With the NFL Draft rapidly closing in on us, I figured it would be an excellent time to look at what we currently have (talent wise) on the current Miami Dolphins roster. After finishing this, I realized that Miami does have some hidden talent on the team. This season could uncover these guys, and give Miami a very under rated offense. This will also serve as my projected “depth chart” going into the NFL Draft.
Offensive Depth 1.0:
Matt Moore, David Garrard, Pat Devlin
It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins are looking for their guy in the upcoming draft, but I don’t expect whoever Miami selects to unseat either veteran (Moore and Garrard). Devlin is a practice squad guy, and has a very small ceiling. But, he has the tools to be a potential back up in a west coast system, which is what Philbin and Sherman will be installing. Moore, based upon last season, should have little trouble beating out Garrard and should be able to pick up where he left off at the end of the regular season (After learning the offense of course).
Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Steve Slaton, Jerome Messam
RB is actually one of the deepest positions currently on this Miami squad. With Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas, Miami has an excellent 1-2 punch in the back field. If Daniel Thomas can get healthy and cure his fumble issues, he should vie for more playing time (which he shall receive). Bush should be the unanimous starter based on his production and what he could do in this new system. He provides a dynamic runner and receiver, Bush could be in for a HUGE year. Also, with Slaton waiting in the bullpen in case of injury or fatigue, Miami’s speedy backfield should be very exciting.
Charles Clay/Jerome Messam
Philbin playing Clay at fullback is something I just can’t see, but it may end up happening. Clay has too much value when running as a receiver providing mismatches in coverage. Messam (Who comes in as a running back, but has the body of a fullback) has a better chance to be the Lex Hilliard of this 2012 team. He is someone I am excited to see this season if he can earn a spot on the roster. With the size desired for a short yardage back, if he can develop, he will only make Miami’s ground game better. If Messam can develop into more of a blocker, he could turn into one of the better fullback/short yardage backs in the NFL.
Brian Hartline, Edmund “Clyde” Gates, Davone Bess (Slot), Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Julius Pruitt, Quinten Lawrence, Chris Hogan
Miami is very thin here. Have you heard that enough yet? Brian Hartline and Clyde Gates get the starting nod, with Davone Bess doing his best work out of the slot. Gates has break out potential in his second year along with both Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore. Both Gates and Moore have the desired speed and quickness, but lack in the hands and separation department. Wallace can be good, if he is given a shot. He has the alpha type body, but lacks the hands to go with it (Brandon Marshall). Bess and Hartline are main stays in the line up. Hartline could end up being the Dolphins Jordy Nelson, breaking out after a sub-par campaign last year. The main issue I have with this group is, who will be the red zone guy? There are a lot of questions to be answered here with few solutions on the current roster.
Anthony Fasano, Charles Clay, Jeron Mastrud, Will Yeatman
Fasano makes a living as an under rated tight end. He does his job. Point blank. Although he lacks the speed desired as a seam threat, Fasano is an excellent tight end. Clay has break out potential and is more of the new hybrid tight end that most teams have. He should be used more as a tight end this year, rather than a fullback. BUT, he needs to work on his blocking and becoming more aggressive at the point of attack. Both Mastrud and Yeatman have little to no upside. Therefore, Miami could and probably should look to bring in some competition either through the draft or via free agency.
Jake Long (LT), Lydon Murtha (RT),Will Barker (LT), Artis Hicks (RT/RG)
No surprise here at Left Tackle with Long. Jake should finally be healthy this season and claim his crown back as the NFL’s Best Left Tackle. Lydon Murtha proved to be serviceable while filling in last year for Jake Long during the preseason. Murtha winning the job would not surprise me a bit, BUT I do expect Miami to draft competition for the Right Tackle spot. Both Barker and Hicks are decent back ups. Hicks is more of a technician type of player, he can play almost anywhere on the offensive line.
Richie Incognito (LG), John Jerry (RG), Ray Feinga (LG), Nate Garner (RG/RT)
Incognito, like long, is no surprise and is almost a lock to play next to the NFL’s best blind side protector. John Jerry proved that Miami may have given up on him too soon during his rookie year by proving to be a solid lineman while filling in for injured starters. Jerry could prove to be the solid NFL starter that former Miami Coach Tony Sparano vowed Jerry could be. Feinga is a very good prospect and could possibly develop into the replacement for the aging Incognito. Garner, like Hicks, is a technician type of lineman, who can play all over. The previous staff enjoyed bringing Garner in as an extra “tight end” type blocker on power and goal line plays. I would assume Philbin and Sherman feel the same way.
Mike Pouncey, Ryan Cook
After an excellent rookie season, Miami’s former first round selection will look to anchor the middle of Miami’s offensive line. Look for Pouncey to be stronger, not only physically but also at the point of attack. Also look for the young center to take command of the offensive line by calling out blitzes and potential shifts in opposing defensive fronts. Cook is an excellent back up who could potentially step in if Pouncey suffers either an injury, or a sophomore slump.
Although there are a few holes that Miami needs to fill on the offensive side of the ball, Miami still has an under rated offense (I kind of like that). Look for Miami to draft a young quarterback, at least two wide receivers, an offensive tackle to help solidify the right side of the offensive line, and possibly some help at tight end. Bottom line, Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas may end up carrying this team, which is really no problem. As Clyde Gates says, “BIM”!!!
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