[Chart last updated: 6/30/14… See update notes from 6/30/14]
• Quarterback Ryan Tannehill appears to be becoming a polarizing figure in Miami, with some questioning if he has what it takes to become a top quarterback in the league. We’re not quite ready to have him in the High Quality bracket, but there’s no denying that he’s been a good player in his first two seasons. A +27.7 grade between 2012 and 2013, and showing improvement from Year 1 to 2, he should still give Dolphins fans hope that they can unseat the New England Patriots atop the AFC East yet.
• A year ago Cameron Wake would have been firmly in the Elite bracket but, as good a season as it still was, his 2013 season wasn’t quite up to that standard. He finished the year with a +27.7 pass rushing grade, but +17.2 of that came in just four games. He’s 32 now so we may be starting to see a decline, yet he still remains a very good player on the Miami defensive line.
• Though his first season in Miami was definitely a disappointment, Mike Wallace is still firmly in the Good Starter category. Does he do everything well? No, but he does have the ability to be one of the top deep threats in the league when he’s at his best, giving the Dolphins a field-stretcher in a talented offense.
1. Wide Receiver
While Wallace and Brian Hartline figure to be the top two wide receivers in Miami once again in 2014, the battle really heats up further down the depth chart. Both Brandon Gibson and Rishard Matthews flashed talent on limited work in 2013, while the team added veteran Damian Williams and rookies Jarvis Landry and Matt Hazel in the offseason. Depending on how the rookies perform, this unit has the potential to be very deep for the Dolphins.
2. Backup Running Back
Knowshon Moreno arrives in Miami as the top running back on the depth chart, with the two players who split time last year in Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller now fighting it out for snaps behind him in 2014. Miller edged Thomas in carries in 2013, but failed to live up to the hype that had seemingly built for him heading into the season. Thomas, on the other hand, graded positively but didn’t generate much excitement. It’s not a terrible situation for the Dolphins to be in but at least one of the two will likely see their role greatly diminished in 2014.
3. Defensive End
After being selected with the third overall selection in last year’s draft, much was expected of pass rusher Dion Jordan. He wasn’t the electric player that some seemed to expect him to be out of the gates though, and spent the year as a sub package player, playing just 339 snaps. There were rumors that the Dolphins were looking to offload him after just one season but, with nothing ever coming of that, he now gets a second opportunity to unseat Olivier Vernon as the starter opposite Wake. Vernon played 929 snaps in 2013, but his 11 sack season didn’t grade as well as the numbers would suggest, so there’s definitely scope for Jordan to jump ahead of him on the depth chart.
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