Miami Dolphin’s top 5 defensive players of the 2016 season.
2016 Top 5 Defensive Players:
- Kiko Alonso – Out of 16 games last year Kiko played in 15 of them. In the 15 games played last season, 12 of those games he played on 100% of the available defensive snaps. In 2016 Kiko had 115 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions, and 1 pick-six giftwrapped by Philip Rivers in the Week 10 matchup against the San Diego Chargers.
- Cameron Wake – Wake suffered a season ending Achilles tendon tear against the New England Patriots in a Thursday night game in October 2015. The then 34-year old came into the 2016 season with a purpose. Although he had only 29 total tackles on the season, he had 11.5 sacks and 5 forced fumbles . He was only on the field for 51% of the defensive snaps. The Miami Dolphins’ coaches started off last season monitoring his snaps, which possibly could have contributed to the sluggish 1-4 start for the Dolphins. When Wake had less than 30 snaps, Miami had a record of 0-4. 30+ snaps and Miami had a record of 10-2.
- Ndamukong Suh – 72 tackles, 5 sacks and 6 pass deflections. Also, he was in the top 25 defensive linemen in quarterback hurries with a total of 21. Suh is known to command multiple blockers at once, which allows other players on the line and second level to attack the ball. Expect him to be more dominant in the 2017 season, with the upgrading of the linebacking group and additions along the defensive line.
- Tony Lippett – Tony Lippett started to show great promise establishing himself as the #2 CB on the roster after the injury of Xavien Howard and underwhelming play of Byron Maxwell. The WR turned CB had a total of 67 tackles and 4 interceptions (2 INTS vs Chargers/Jets). Lippett played on 75% of Miami’s available defensive snaps last season, and he also contributed on special teams.
- Isa Abdul-Quddus – Abdul-Quddus signed to the Dolphins for the 2016 season as a replacement for Louis Delmas. Immediately he stepped in and became a key contributor on defense and a leader of the secondary. Byron Maxwell stated that Abdul-Quddus was an enforcer on the team on defense. Last year he had a career high total of 78 tackles in 15 games. He also contributed a sack, 5 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions.
Special Recognition: Michael Thomas, Andre Branch
Pre-2017 Top 5 Defensive Players: Raekwon McMillan, Reshad Jones, Cameron Wake, Xavien Howard, Kiko Alonso. ( Special Recognition: Lawrence Timmons, Tony Lippett, Ndamukong Suh, Charles Harris, Andre Branch).