What should pretty much be your go-to for anything football-related, Pro Football Focus recently provided an insightful breakdown of the Miami Dolphins’ current depth chart.
Of the 57 players listed, over 35 percent are considered “good starters” by PFF’s Gordon McGuinness. Another 14.3 percent are deemed “high quality” players, including free-agent acquisition and new left tackle Branden Albert.
A few other things of note:
The Dolphins currently have two rookies slotted as starting offensive linemen for 2014. Now, both Ja’Wuan James and Billy Turner could be key components of the offensive line for many years to go, but their presence from the get-go could lead to another difficult season for quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the pocket as the rookies adjust to life in the NFL.
PFF’s decision to name Cameron Wake as only a “high quality” player is intriguing, though they give a fair reasoning. Wake had a good 2013, but it wasn’t up to par and, now at the age of 32, a continued decline is to be expected. You can’t scoff at his +27.7 passing rushing grade, however, even if +17.2 of it came in four games.
The amount of “below-average starters” listed as a starter on offense and defense should not alarm fans. In what will be a competitive AFC East as always, the Dolphins have the second fewest with three. The defending division champion Patriots have four, the Jets have six and the Bills have two but also feature two “poor starters” in quarterback E.J. Manuel and guard Chris Williams.
The third-overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, defensive end Dion Jordan didn’t exactly set the world on fire during his rookie campaign for the Dolphins. He’ll have a chance to earn more snaps this season, however, after seeing just 339 on defense last year. It won’t be easy though. Current starter Olivier Vernon had 11.5 sacks a season ago.