The Miami Dolphins 2015 season has been a mess but there is talent on this roster. Wasted talent. Undeveloped talent. Underused talent. You get the idea. Yet there is talent nonetheless.
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Where that talent is, is the question. Neither side of the ball has shined this year. Not consistently if at all but the question really is what players on this roster could move on to another team and become stars? That is an important question to ask because it’s something we have seen in Miami players for a very long time. Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, Rob Ninkovich, are three that immediately come to mind and there is a laundry list of others.
So who could jump ship and thrive elsewhere? Who has the talent on this roster that isn’t being given the right opportunities or used properly? Let’s take a look at some players that if the Dolphins hypothetically released would likely land somewhere else and play very well.
A half-dozen or more teams would welcome Ryan Tannehill to their team. Tannehill has improved on his deep ball but needs quality coaching to fix his pocket problems. Miami doesn’t recognize the parts of the game he is good at. He is excellent out of the pocket either running or throwing the ball. Whether he is good in the pocket or could be is unknown because the offensive line is so bad.
Miller is set to become a free agent after the season and while he won’t command top RB money he could see plenty of teams throwing $5 or 6 million a season at him. Miller is good when given the ball and used in the passing game. Yet the Dolphins can’t seem to stick with that plan. It creates a problem for continuity on the offense. On Sunday he wasn’t used in the second half.
Parker is only now starting to show glimpses of what he can be but when it clicks this guy is going to be really good. In Miami he has spent most of the season waiting for an opportunity. This is a first round pick that once again has been sitting on the sidelines and when he is in the game, the play calling is not typically pointed in his direction.
In Cleveland, Cameron was amazing and one of the top TE’s in the league. In Miami he will be lucky to receive 50 targets on the season.
Sims showed a lot of flash when he was thrown to but the Dolphins have no clue on how to use a tight-end. See Jordan Cameron. You can’t develop talent by not utilizing their skill set.
Matthews will likely be gone after the season but the question is if he plays as well as he did this year when finally given a chance why wasn’t he used last year? Wasted development. Matthews on a team like New England would be far more productive.
Ja’Wuan James, Mike Pouncey, and Branden Albert
The trio of offensive lineman have all been banged up or missed significant time with injury but when healthy the Oline plays a bit better. The issue here is at guard where all three are affected by the lack of talent, coaching, and scheme. The line lacks a lot of depth which makes injuries to these three amplified.
Ajayi is a great surprise this year even though, like Miller he has had little to no consistency from the coaching decisions and play-calling. On Sunday against the Chargers when given the chance, Ajayi was a hard person to bring down.
No question that Suh is elite and while his 2015 season has not been what fans expected, a lot of that should be directed at the supporting cast.
The 2nd round pick has done pretty well this year but like most of the names on this list, coaches have opted to start someone else in front of him. Even though Phillips has shown the ability to play well on the defensive line. What worries me here is that he is not being coached properly and that could lead to laziness and bad tendencies.
Vernon has the talent to be very very good but he lacks the proper motivation. Vernon has come on strong since mid-season but how much of that is motivated by playing for a new contract with a new team? Talented? Yes. Consistent? No.
The 7th round pick surprised a lot of people last season with his play. You would think he would be on the field more. That’s not the case. Fede has shown that he can play well at this level but again, he spends too much time on the bench. To be fair though, Vernon, Shelby, and Wake have all played better.
Might be time to move on from him but there is no doubting his talent.
Shelby has taken this years opportunity and made the most of it. Like Suh he tends to be saddled with poor supporting players and that often puts him in a position to try to do too much instead of just concentrating on his job.
Jenkins is one of those players that if he were in a different system with a different team would likely be a standout with better support and coaching. Instead the Dolphins often put him in a position that doesn’t fit his talent level. Jenkins is not very good against the run but then the Dolphins don’t exactly practice tackling drills either.
Grimes is aging and his play is starting to wane. He will not be part of the solution down the road but he has been wasted in the Dolphins secondary simply because the rest of the Dolphins defensive unit and specifically the other corners have been bad.
Top three safety in the NFL.
That’s 20 players of the 53 man roster that have the talent to play at this level and to do so well. Lack of consistency, coaching, scheme misfit, supporting cast, all of it speaks volumes as to why the Dolphins can’t lean on them more or why their stat lines are not better. For many of them, they are support role players themselves and while they play above that level at times, they are relied upon to be more than support. That does not mean they don’t have talent. They just are not being used properly.
Of the remaining roster it’s hard to really say any of them have shown consistency in their positions. The secondary is a mess opposite Grimes and Jones, the linebackers are horrible, the wrong people are playing the defensive line, the offensive line, and the play calling is so bad that the offense often looks like they have no idea what the game plan was or if there was one.
The Dolphins are talented but it’s unrealized and wasted.