With training camp starting soon, that means one thing. Football season has finally come! The best time of the year is about to begin, and now thing start gaining importance and getting more important for the NFL teams. Training camp is the first time the pads will come on and full contact is fair game. Here are my top five Miami Dolphins to keep an eye on heading into training camp.
5. Branden Albert and DeVante Parker
Both of these highly coveted players will need to be monitored closely throughout training camp. Albert is still recovering from tearing his ACL and MCL in his knee back in Week 10 of 2014. Parker had surgery on June 5 of this offseason as a precautionary measure for soreness in a foot that he injured in college. Both are hopeful to start come Week 1 of the regular season against the Washington Redskins, and it would be a surprise if DeVante Parker wasn’t available then. However, Albert’s Week 1 status is still unknown, and it will be interesting to see what unfolds with both of these players’ injuries throughout training camp and the preseason.
4. Chris McCain
This offseason, I wrote an article that featured Miami’s newest starting linebacker Chris McCain. I really can’t stop praising this guy. He is going to win the starting job as one of the outside linebackers, assuming he doesn’t completely screw up at training camp. Keep an eye out for this guy, and watch what he can do in space. He is a serious tackler with the ability to rush the quarterback. In other words, he’s a three down linebacker with playmaking potential. Don't believe me? Check out his blocked punt against the New England Patriots below.
3. Jay Ajayi
I really think Ajayi will turn out to be the best draft pick of this 2015 NFL Draft for the Miami Dolphins (along with Parker of course). This guy loves to work hard, and enters the league with a chip on his shoulder after watching his stock fall dramatically. He can catch, he can block, and he can run in between the tackles without going down easily. The job is definitely still Lamar Miller’s, but if Ajayi can have a good training camp, there is no reason he won’t become the number two back and compete for touches with Miller in his rookie season.
2. Jamar Taylor
Jamar Taylor might be the most exciting player for the Miami Dolphins heading into the 2015 draft. The former second round pick out of Boise State has been plagued by injuries early on in his career. This is the first time he will start the season completely healthy and as the favorite for the starting cornerback job opposite of Brent Grimes. He looked good in minicamp, and if he can win the job in training camp, the Dolphins may finish 2015 with one of the better cornerback duos in the AFC. This also may be Taylor’s final shot to win the starting job outright.
1. The battle at offensive guard
The two guard spots remain wide open for the Miami Dolphins heading into training camp. Billy Turner was drafted as a tackle last season, and has struggled moving inside. Jamil Douglas was drafted this year in the third round, but doesn’t exactly stand out as a definite starter. Throw in veterans like Jeff Linkenbach and Jacques McClendon, and the situation is anything but clear. One thing is for certain. The Miami Dolphins need to get rid of Dallas Thomas.
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