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Top 10 2019 Miami Dolphins Training Camp Battles

Travis Wingfield

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Inherent competition is a hallmark engrained in the foundation of all great NFL organizations. Avoiding complacency and developing an environment that encourages contention for reps, come September, has a tendency of breeding success.

For the 2019 Dolphins, competition is a byproduct of the new operating procedure. With an approach to buy low, in hopes to uncovering hidden gems, few starting positions are spoken for when the team hits the practice field later this month.

Xavien Howard and Laremy Tunsil head a short list of players written into the lineup with pen; these are the 10 most important battles of training camp and the preseason.

1. Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Josh Rosen

Starting this list anywhere else would be disingenuous. Rosen is going to start at some point — likely sooner than later — but the nature by which he earns the gig could be telling. Unless he changes his colors in year-fifteen, it’s plausible to assume Fitzpatrick will have mountainous highs and benching-worthy lows.

Of course, the path Rosen takes to seize the starting job will be forgotten if he irrefutably earns his “Chosen One” moniker, but failing to top the journeyman in August would be an ominous start to his second chance in Miami.

Projected Opening Day Starter: Ryan Fitzpatrick

2. Cornerback – Everyone but Xavien Howard

Between Bobby McCain and Minkah Fitzpatrick, the slot corner position is spoken for. The two will rotate there, at safety, and out wide on the perimeter. Joining Howard as prominent fixtures at corner, the Dolphins have something of a mystery bag to round out the other 3-4 spots on the positional depth chart.

Eric Rowe is the most accomplished of the group, though his medical history is alarming (27 games missed the last three years). Rowe gets first crack at the job but a crop of young, intriguing options will force Rowe to show out early and often.

Second-year undrafted free agent Jalen Davis showed the most bite down the stretch, but he’s best suited to play inside. Torry McTyer saw the most action on the outside while rookie Cornell Armstrong cut his teeth on special teams, and occasional perimeter corner duty.

Cordrea Tankersley is perhaps the biggest mystery on the roster. After an impressive rookie season, 2018 went as poorly as Tankersley could’ve imagined. Poor performance and an ACL injury puts the former third-round pick’s future in jeopardy. There’s a distinct possibility that Tankersley begins the season on the P.U.P. list.

Keep an eye out for undrafted rookie Nik Needham. The former UTEP Miner has excellent feet and his college tape is chocked full of man-coverage reps that saw him steal the opposition’s soul.

The same could be said for third-year corner Jomal Wiltz. Wiltz spent last year with the Patriots working under former Pats — and current ‘Phins CB Coach — Josh Boyer.

This group will produce a starter that plays the majority of the defensive snaps, but also depth contributors that see playing time in a new, defensive-back-heavy scheme.

Projected Opening Day CB Depth Chart: Howard, Fitzpatrick/McCain, Rowe, Armstrong, McTyer, Needham (Tankersley on PUP, eligible for activation after week-six).

3. Offensive Line (Three Spots) – Jesse Davis vs. Michael Deiter vs. Chris Reed vs. Jordan Mills

The thought process behind eliminating potential challengers to Daniel Kilgore can be questioned, but the team’s faith in the eight-year vet cannot. He and Tunsil will coast into opening day starts while the rest of the line-up requires some untangling.

The four suitors each offer similar traits. Durability, versatility, and the mean steak that can help this offense cultivate the desired mentality based in toughness.

Davis was Miami’s only 16-game starter on the line last season. Deiter started more games than any lineman in Wisconsin history and Mills is working on a 49-game starting streak. Perhaps the best of the bunch, Chris Reed, was a career backup with the Jaguars searching for his first opening day start.

Deiter excelled at left guard, Reed showcased his biggest flashes at right guard and Davis’ limited action at right tackle in 2017 was perhaps his best work as a pro.

Projected Opening Day Offensive Line: Tunsil-Deiter-Kilgore-Reed-Davis

4. Primary On-Ball/Off-Ball Combo Role – Charles Harris vs. Nate Orchard

Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler (6) throws a pass as Miami Dolphins defensive end Charles Harris (90) applies pressure during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Two years removed from first round pick status Charles Harris finds himself in dire straits. The new scheme will call for conversion players that can play five-tech, seven-tech, and stand-up as on-ball linebackers. Harris showed flashes early in his rookie season to fill that role, but fell out of favor in 2018.

Harris battles with journeyman Nate Orchard to fulfil this paramount role in Brian Flores’ defense. Harris needs to win the competition and produce this season or he could go the way of fellow former Dolphins first-round edge, Dion Jordan.

Tank Carradine could factor into this competition as well, though his primary duty will be as a base five-tech with the task of setting the edge in the running game.

Projected Opening Day Combo DE/LB: Charles Harris

5. X Wide Receiver – Devante Parker vs. Brice Butler vs. Preston Williams

Annual offseason-camp MVP Devante Parker has the inside track to fend off last year’s in-season acquisition, and 2019’s offseason-camp MVP (Butler and Williams). With the top three receivers on the depth chart functioning as combo (inside/outside) speed players, Miami needs one of these three to assert their position as the primary X receiver.

Parker returns — humbled — on a reduced contract. Reports of Parker’s re-centered focus will fall on deaf ears until he consistently produces on Sundays. Butler provides quality depth while the upside with Williams is apparent. Williams was a former five-star recruit that found himself in trouble away from the field before turning Colorado State into his own personal highlight reel location.

Projected Opening Day X: Devante Parker

6. Seventh Game Day Active OL – Everyone Beyond the Top Six

Ideally the seventh offensive lineman that dresses on game day never sees the field, but the war of attrition that is the NFL makes that hope merely a pipe dream. Declaring Jordan Mills as the sixth-man, there’s a considerable drop-off on paper.

Zach Sterup has longevity with the team on his side, but with Mills functioning as a swing tackle there might not be room. The same is true of sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince. Tony Adams has the benefit of playing in New England with the former Pats staffers, Kyle Fuller has minimal experience, Michael Dunn and Jaryd Jones-Smith come over from the defunct AAF, and a threesome of UDFA’s round out the unit.

Projected Opening Day Seventh Man: Shaq Calhoun (UDFA Miss St.)

7. Third Running Back – Myles Gaskin vs. Mark Walton vs. Patrick Laird vs. Kenneth Farrow

A lot talent and project presides on this list. Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage are set to carry the load for Miami, but this system will feature as many as five backs (including a fullback).

Myles Gaskin amassed more than 1,200 yards all four years as a Husky, while Mark Walton was a hometown hero before continuous knucklehead behavior saw the former Hurricane quickly fall out of favor in Cincinnati. Those are the two favorites, but Laird and Farrow will not go away quietly.

Projected Opening Day #3 RB: Myles Gaskin

8. Interior Defensive Line Depth – Jamiyus Pittman vs. Kendrick Norton vs. Joey Mbu

Christian Wilkins, Vincent Taylor, Davon Godchaux, Akeem Spence and Adolphus Washington figure into the rotation prominently. The remaining potential spot will go to an unproven player.

Pittman was a priority UDFA last season who earned a cup of coffee midseason (45 snaps) with the ‘Phins. Norton joined the team last December while Mbu spent time on the Packers practice squad under new Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham.

Mbu is built like a house and has the requisite traits to give the Dolphins 200-300 snaps as a two-gapping nose.

Projected Sixth Interior Defensive Lineman: Joy Mbu

9. Sub-Package Linebacker – Andrew Van Ginkel vs. Chase Allen vs. Mike Hull vs. Jayrone Elliot

Dec 2, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Andrew VAn Ginkel (17) reacts to Wisconsin recovering an Ohio State Buckeyes fumble during the second quarter in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The first three linebackers are cut and dry (McMillan, Baker, Alonso). As is the case with the defensive line, linebackers in this new defensive will asked to perform specific roles — roles they inherently succeed with.

Van Ginkel has a shot to carve out considerable playing time through his versatility and prowess with modern-day football traits (coverage and blitzing). Allen and Hull are run-stuffers that operate between the B-gaps — they will likely battle for the right to backup Raekwon McMillan.

Jayrone Elliot is Miami’s closest copy to Kyle Van Noy in New England. He has worked with Patrick Graham in the past and has produced in a similar defense in Green Bay.

Projected Backup Linebacker Depth Chart: Van Ginkel, Elliot, Allen

10. Tight End Depth – Nick O’Leary vs. Durham Smythe

Mike Gesicki and Dwayne Allen figure in as the top two tight ends, but their job descriptions couldn’t be more polarizing. The battle to round out the position behind them features similar skill sets in 2018 in-season acquisition O’Leary, and 2018 fourth-round pick Smythe.

With the re-introduction of the fullback in Miami, O’Leary’s work as an H-back might give him a leg up, but Smythe is hardly a slouch as an inline blocker.

Projected #3 TE: Nick O’Leary

Most of these battles might only have a minimal impact on the 2019 Dolphins, but each has an opportunity to go a long way in rounding out the long-term depth of this football team. Under new leadership, role players will become the norm in Miami. This requires 53 men that have transparent jobs and the focus to excel at those specific tasks.

Expectations might not be in Miami’s corner this summer, but the foundation of this new regime will be built in 2019, and it all begins with training camp.

@WingfieldNFL

 

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins 2019 Training Camp Guide – Safeties

Travis Wingfield

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Over the next two weeks, Locked On Dolphins will bring you your one-stop shop for all things Miami Dolphins 2019 training camp

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Wide Receivers
Offensive Line
Defensive Interior
Defensive Edge
Linebackers
Cornerbacks
Safeties
Specialists – 7/24

Game-By-Game Predictions Part 1 – 7/24 (Part 2 coming in September)

Prologue:

For the majority of the Ryan Tannehill era, the Dolphins entered training camp as dark horse candidates to seize a wildcard playoff berth. Things have changed for the worse in 2019, but the step backward comes with the hopes of constructing a perennial AFC East contender capable of winning games in January.

That’s the big-picture snapshot of the Miami Dolphins rebuild. In the interim, however, establishing the core principles of the Brian Flores program, as well as developing young talent, both capture the forefront of this year’s training camp objectives.

Over the next two weeks, we will get you familiar with each player on the roster. With biographies, quick-hitter scouting notes, and a prediction on the player’s ultimate role on the 2019 Dolphins, this serves as your guide for Miami’s summer practice session.

Safeties

Overview:

Cross-training promises to serve as the buzz phrase of this rendition of Dolphins camp. No position offers more dual functionality than safety, especially in a defense undergoing sweeping schematic changes.

In the past, the safety spots have been directionally based, opposed to the traditional strong and free distinctions. This round-peg-in-a-square-hole philosophy led to frustration; so much so that Miami’s longest-tenured defensive player pulled himself from a game last November.

Now, these safeties will have specific roles designated to suit their respective strengths. The universal trait of the group will be the ability to come down and cover the slot, tight ends, and running backs.

Tony Oden is one of two holdovers from the previous staff. Oden has been coaching defensive backs since 1996, including a GA stop at Brian Flores’ alma mater Boston College.

Reshad Jones – 9 years of service (10th in MIA)
Jersey: 20
College: Georgia
Opening Day Age: 31.5
Contract Details: 3 years remaining, $35M total, $13M guaranteed

Jones’ Film Study by Locked On Dolphins

Jones’ absence was the story of voluntary organized team activities. Amidst rampant trade rumors, Jones was present for mandatory work and an understanding has, apparently, been achieved between he and Coach Flores.

Jones is still a punishing hitter that excels defending both the strong and weak-side C-gaps on the defense. This scheme will put him back in a familiar situation playing in close to the line-of-scrimmage and sending him on a variety of run and pass blitzes. Jones played single-high, 20 yards off the ball, far too often last season.

Declining coverage ability, the occasional poor angle, and considerable medical concerns all add up to an uncertain future for Jones in Miami. The age and contract aren’t doing Jones’ long-term prospects any favors either.

2019 Projected Role: Strong Safety, 100% snap-taker

Bobby McCain – 4 years of service (5th in MIA)
Jersey: 28
College: Memphis
Opening Day Age: 26.0
Contract Details: 4 years remaining, $22M total, $9M guaranteed

McCain’s Film Study by Locked On Dolphins

After a stellar 2017 season, injuries and position changes led to a down year for McCain. Among the game’s best slot corners two years ago, McCain was rewarded with a new contract, but he was outplayed in the slot by 2018 rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick. In 2019, the two could be interchangeable working in slot coverage and as a single-high safety (as well as two-deep looks).

This scheme utilizes three safeties the majority of the defense’s snaps. McCain could serve as the middle of the field man in those three-safety packages, and come down in two-slot looks for man-coverage responsibilities.

McCain is a terrific leader, astute tackler, and an occasionally effective blitzer.

2019 Projected Role: Free Safety, Slot Corner 85% snap-taker

T.J. McDonald – 6 years of service (3rd in MIA)
Jersey: 22
College: USC
Opening Day Age: 28.4
Contract Details: 3 years remaining, $17M total, $3.6M guaranteed

With one more year of guaranteed salary, McDonald needs to successfully transition into a new role to have a future in Miami. Inexplicably taking the job previously manned by Reshad Jones, McDonald’s inclusion into the defense wasn’t a positive one.

No longer among the top four, or even five, defensive backs on the roster, McDonald will come onto the field in sub-packages. He’s effective working downhill and should provide Miami’s dime package with a quality tackler and sound cover-man in the underneath shell.

2019 Projected Role: Third Safety, Dime Linebacker (Dollar) 60% snap-taker

Maurice Smith – 2 years of service (3rd in MIA)
Jersey: 26
College: Georgia
Opening Day Age: 24.3
Contract Details: 1 year remaining, $645K total, $0 guaranteed

It’s difficult to assess Smith’s value the last couple of years. He rarely made it onto the field, but that could just be another indictment of incompetent coaching. At his best, Smith plays the robber role, dislodges footballs, and steps in front of intermediate passes.

With 10 players acquired in the secondary since Smith arrived in Miami, he has an uphill battle to fend off the newcomers for a job.

2019 Projected Role: Camp cut

2019 Dolphins Safeties at a Glance:

The decision to forego any acquisitions at safety this offseason was surprising. The most important position in the defense, Miami comes up a couple of bodies short unless McCain’s conversion is a success. He’s a bit undersized for the position, but he offers the instincts, tackling, and ball skills to provide some promise.

Jones’ role, and subsequent impact on the defense, is one of the more intriguing storylines of the year for the Dolphins.

With a lot of questions and fewer solutions, this group could be in for more changes next offseason.

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins sign cornerback Tyler Patmon

Shawn Digity

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Tyler Patmon Miami Dolphins USA Today Sports
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

The Miami Dolphins have filled out the final roster spot by signing a familiar face: Tyler Patmon

After a Sunday night visit on July 21st, the Dolphins have officially signed cornerback Tyler Patmon. The corner was with the team during the 2015 season but failed to leave his mark during his first stint with the team.

Tyler Patmon has, however, managed to keep his career chugging along with time spent in Dallas in 2014 and 2015 and Jacksonville in 2017 and 2018.

The news was broken on Twitter by the official DEC Management account, who represents Patmon.

The team makes reference to Patmon’s first attempt with the team, but this time should be a better fit for Patmon considering the team’s roster makeup. With a few more years of experience under his belt, Patmon stands a better chance of getting a foothold and making an impact.

Tyler Patmon is also a special signing because of his being the 91st player under contract. The Dolphins have found some value in signing a player internationally, which has allowed them the ability to sign Patmon as a bonus player.

I can’t say for certain if Patmon will ultimately end up on the final 53-man roster. My initial inclination is that it’ll be an uphill battle, but stranger things have happened. He might be able to step in and make some waves with the experience he has over some of the younger defensive backs.

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Miami Dolphins

Remember The Dolphins (Part 3: The 2010s)

Chris Kowalewski

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True. The final chapter of the Dolphins’ current decade has not yet been written.

At the dawn of the 2019 training camp, the stars of Miami’s 2019 Super Bowl Champion team have not yet emerged and had their names stamped into the NFL history books.

But going by on the widely-held assumption that the Miami Dolphins figure to be at the very bottom of the league in 2019, we’ll draw a line under the decade of the 2010’s as the Dolphins begin their ‘hard’ reboot to bring the franchise back to glory.

In this third part of our Remember The Dolphins series, we’ll trudge up some painful recent memories by taking a look back at the years 2010-2018 and try to pick out those individuals who perhaps deserve some more recognition for the part they played despite the team’s overall lack of success.

For the Miami Dolphins, the 2010’s was a decade filled with unfortunate drama. The Jonathan Martin bullying fiasco; Richie Incognito; the resulting ever-changing revolving doors which built the offensive line; Mike Pouncey’s “Free Hernandez” hat; Dion Jordan; overpaid Free Agents; terrible draft picks; Chris Foerster bringing his out-of-office habits into the team facility; Brent Grime’s wife; a queezy, litter-picking coach; Vontae Davis’ grandma; the “Go” and Go, Go” offense; Matt Burke’s incomprehensible defensive scheme; and last but by no means least, Adam Gase. 

It was not exactly a fun-packed decade for fans.

From one year to the next, the 2010’s barraged the Dolphins with national embarrassment off the field and an on-field product which no one could quite figure out.

The 2010’s undoubtedly will be most remembered, for better or worse (depending on which side you sit) for the Ryan Tannehill years. 

Landing in the NFL as a franchise’s heralded saviour is generally tough enough. But landing in a city already drowning in football mediocrity, with a fanbase tired of the lacklustre QB carousel and desperately thirsty for a leading passer under the scorching South Florida sunshine was inevitably going to be a recipe for division among fans. 

Add in the ever-present shadow of Dan Marino and the unforeseen successes of other young QBs around the league and anything less than spectacular would be deemed a failure.

And that is the past decade of Dolphins in a nutshell… 

Unspectacular. 

Inconsistent.

Divided.

Cameron Wake was nothing short of awesome as the team’s premier defensive player and remains a living legend, seemingly ready to finish his career in Tennessee. It’s scary to think that Wake spent 10 years with the Dolphins (2009-2018) in which he started 126/146 games, accumulated 98.0 sacks, 358 combined tackles, 97 tackles for loss and 213 QB hits. As Dolfans, we have just witnessed the end of the most successful Dolphins tale of the decade. But that alone was not enough to gain the team anything more than one playoff game.

Save for a handful of highlight performances in 2016 to drag Miami to the playoffs, including Jay Ajayi’s back-to-back 200 yard games and Andrew Franks’ overtime field goal over the Bills on Christmas Eve, the Dolphins continued their desperate struggle for success for another decade.

2010 started badly for Head Coach Tony Sparano, then entering his 3rd year. Chad Henne (301 of 490) threw for 3301 yards, 15 TDs and 19 INTs. The Dolphins had broken the bank to bring in WR, Brandon Marshall to help in Henne’s development and aid a struggling offense. Although Marshall hauled in 1014 yards, a lowly 3 TDs was the ultimate result. The Dolphins found themselves sitting at 30th in the league in points scored and achieved a 7-9 record.

Things didn’t exactly improve quickly, if at all.

2011 saw the firing of Coach Sparano who was temporarily replaced by defensive co-ordinator, Todd Bowles after a 4-9 start to finish 6-10.

2012 saw the arrival of Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill which produced a now-familiar 7-9 record. The QB/HC relationship lasted 3.5 years and left everyone a “little queezy”.

The Dolphins scraped .500 records in 2013 and 2014 before falling to 6-10 in 2015 under the final year of Philbin’s reign. 

Nothing of note had begun to shine out from the shadows of mediocrity and the patience of Miami fans was beyond tested. 

Enter, Adam Gase.

The Peyton-Manning-endorsed offensive ‘genius’ arrived in 2016 taking the Dolphins to the playoffs despite a season-ending knee injury to the starting QB. And whilst the victories of 2016 weren’t repeated, the rare taste of playoffs had bought Gase enough stature that even the team’s brightest stars weren’t safe from his methods and relationships continued to sour to the point of breaking and eventual trade.

Jarvis Landry had stolen headlines with some highlight-reel catches and was unanimously adored by the Dolphins fanbase. Jay Ajayi had bulldozed his way into the history books before his relationship with the head coach turned to ash. Both players were quickly gone, uncerimoniously – their departures embodying the Dolphins’ constant inability of retaining success.

A number of players publicly spoke out against Adam Gase, as prime examples of what the Dolphins had become at their core – divided, unstable and without direction.

But looking back over the dysfunction of the 2010’s, let’s try to pick a handful of names out of the rubble who (outside of the Miami Miracle) deserve to be looked at in a brighter, warmer light and be remembered despite the team’s on-field and off-field failures.

Reggie Bush

Position: Running Back

The Saints’ 2nd overall pick of the 2006 draft found his way to Miami in his 6th year, following a trade with the Saints in July 2011. That season, he provided a spark of electricity to Miami’s offense and rushed for 1000+ yards for the first time in his career and scored 6 rushing TDs with an average of 5.0 yards per carry. Bush remained with the Dolphins for 2 years (2011-2012) and despite having been labelled as injury prone during his time in New Orleans, managed to be a dependable on-field presence, rushing for 2072 yards and 12 TDs as a Dolphin, whilst hauling in a further 588 receiving yards and 3 TDs. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of The Week in 2011 following a 203 yard performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.

Lamar Miller

Position: Running Back

The homegrown running back was drafted in the fourth round by the Dolphins in 2012 out of the University of Miami, sharing his rookie year with Reggie Bush. By his second season, Miller had adopted the starting role, but it wasn’t until 2014 when he really began to find his feet out of the Dolphins’ backfield. Miller’s totals of 1099 rushing yards and 8 TDs in 2014 remain his career highs, with a highlight 97 yard TD run against the Jets on 28 December 2014. Over the course of his 4 years in Miami, Miller started 48/61 games and rushed for 2930 yards and 19 TDs whilst catching 117 passes for 887 yards and a further 3 scores, before signing a 4-year $26m deal with the Houston Texans in March 2016. 

Karlos Dansby

Position: Linebacker

Karlos Dansby came to Miami in 2010 after 6 years in the league with the Arizona Cardinals. His final 2 years in Arizona saw him tally 228 combined tackles including 17 for a loss, 5 sacks, 3 INTs and 3 forced fumbles. He was therefore a big-name target for the Dolphins in 2010 to help solidify the linebacker group under Tony Sparano. Dansby joined the Dolphins on a 5-year, $43m contract which (at the time) was the highest paid contract for an ILB in NFL history. In his 3 years at Miami, Dansby started 45/46 games and racked up 332 combined tackles, 1 INT, 5 forced fumbles and 6 sacks. 

Paul Soliai

Position: Defensive Tackle

An absolute man-mountain, Paul Soliai was drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. He became a staple on Miami’s defensive line and spent 7 years in Miami (2007-2013), working his way to a full-time starting spot in 2010. Soliai started 62 of 99 games in his Dolphins career and had a knack for swatting down passes with 12 deflections. A huge body in the middle of the Dolphins defense, Soliai was predominantly a space-eater but also racked up 117 solo tackles (160 combined) including 25 TFLs and 4.5 sacks. He signed with the Falcons in March 2014 and the Panthers in March 2016 before signed a one-day contract to retire as a Miami Dolphin on 19 April 2018.

Brian Hartline

Position: Wide Receiver

A productive fourth round pick of the Dolphins in 2009, Hartline spent 6 years in Miami (2009-2014). Hartline’s best years came in 2012/2013 following the arrival of Ryan Tannehill and he developed into something of a trusted safety blanket for the young QB and set a Dolphins franchise record for receiving yards (253) in Week 4 of 2012 against the Cardinals. With over 130 targets in each of those years, Hartline caught 150 passes for 2099 yards, but only 5 TDs which is an indication of the team’s lack of productivity in the red zone. Injured early in his career, Hartline started 69 of 92 games in Miami hauling in 4243 yards and 12 TDs with a catch rate of 57.1% and 8.1 yards per target. In the final game of 2014, Hartline suffered a PCL injury which ended his tenure at the Dolphins and a quick year in Cleveland saw the end of Hartline’s NFL career and he is now WR coach at Ohio State.

Davone Bess

Position: Wide Receiver

Similar to Hartline (and more recently Jarvis Landry) Davone Bess spent his first NFL years with the Dolphins before being signed by the Cleveland Browns. Arriving with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Hawaii, Bess quickly exceeded expectations. He was primarily positioned at slot receiver until injury forced Greg Camarillo off the field. Bess finished his rookie year positioned 3rd amongst rookie WRs in receptions. During his time as a Dolphin, Bess hauled in 12 TDs and had dependable hands (63.8% catch ratio) with a 6.9 yards-per-target average and he amassed a total of 3447 yards receiving. Bess was traded to the Cleveland Browns in April 2013 before troubling issues saw him placed on the non-football illness list in December 2013 prior to a series of arrests.

Kevin Burnett

Position: Linebacker

After 4 years in Dallas and 2 years in San Diego, Kevin Burnett signed as a Miami Dolphin in July 2011. He started all 32 games at linebacker during his 2 years with Miami (2011-2012) and stole 1 Pick-6, had 5 sacks with 216 combined tackles and 15 TFLs. Although always the truest of professionals, the productive and dependable player was released following the mistake-riddled free agent signings of Darnell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler in March 2013.

Jared Odrick

Position: Defensive End

I liked Jared Odrick. Generally considered a surprising first round pick (28th overall) of the Miami Dolphins in 2010, he unfortunately suffered a foot injury in October 2010 cutting short his rookie season. Returning with a strong 2011 season, he registered 6 sacks and and an INT as a backup DE and didn’t take himself too seriously, evidence by his very odd Pee Wee Herman sack dance. Odrick spent 5 years in Miami (2010-2014) but suffered with injuries and started only 41 of 65 games. Alongside his INT, Odrick swatted down 11 passes and caused 3 forced fumbles, had 16.5 sacks and 129 combined tackles including 30 for a loss and 47 QB hits. Following his Dolphins career, Odrick spent 2 years in Jacksonville before his retirement after being placed on IR in December 2016.

Nolan Carroll

Position: Cornerback

A fifth round pick (145th overall) by the Dolphins in the 2010, Carroll was seen as a promising rookie and played a considerable amount on special teams. Fans will recall that during a kickoff return on 13 December 2010, Carroll was tripped over on the sidelines by the Jets’ strength and conditioning coach, Sal Alosi. Carroll was promoted to a starting role in 2012 and over the course of his 4 years in Miami he started 26 of 58 games, grabbed 5 INTs with 23 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and 3 sacks. He racked up 123 combined tackles before signing a 2-year $5m contract with the Eagles in March 2014. 

And there we have it.

At the dawn of the 2019 season, with the imminent start of training camp, the Dolphins now have an opportunity to write the decade’s final chapter.

Under the leadership of Head Coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins seek to change the story of their long-term mediocrity. With a young group of talented players ripe for development, we can only hope that many of them will seek to etch their names into the future of Dolphins’ history from 2020 and beyond.

Fins Up.

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