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Dolphins Rank Their Own Players: Cool!

With the season over for the Dolphins, the Dolphins staff is in full offseason mode preparations swing.

So far the Trifecta has led the way to firing their defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni, and have found themselves in search of two linebackers coaches for the upcoming season.

They also have announced that the Fins staff will be coaching the South team in the Senior Bowl.

This means the Dolphins will be looking to add a new defensive coordinator rather quickly.

But one of the other activities that the Dolphins staff likes to do is rank their players in order of their production, and how they feel they helped their team this year. Take a look at the list that Miami Herald writer Armando Salguero created and tell me what you think on some of the rankings.

1. Jake Long: He just finished his second season, is borderline elite at his position and made the Pro Bowl. The thing that pleases the Dolphins is Long still has room to improve and wants badly to do so.

2. Ricky Williams: It’s good that a 32-year-old running back can be this important to the team. It’s also terrible that a 32-year-old can be this important to the team.

3. Randy Starks: Despite a tough stretch in December, he still was the most consistent player on defense. And he’s getting better at age 25.

4. Yeremiah Bell: He led the team in tackles, collected three interceptions and battled furiously with fine tight ends such as Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. Yes, he lost some of those battles, but he also won more than his share.

5. Ronnie Brown: If only he could stay healthy — he only has done it once in five seasons — he could be a more consistent weapon and push for elite status. Talent isn’t a question, however.

6. Chad Henne: No matter what coaches say or don’t, he’s the presumptive starter in 2010. But with more interceptions than touchdowns and questions about his touch passes and accuracy, he still has a long way to go.

7. Vontae Davis: He led the team in interceptions with four and had a return TD. He has no fear when supporting the run defense or breaking up receiver screens.

8. Jason Taylor: Miami’s best all-around linebacker. Wasn’t maximized on passing downs. Still has gas in the tank.

9. Jason Ferguson: If only he were 25 years old instead of 35 he would be worth his weight in gold. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Ferguson’s worth became most evident after he was injured and no one could take up the slack.

10. Justin Smiley: He was playing very well when he hurt his shoulder (again) and then dropped off a bit before finishing strong.

11. Davone Bess: He led the team in receptions and was among the league leaders in third-down conversions. If he could somehow improve his speed he would be scary good.

12. Lousaka Polite: If it’s third- or fourth-and-1, Polite will get the first down. His blocking also improved in 2009.

13. Nate Garner: Most versatile player on the offensive line — and perhaps the team’s most underrated player.

14. Sean Smith: He has much growing and growing up to do, but Smith caught on quickly and led the team in passes defensed.

15. Brian Hartline: Miami’s most explosive receiver (16.3 yards per catch) shows potential to be a good, maybe even great, No. 2 receiver in the future.

16. Jake Grove: Just as he was starting to play very well, he got injured. And that has been the story of his career so far.

17: Brandon Fields: He improved his gross average by more than 2 yards and his net average by more than 3 yards. Dolphins are set at punter.

18. Joey Porter: His run defense was questionable most of the season, and he clearly lost a step — perhaps because of a knee injury. But he still led the team in sacks.

19. Kendall Langford: Rarely makes big plays. Rarely makes mistakes. Takes up a lot of space and blockers, which is a good thing.

20. Joe Berger: Did you notice that huge drop in offensive production when Grove was injured? Neither did anyone else.

21. Vernon Carey: Wasn’t as good in 2009 as in 2008 but got paid a whole lot more — and that begs the question: Did he get too comfortable with his new contract?

22. Channing Crowder: If he didn’t lead the team in tackles, he did not have a great year. Crowder was fifth on the team in tackles.

23. Greg Camarillo: He didn’t drop any passes, which is very important, but he also didn’t score any touchdowns, which is also kind of important.

24. Anthony Fasano: Not really great at anything, but pretty good at most things. Would benefit from the addition of a star receiver that opens up the middle of the field.

25. Will Allen: He would be in the top 10 if he had stayed healthy, but missing games hurts the team. He still had two interceptions and will compete to start in 2010.

26. Cameron Wake: He can lead the NFL in sacks if he plays every down. But he has got to learn to defend the run and cover on pass plays to play every down.

27. Donald Thomas: In what was effectively his rookie year, Thomas was good early in the season but started trailing off around Week 10.

28. Dan Carpenter: He connected on 89 percent of his field goals, which is excellent, but he needs to improve his distance on kickoffs as only 8.5 percent were touchbacks.

29. Nathan Jones: A solid role player and true professional. He was third on the team in passes defensed and led the team in special-teams tackles.

30. Paul Soliai: He’s a good backup but had one or fewer tackles in eight games, which suggests he doesn’t show up for every play.

31. Ted Ginn Jr.: He had more dropped passes (nine) than receiving touchdowns (one) in what everyone with eyes agrees was a disappointing year.

32. Akin Ayodele: He was third on the team in tackles, but too many of those came too far downfield or after he got beat in coverage.

33. Phillip Merling: He’s a big body and very young. But he showed no significant statistical improvement over his rookie year, and that’s troubling.

34. Tony McDaniel: His 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks were not jaw dropping, but he was an outstanding investment in trade for a seventh-round pick.

35. Tyrone Culver: He’s solid in coverage and versatile on special teams. You can’t ask much more of a role player.

36. Gibril Wilson: He tackled poorly early in the season, he struggled in coverage all year long, and he did not figure in even one turnover while figuring in too many opponent touchdowns.

37: Reggie Torbor: Works hard during the week, plays hard on game day. But he is a role player who probably is not full-time starter material.

38. Charlie Anderson: He had two sacks in rotation duty at outside linebacker.

39: John Denney: Memory says he has never botched a long snap in five seasons with Miami.

40. Patrick Cobbs: Has tons of potential and is valuable on special teams but not when he plays only five games.

41. Lex Hilliard: He runs hard and plays hard on special teams. Good for depth.

42. Chad Pennington: He was 0-3 as the starting quarterback and had one touchdown pass and two interceptions at the time of his season-ending shoulder injury.

43. Joey Haynos: Reliable, but he hasn’t developed into the red-zone threat everyone thought a 6-8 player might become.

44. Jason Allen: The reality for this former No. 1 pick is he’s a good special-teams player.

45. Chris Clemons: There were flashes that suggested this rookie is the team’s future free safety. But he didn’t flash often enough.

46. Tyler Thigpen: In one quarter of play, he led the Dolphins to two touchdowns but also threw two interceptions. Feast and famine.

47. Kory Sperry: The team’s leader in tattoos had one surprising game against Tampa Bay and then mostly played on special teams.

48. Pat White: Smallish stature, inaccurate passer with only modest arm strength. He’s not ready to be an NFL quarterback.

49. Erik Walden: A solid special-teams contributor, his season was hampered by injuries that set him back.

50: Quentin Moses: His playing time is limited but when he gets on the field, he usually hits somebody.

51. Ryan Baker: He’s a high-energy role player who earned himself a look.

52. Kory Sheets: He’s a slashing runner with decent speed, but he only got one carry for 5 yards this season because he’s low man on the totem pole.

53. Lionel Dotson: He was active for only two games after being active for only two games last year. The Miami career clock is ticking.

54. Patrick Turner: Something went wrong from the moment he was a third-round pick to the time he failed to get even one offensive snap all season long.

55. Andrew Hartline: The third-string right tackle and guard earned a promotion off the practice squad but was active only three games.

56. Andrew Gardner: He’s Jake Long’s backup and has to improve his strength and technique to be game ready.

57. Evan Ogelsby: The Dolphins liked him enough to sign him twice and even made him active for one game. At 28, probably about as good as he’s going to be.

58. J.D. Folsom: Linebacker didn’t develop into any sort of special-teams performer like the team hoped

59. Lydon Murtha: Not on the roster early in the season, he practiced seven weeks then injured his ankle, sending him to injured reserve.

60. Ikaika Alama-Francis: On the team only six weeks but never active. Starts his fourth season in 2010 so he has to make something happen because his career clock is nearing midnight.

Take a look at some the players that are listed.

Salguero considers rookie cornerback Vontae Davis higher than Sean Smith at this point. While Davis is a playmaker, you cannot argue with what Smith has done this year also.

He also has Nate Garner ranked higher than some of the other starting offensive lineman. Perhaps this is because of his versatility. But nevertheless, I was surprised to see Justin Smiley ranked so high after a mediocre season that was tormented again by injuries.

What may be the most telling on some of last years draft selections was how low both Pat White was ranked for how much he played this year, and how low Patrick Turner was ranked as well.

Neither of these guys are getting it done, and Turner may be getting the axe this off-season in order to create cap room, and give another “acorn” out there a shot at making the roster.

These are the little things that make franchises so successful. When you have your coaching staff evaluating how much value a certain player had for his team.

This is great stuff, and one of the reasons why Sparano has got this ship headed in the right direction.

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2 Responses to “Dolphins Rank Their Own Players: Cool!”

  1. Great stuff guys! I never find it anywhere. i personally like Randy Starks

  2. […] admin wrote a very interesting post today.   Here’s a quick excerpt:With the season over for the Dolphins, the Dolphins staff is in full offseason mode preparations swing. So far the Trifecta has led the way to firing their defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni, and have found themselves in search of … […]

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