What changed for the Dolphins? Click here
Brandon Doughty, Logan Thomas:
Tannehill, the former first round pick from Texas AM continues to be an enigma with the Dolphins. He has put up solid numbers over the past two seasons, including back to back 4000 yard passing seasons, 51 total touchdown passes against 24 interceptions. There is nothing wrong at all with those numbers. He also 62% of his career passes and has rushed for 887 yards and 5 touchdowns. He works his tail off for the team and is first one in, last one out every day. Yet somehow there still seems to be something that just isn't quite right with the Dolphins offense. Without question he is the best quarterback the Miami Dolphins have had since Dan Marino rode off into the sunset back in 1999 but this is an important year for the Tannehill era as the team has to make a jump in their production and success or changes could be coming. The Dolphins have some great receivers to get the ball to so there will be no excuses for Tannehill and the club. They must succeed in 2016.
Veteran quarterback Matt Moore has only thrown 11 total passes in his last three seasons with the Dolphins but he does have previous starting experience and his 33 career passing touchdowns against 28 interceptions illustrates that he can do a good job if pressed into service. He is a valuable guy to have backing up with his experience.
The Dolphins picked up Brandon Doughty in the last round of the draft and he is a very intelligent, attacking quarterback. His arm and his athleticism is very average though and he is not a guarantee to stick at the next level. He does kind of remind me of another Dolphins quarterback though from yesteryear. No, not Dan Marino unfortunately for Dolphins fans but instead former starter Jay Fiedler.
Damien Williams, Daniel Thomas
The Dolphins allowed Lamar Miller to leave in free agency to the Houston Texans and they wiffed on adding a couple of talented running backs in free agency including C.J. Anderson whom the Broncos re-signed. Lamar Miller was not a superstar but he was very productive over the past couple of years and probably should have got the ball more than he did. He will be missed.
The Miami Dolphins drafted running back Jay Ajayi in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft due to some damage found in his knees. He didn't play a ton last year and he struggled to have an impact when he did get his chances. He only ran for 187 yards on 49 carries, caught 7 passes and scored just a single touchdown. He is physical, powerful and has a nice burst getting through the line of scrimmage and could be the type of player that thrives with lots of work. He will get every opportunity to win the starting job for the Dolphins but needs to elevate his play significantly to keep it.
The Dolphins drafted a player I am very interested in watching at the next level although not sure he could handle the load of a top running back. Kenyan Drake is explosively fast and dynamic, capable of breaking a long run from anywhere on the field. In fact, Drake reminds me a ton of Lamar Miller coming out of college. He is 6'1, 210 pounds, elite quickness and a receiving threat to boot. He will have a role and could emerge in this situation without a Derrick Henry stealing his touches.
Isaiah Pead is a former 2nd round pick from Cincinnati by the Rams and he comes to the Dolphins via free agency after four forgettable years with the Rams. He does have some talent and could surprise here but it is very unlikely after the years of poor play with the Rams.
Damien Williams is a good receiver and a decent running back option if called upon. He always had talent while with the Oklahoma Sooners but off field red flags resulted in being undrafted. In his two years in Miami, Williams has caught 42 total passes for 329 yards, carried the ball 52 times for 181 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. He has flashed some skill and in a stable as weak as this one, there is a possibility for Williams to emerge here if he has a great camp.
Daniel Thomas is a former 2nd year pick of the Dolphins who has not played since the 2014 season but was brought in for training camp depth purposes (hopefully). He is a plodding that doesn't do anything exceptional well.
The Dolphins have found themselves a star in Jarvis Landry, a 2nd round draft pick from LSU. In his second pro season, Landry caught 111 passes for 1159 yards. He only caught 4 touchdowns but his effort, tenacity, toughness, exceptional route running prowess and hands are all reasons to be very excited going forward. If he can become a better target down the field, raising his yards per reception totals then he could be a top-five fantasy guy. He is that good and may yet push Odell Beckham Jr. for best receiver to be drafted out of LSU in 2014. He is also a dynamic punt return who runs with attitude.
Devante Parker was injured throughout the first half of his rookie season last year but once he got healthy and on the field, he began to look very good. He and Landry will form one of the best 1-2 receiving duos in the game today as early as this season. In his final 6 games last year, Parker caught 22 passes for 445 yards and 3 scores. Parker has all the tools of an elite
NFL receiver, blessed with great size, speed, body control and excellent hands. He will push for 1000+ receiving yards in 2016.
I was very shocked to see the Dolphins trade up in the third round to pickup a rookie receiver with two young, emerging receivers already on roster. That said however I really like Leonte Carroo and what he brings to the team. In fact, he reminds me quite a bit of Anquan Boldin when he showed up as a rookie in the NFL. He is big, tough and plays with a chip on his shoulder, attacking the ball in the air. If he works out the trio of Landry, Parker and Carroo could be scary plus...
Not satisfied with just Carroo, the Dolphins also scooped up diminutive Jakeem Grant from Texas Tech. The 5'6 dynamo plays bigger than his height and is an explosive punt returner. He will allow Landry to focus on being a receiver and Grant will probably get several plays to use his elite quickness in space on offense. Fun to cheer on a 5'6 NFL player.
Kenny Stills did not have the impact the team hoped for last year, catching 27 passes in 16 games. He did average 16.3 yards per reception though and scored 3 times. By all accounts, Ryan Tannehill struggles on the deep ball which does hurt a speed guy like Stills.
The former Oklahoma Sooners has elite speed and can stretch a defense. He needs to improve his consistency and route running but he has the ability to elevate his play. If he doesn't have a good camp, I would not be surprised to see him the forgotten man in Miami.
I'm intrigued by the acquisition of Griff Whalen. Tannehill is exceptional throwing the underneath timing passes with fits into Whalen's wheelhouse nicely.
MarQuies Gray, Jake Stoneburner
Cameron was a disappointment for the Dolphins last year, catching only 35 passes for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns. He only caught half of the 70 passes thrown his way and he never got on the same page as Ryan Tannehill throughout the season. In fact, he became an afterthought through the second half of the season with only 123 receiving yards. The big issue may be Cameron's best skill set is getting down the field and that is not Tannehill's strength. He has the skills to improve significantly this year but his fantasy value has dropped significantly.
Do not count out Dion Sims from getting some significant action this campaign, perhaps even supplanting Jordan Cameron as the #1 tight end. The former 4th round pick from Michigan State has great size and good hands and has caught 42 passes over the past two years. He is not elusive or overly agile but perhaps he will fit the Dolphins scheme.
Projected Starters: LT Branden Albert, LG Laremy Tunsil - rookie, C Mike Pouncey, RG Billy Turner, RT Ju'Wuan James
Key Backups: Billy Turner, Sam Young, Kraig Urbik, Dallas Thomas, Jamil Douglas
Branden Albert did a terrific job at left tackle for the Dolphins last year but he will be pushed really hard by rookie Laremy Tunsil who may be the most talented player this year in the draft. I slid Tunsil inside to left guard as I like when a team has two dependable tackles, letting a young player learn inside for a season or two but I also would not be surprised to see him start at tackle. He is an elite player. Mike Pouncey is a Pro Bowl center in the prime of his career. I like the improvement of Ju'Wuan James and the former 19th overall pick is really coming into his own. He should continue to improve this season. If the Dolphins find a dependable right guard, they have a potential top-five group here but I see a big weakness at the position. I have put Billy Turner in as a starting guard but it is wide open between several players. Turner is a 24-year old former 3rd round pick and if they can get him into the starting unit, this is a young group with excellent potential. No matter who starts at right guard though I love the talent and direction of this group.
Hit 13 of 16 field goals last year