10 Players to Watch in Thursday’s Preseason Game
Jordan Phillips, Defensive Tackle
Since Jordan Phillips entered the league in 2015, he has been labeled as an inconsistent. There will be plays where he shows he can truly be an impact defensive tackle, yet other ones where he does not deserve to be on the field.
In training camp, Jordan has fallen behind Davon Godchaux in the lineup. Adam Gase however did note that this move is not because Jordan has not been practicing well, but instead to get a better analysis of Davon who has played well.
In this preseason game, Jordan needs to prove that he can really perform at a high level. He has to dominate his opponent if he wants to keep his starting position because both Davon and Vincent Taylor are playing really well and rising up the depth chart.
It would be solid to see Jordan have a great game to show that defensive tackle is a position of strength and not a weakness.
Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor, Defensive Tackles
Both rookies from the 2017 draft, have had very impactful offseasons and are making their mark on the team. Davon Godchaux, fifth round pick from LSU, has had a very solid offseason. Over the last 6 training camp practices, he has gotten a lot of snaps with the first string players.
He has been very disrupted in the backfield as a run defender and a pass rusher. Davon deserved the move up to first string over Jordan Phillips.
In his first preseason game, Davon will be given the opportunity to wreak havoc against his opponents. This will be good to see if he can keep up his play verses the Falcons.
On the other hand, Vincent Taylor, a sixth round pick from Oklahoma State University, has had a very productive offseason as well. Even though he has not been playing with the starters, he has been good at using his strength and size to stop the run and impact the passing game.
This game will give both rookies a chance to prove why they deserve a lot of snaps in this upcoming season and can be trusted to compete.
Deon Lacey, Linebacker
Deon Lacey, an undrafted player in 2013 from Western Alabama, has had a quiet training camp after being impressive in OTAs. In practice, he has shown good lateral quickness and speed.
When he was signed by the Dolphins this past Spring, he was seen as a possible unlikely player to make the roster. If he can improve his play in the preseason, it is possible he can make the team as a key depth player at linebacker.
In his first preseason game with the Dolphins, it would be a great start if he shows he can be a productive playmaker on this team. Deon has the potential to be a very nice addition to this team in need of linebacker depth.
As the Dolphins prepare for their first preseason game of the 2017 season, do not read too much into it. This is everyone’s first game of the season and there will be rust each player needs to get rid off. Do not read too much into the outcome, but how each individual player performed because that could be telling if they are going to make the team or not.
Some other players to watch out for are Sam Young, Kraig Urbik, and Anthony Steen on the offensive line. These players will need to step up based on the number of injuries that have occurred to Ted Larsen and Mike Pouncey. Hopefully, these players have a decent performance and do not get dominated every play by their opposition.
Overall, there is a lot to look for in the Dolphins first preseason game verse the Falcons, so make sure you watch it at 7:00 PM on Thursday.