Miami Dolphins 2015 player rankings
By Brian Miller
1: Ndamukong Suh – After starting out very slowly and then having words with Kevin Coyle, and then watching Kevin Coyle get fired, Suh was one of the biggest disappointments early then he came to be what we expected. It was obvious that Suh, once acclimated, settled into being the name that bought him a $100 million plus contract. Suh was disruptive and created lanes for attacking linebackers (who didn’t). While he didn’t get the kind of pressure on the quarterback that many believed he would, he was still a major force up front on an otherwise forgettable line. Suh finished with six sacks and 61 combined tackles.
2: Jordan Phillips – When Phillips was on the field, he looked as though he had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, Joe Philbin doesn’t like to play rookies and Phillips didn’t play much the firs month. His playing time increased under Dan Campbell but honestly he still didn’t get enough time until late in the season. He finished the season with 19 total tackles and two sacks.
3: Earl Mitchell – Mitchell missed the end of the season injured but when he was on the field he was largely ineffective most of the year especially early. Mitchell didn’t play close to expectations, especially given the fact Suh was put next to him. He struggled all season against the run and didn’t contribute much in the pass rushing either. He had no sacks on the season this despite playing next to Suh who took on double and triple blocks and Olivier Vernon on the outside. Mitchell simply couldn’t handle the one-on-one’s.
1: Olivier Vernon – I’m hard-pressed to put Vernon one. While he played a career season I question his motivation. Winning or a free agent contract? Another reason I hesitate is the absurd amount of penalties he was hit with in 2015. No other defensive end in the NFL was flagged more for roughing the passer than Vernon. Whatever motivated him he played well though and he led the team in sacks with 7.5 adding 61 combined tackles.
2: Cameron Wake – Wake went down with a torn Achilles injury midway through the season but to that point, Wake his typical self. In the half-season he played, he registered 7 sacks and 9 combined tackles. 1 half sack behind the team leader in half a season.
3: Derrick Shelby – Shelby is going to be a free agent this year and he is not as concerned about money as playing time. He saw an increase in playing time in 2015 with the Wake injury. In Wake’s absence Shelby stepped up. He logged 3.5 sacks and combined for 37 tackles.
4: Damontre Moore – Hard to believe that Moore was a late season waiver wire pick-up. After a locker room issue with the Giants sent him packing out of New York, Moore in limited action with Miami actually played quite well. He notched four combined tackles and one sack but had consistent pressure on opposing QB’s and was decent against the run.
5: Terrence Fede – Despite the injury to Cameron Wake Fede didn’t get much opportunity to improve in 2015. He only registered 16 combined tackles.