The 2012 season is very promising to many up-and-coming Dolphin players. With all of the young talent, there are actually quite a few bright spots on this team. For those second and third year players, it’s time to take the training wheels off and start becoming impact players. The one Dolphin that I will be keeping my eye on with high expectations for a breakout year is defensive end Jared Odrick.
When Odrick was drafted in 2010 with the 28th overall pick, I was surprised and certainly had my doubts. For one thing, I did not know much about the guy and he was never on any mock draft board to be selected by the Dolphins. I definitely was not the only fan who was originally upset and shocked by this selection. He certainly didn’t help his cause by breaking his foot in the 2010 season opener against the Buffalo Bills and later hurting his leg, causing him to be placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.
This will be his third year and Odrick will have his opportunity to officially silence the doubters and display exactly why Miami chose him in the first round. The 6’5” 304 pound DE who starred at Penn State had a very productive season for Miami in 2011. He played in all 16 games and started in seven of them, mainly as a role player in his first full NFL season last year. Odrick finished strong with six sacks, two defended passes, one forced fumble, and an interception.
Now that Jason Taylor retired, Odrick will have his chance to shine in the Florida sun and be a full time starter. He has the physical attributes to be a dominant pass rusher in this league and sky’s the limit for what he can accomplish. Sure, he has some big shoes to fill taking the place of the Dolphins’ all time sack leader.
But keep in mind, Taylor only had 2.5 sacks in his third year as a Dolphin. It wasn’t until his fourth year when Taylor separated himself as an elite pass rusher to go on and record 139.5 career sacks. I’m not claiming that Odrick will be the next Taylor, but his performance last year at least gives us some hope.
So it’s time to get excited Phin Phans! We actually have a defensive star in the making and I’m confident that Odrick will have his breakout year. For the past 15 years we were entertained by Taylor drawing an imaginary circle to the crowd, then punching it out after a big sack. Hopefully for the next decade, we will see a lot of the Pee-Wee Herman dance.
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