The Miami Dolphins escaped game 1 of the NFL pre-season with a 12-9 victory and while some players stood out…SEAN SMITH...others seemed to struggle…ERIC GREEN. Training camp is in full swing and inching closer to it’s conclusion. Prior to the start of training camp we took guesses as to who would make the final 53 and who would not. So are some of those bubble guys still sure to be cut? Not quite yet.
Looking at the WR position that is a log jam of names, the Dolphins didn’t really find a true gem in last nights exhibition match. Ginn played well and Davone Bess was his usual reliable self. Greg Camarillo didn’t play and Patrick Turner had good moments and bad. All of them are expected to make the roster. Brian Hartline is the natural pick for the number 5 WR position given his draft slotting and special teams play. Then? Well, it gets murky.
There was no sign of Anthony Armstrong last night, someone that many felt had turned the corner. I predicted he would be cut and last night did nothing to change my mind. On the other side I said Brandon London would make the team. While London played in the second half, he didn’t light up the game. So is he on the bubble? Of course. Especially with the emergence of Chris Williams who I said was a shoe in to be released…maybe even a first round cut candidate.
Williams was not exciting the crowd from the offensive side of the ball, instead, after 3 early punt returns that looked as though he may be cut before the games end, Williams stepped up and almost broke 4 consecutive KR’s and a PR for scores. He seemed to become electrified in the 2nd quarter and it left you wanting to see more of him. Sure to be cut? Not quite yet. It does ask the question however, will Chris Williams make the roster as a pure ST player or will his addition knock someone like Brandon London off the roster completely? Will the Dolphins keep Williams and London and actually have 7 WR’s listed on their roster?
At TE Anthony Fasano was nowhere to be seen…no worries. Joey Haynos, John Nalbone, and David Martin are battling for two roster spots…maybe only 1. Earlier I said that Haynos and Nalbone would make the roster and Martin would be gone. I still think that Martin is a goner, but last night saw something new…Ernest Wilford. Wilford scored the only Dolphins TD on a 33 yard pass from Chad Henne. A lock to be cut earlier, Wilford has moved to the TE position where he is starting to get the game down.
The issue at hand however is whether he can block, something he wasn’t asked to do last night. Sure to be cut? Not quite yet. Wilford still has a ways to go but does have a large contract in his back pocket. Nalbone has the draft slot in his. That leaves Joey Haynos. Haynos is a towering 6’8″ and is younger than Wilford. He can block and catch but has shown little consistency doing either. Will the Phins let go the promising youthful TE in favor of the contract veteran making a switch?
Linebacker J.D. Folsom was taken in the 7th round and it was assumed that the product would be a throwaway pick in camp or a possible PS player. Lately Folsom has been improving in camp and it’s no longer a foregone conclusion that the stacked LB’er corp will be the demise of the youngster. Last night Folsom was all over the ball while in the game and came away with one of the Dolphins interceptions. Sure to be cut? Not quite yet. With the everyday improvements that Folsom is making, he will at least be given a real shot to make the final roster. The question is who will be losing theirs if he does?
Shawn Murphy started last night at RG and while he didn’t look horrible, Donald Thomas seemed to have spent more time on the field. The Dolphins still have Murphy listed as the starter but with Thomas back from injury, he likely won’t hold on to it. Has Murphy improved enough this off-season to keep him on the roster? Is he a sure bet to be cut? Not quite yet. Murphy still has a way to go in my opinion but I think that he can take the steps necessary to hang around another year. He has to be productive and last night was the first step in getting solid action against a very good Jaguar front 4.
The secondary looked good last night for the Dolphins. Except rookie Vontae’ Davis who had at least 2 mental errors and overplayed the WR on two other occasions. He is young and is expected to make mistakes regardless of what fellow rookie Sean Smith is doing. Davis is in zero danger of being cut, that does not hold true with Eric Green. Sure to be cut? Still a good bet.
Green was burned on 3 consecutive pass plays last night and at times looked out of place. His contract doesn’t hold any huge financial guarantees and with the emergence of Sean Smith who clearly outplayed everyone in the secondary, it’s likely that Green could be one of those on the chopping block.
Over the next few weeks we will revisit this topic and see how things are shaping up…and in some cases…out!