. The size and toughness are great.”
Kindley played on the right side early in his career, but moved to left guard in 2018 where he started each of the last two seasons. Kindley played 2,005 snaps in his collegiate career and allowed just four sacks and 14 hurries on 901 pass blocking reps. Pro Football Focus Lead Draft Analyst Mike Renner notes Kindley’s adept ability on combo blocks and double teams.
“One of the best combo blockers in the country,” Renner writes. “Stays under control working to the second level. [Has] a deadening punch in pass pro that stops defensive tackles in their tracks. He torques linebackers with ease [because of] legit upper-body strength.”
Born in Duval County, Kindley has family in Miami, making the transition a smooth one for the big offensive lineman. Kindley takes his football seriously, but also the way he carries himself on the field and in the locker room.
“[The Dolphins] are getting a hard worker,” Kindley said on the Drive Time Podcast. “They are getting a person that’s going to do whatever it takes to get on the field, whatever it takes in the locker room to become the best player I can become. They’re getting a great leader, a person off the field that keeps everything under control and a good character that’s going to try to help the community as much as I can.”