- Suh Signs! Ndamukong Suh receives nearly $60 Million signing bonus with $114+ Million total over 6 years
- WR Hartline cut after 6 seasons WR Gibson was also released
- Mike Tannenbaum hired... ...as Dolphins' executive VP of football operations
- Philbin retained Coach Philbin was given a contract extension
Early Training Camp Battle Projections Miami Dolphin Edition
Each year some 90 something players get an invitation to knock their brains out for 6 weeks in order to fulfill their life’s dream to make an NFL roster. They come from all areas and walks of life to battle amongst each other for that chance. This year is no different. Miami has 30 rookies reporting, including their 7 recent draftees. What we’ll do here is go through what should be the most contested battles of camp, and the most interesting to watch. At this point it’s early to project the final 53, but I’ll give it a shot. We’ll start on the offensive side of the ball which should hold most of the real battles.
QB — With Tannehill the clear #1, and Moore backing him up, the battle to watch should be for the #3 position.
Pat Devlin – Pat’s done a respectable job in his limited opportunities, but is he an NFL capable QB? We know Philbin likes him so maybe that’s enough for now.
Brock Jensen – Brock was 70-7 as a starting quarterback through High School, and college. The knock on him is he does not have an NFL caliber arm. You have to believe the team will take a long look at his potential before making a final decision.
Most likely to make the roster: Tannehill, Moore, Devlin.
It would appear that Moreno, and Miller are locks to make the 53 man roster. Beyond them anything can happen as I don’t see an abundance of talent here.
Orleans Darkwa – Orleans is 6’0” and 210lbs. He runs a 4.44 40, and rushed for 925 yards in only 6 starts as a freshman at Tulsa. His issue has been durability. He has been hampered by injuries most of his college career.
Mike Gillislee – Mike didn’t see much playing time in ’13. He’ll get more opportunity to prove he belongs this summer.
Marcus Thigpen – You get the feeling after a sub par 2013 that the coaching staff would like to see an upgrade here.
Daniel Thomas – At 6’1” and 233 lbs, Daniel is still the biggest RB on the roster. The problem is he does not perform like a big man consistently enough.
Damien Williams – Damien also runs a 4.4 40. Although, there are some previous character concerns as he was kicked off Oklahoma’s team for violating team rules. It was not the first offense for him so you have to wonder if he takes the game seriously enough to put in the effort it requires. He is a fast back who lacks power, and vision. Best used outside, or as a 3rd down back.
Most likely to make the roster: Miller, Moreno, Thomas, and Darkwa if he can remain healthy through camp.
With Clay, and Lynch pretty much guaranteed a roster spot we’ll look at some of the other TE’s on the roster.
Michael Egnew – Michael was primarily used as a blocking TE, or FB by Sherman. It certainly was not the best usage of his skills, but more out of necessity. Lazor’s offense would seem to be a better fit for him if he can prove he has what it takes. As of now, the odds seem slim of him making the roster, but a turn around would not shock me.
Dion Sims – I am not sure what happened to Dion after what seemed like an impressive start to 2013. Did he wear down? Or was his play just not good enough? We’ll see.
Harold “Gator” Hoskins – He’s a tougher Michael Egnew, but 3” shorter. Good catch radius, decent speed. Not a great blocker.
Kyle Miller – Miller spent most of last season on the Dolphins practice squad after being claimed from the Colts in 2012. He played in one career game for Miami, and did nothing worth mentioning.
Most likely to make the roster: Clay, Lynch, Sims, Hoskins.
Wallace, and Hartline are the returning starters, and in all likelihood safe bets to make the final 53. Jarvis Landry should be safe as well. Beyond them there should be some very interesting competition for the remaining 3 or 4 slots. (This assumes Miami keeps at least one more receiver then they did in ’13) This is a deep area for Miami, and it would not be shocking to see one or two of these kids get a shot elsewhere.
Brandon Gibson – Brandon was off to a solid start with Tannehill in ’13 before he suffered a knee injury. He seems to be on schedule for a return in ’14. He should be safe unless Jarvis Landry gets off to a spectacular start.
Matt Hazel – Will probably battle Damian Williams for a spot on the team.
Rishard Matthews – There’s been reports that Rishard struggles with the mental aspects of the game. Shows potential to be a serviceable player, but probably not starting talent. 50-50% to make the roster.
Armon Binns – This is one of those receivers that teases you with flashes. He too, is coming off injury which cancelled his ’13 season before it began. He’ll need a fast start to camp to have a real chance to stick. Fortunately for him he appears to be healthy once again.
Kevin Cone – Most likely a camp body. We’ll see.
Ryan Spadola – Maybe a practice squad chance.
Damian Williams – See Matt Hazel.
Stephen Williams – Stephen has bounced around the NFL in his 4 years. At 6’5” he’s Miami’s tallest receiver. For this reason alone he should get a fair look.
Rantavious Wooten – Interestingly, Rantavious completed a 42 yard pass to Arthur Lynch while at GA, but that aside he’s a projected slot receiver in the Pros. At 5’9” he’s a bit undersized for the NFL.
Most likely to make the roster: Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Landry, Hazel.
In what was clearly Miami’s weakest area in ’13, Miami has done everything possible to not only replace 4 of its starters, but also acquire some depth to provide legit competition at the guard positions. This should be a constant battle worth watching.
Locks: Mike Pouncey, Brandon Albert, JaWuan James, and Billy Turner.
Sam Brenner – Sam should be given every opportunity to make the squad. The question about him is did he get stronger? If he did he can push for a starting spot. Odds to make the final 53 seem almost assured.
Shelly Smith – Should be given every opportunity to earn a starting guard position.
Nate Garner – Nate is the guy who can do everything, but does nothing exceedingly well. It might be time to move on.
Samuel Longo – Sam is a center, and unless he can prove he can also play guard I don’t see him getting a shot to make the squad.
Micajah Reynolds – More then likely a camp body. Micajah is a G.
Dallas Thomas – Should compete for a starting guard spot, or at worst a reserve lineman. A shoulder injury hampered him during 2013. This is his shot to impress, if he fails that he won’t make the final roster.
Evan Finkenberg – Probably another camp body, but one of these guys could stick for depth. Evan projects to G.
Tyler Larson – Another center who I give little chance to make the roster.
David Arkin – David will compete for a backup T job.
Jason Fox – Jason will compete for a backup T job.
Michael Philipp – Michael will compete for a backup T job.
Most likely to make the roster: Pouncey, Albert, James, Turner, Brenner, Smith, Thomas, and Fox. As for the rest of the group they should be competing for a spot on the practice squad.
The most intriguing battle on defense will be at CB, followed by LB.
At the DT position I see Mitchell, Odrick, and Starks as locks which will leave the remaining 5 players battling for 1 spot, maybe 2.
Isaako Aaitui – Marginal talent will be hard pressed to hang on.
A.J. Francis – A slightly better chance then Isaako.
Anthony Johnson – Johnson has been labeled as a boom or bust prospect. An underachiever.. He’s raw.
Kamal Johnson – Character issues stemming from an assault on his girlfriend in ‘12. He should compete for a late roster spot.
Garrison Smith – Low odds of making the roster. Slow, undersized, and not very athletic.
Most likely to make the roster: Mitchell, Odrick, Starks, and K.Johnson.
Jordan, Shelby, Vernon, and Wake are locks. Fede, and Mims are too close to call. A lot will depend on which guy impresses first.
Terrence Fede – Has probably better upside then Mims, but likely practice squad material.
Tevin Mims – Good effort player who is slow to react to what he sees. He projects as a developmental type prospect.
Most likely to make the roster: Jordan, Shelby, Vernon, Wake, and Fede.
Ellerbe, Wheeler, Misi, Jenkins, and Tripp appear to be locks.
Tariq Edwards – OLB with 4.7 speed. Here’s a great interception. http://www.theacc.com/#!/video-detail/c2ZG9qZTpidVqi2y494lDZp6deeQ7zFC
Jonathon Freeny – Had a shoulder injury in ’13. Fringe player signed as a FA in ’11.
Derrell Johnson – If he makes the team it’ll be because he stands out on special teams. Limited upside.
Chris McCain – Another player who was dismissed from his team for poor behavior. He’s 6’5” 224 lbs.
Marcus Thompson – Two year starter at DE for Rutgers, Had a solid pro day which earned him an invite. Another likely special teamer if he impresses.
Jason Trusnik – Jason has been showing at MLB in camp.
Andrew Wilson – OLB “I’m a physical, hard-working guy, a smart linebacker and a guy who can run your defense and do everything you need me to do on special teams.” We’ll see if that’s true. Isn’t the most athletic, but has a high motor, and is physical.
Most likely to make the roster: Ellerbe, Wheeler, Misi, Jenkins, Tripp, Trusnik, and Wilson.
This group should provide one of the best battles of camp.
Davis, Finnegan, Grimes, and Taylor appear to be locks.
Walt Aikens – There’s a lot to like about Walt, the major knock is he does not possess elite speed.
Jalil Brown – Similar to Walt in that he lacks elite speed, and is a good man to man corner prospect.
Anthony Gaitor – Smallish corner who has good speed. Needs to bulk up.
Don Jones – Marginal talent. Bad with Twitter.
Steven Clarke – Runs 4.49 40, Rotational part time player his senior season. Can return kicks.
Demetrius Wright – Marginal talent.
Most likely to make the team: Davis, Finnegan, Grimes, Taylor, Aikens, and Brown.
Delmas, Jones, and Wilson appear to be locks.
Jordan Kovacs – Should battle Thomas for the final spot.
Michael Thomas — Should battle Kovacs for the final spot.
Most likely to make the team: Delmas, Jones, Wilson, and Thomas.
I kept 24 offensive players.
I kept 26 defenders electing to go with an additional DB.
LS John Denney
P Brandon Fields
K Caleb Stergis
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