Edge rushers are a fun bunch when it comes to the Miami Dolphins and Emmanuel Ogbah is climbing that ladder of Dolphins historical greats.
Naturally, when we think of the great edge rushers in Dolphins history we tend to envision Jason Taylor, Bill Stanfill, and of course, Cameron Wake. But the list of great DEs is so much deeper than those three.
Taylor is the best in Dolphins history and that is why he is in the Hall of Fame. Bill Stanfill probably would have been as well if they kept actual sack totals back in his playing days. Yes, he was that good and is more often than not, an afterthought in the conversation.
Stanfill is recorded to have just over 69.5 sacks but the actual is probably a lot higher. Still, he comes in at third on Miami Dolphins all-time list.
Miami’s recent success at DE can be dated back to one player, Trace Armstrong. Armstrong is in a way, the reason why the Dolphins have found continued success at the position, and Jason Taylor would tell you the same. Consider it a “coaching tree” of sorts.
Armstrong was still with Miami when Taylor was drafted. He taught Taylor the nuances of the NFL and helped guide him through those early years. Taylor had unbelievable talent but through Armstrong, he learned how to play at this level. So much so that he thanked him in his HOF speech.
Taylor would later help Cameron Wake learn the same thing when he entered the NFL from the CFL. Passing his knowledge on to Wake, Wake would take the reigns eventually from Taylor, enough to post 98 sacks for the Dolphins and take the 2nd spot on the Dolphins’ all-time list.
From Wake came a few years with Olivier Vernon but then a gap until Emmanuel Ogbah arrived. Now playing on a new contract extension, Ogbah brings back that near elite DE play that makes the Dolphins defense so strong. Paired with second-year pass rusher Jaelan Phillips, Ogbah is taking the mantle that once belonged to Armstrong and Taylor. Passing experience and knowledge to the next guy.
Now, for a few years anyway, we get to see two potentially top DEs playing next to each other. Just like Taylor and Armstrong and Taylor and Wake.
Ogbah has a long way to go to catch the top guys in Dolphins history but he doesn’t really need to. He has 18 sacks in his career so far and Phillips has 8.5. While Ogbah is a lot of fun to watch, the future lies with the young.
This year, Ogbah can climb Miami’s historical ladder in sacks. If he can register 10 sacks this season, he would climb from 25th overall to 15th, one sack behind Olivier Vernon.