Camp preview: Offensive line

The Dolphins will open their 40th training camp when they hold the first practice on Monday, July 25 at the team's training facility in Davie. We preview what should be an interesting camp under new head coach Nick Saban with a position-by-position analysis of the team heading into camp. In this installment, we look at the offensive line.

Offensive linemen on the roster: T Anthony Alabi (rookie), T Vernon Carey (2nd season), G/T Damion Cook (5th season), G/C Rex Hadnot (2nd season), G Jeno James (6th season), T Stockar McDougle (6th season), T Damion McIntosh (6th season), C Seth McKinney (4th season), T Tony Pape (2nd season), G Rodney Reed (1st season), C/T Wade Smith (3rd season), G/T John St. Clair (6th season), G Jason Thomas (3rd season), G Taylor Whitley (3rd season), G Eric Wilson (2nd season).

Summary: The offensive line was expected to undergo a fairly signicant overhaul in the offseason after last year's atrocious performance, but the personnel changes turned out to be rather limited. In fact, the only acquisitions of significance were free agent tackle Stockar McDougle and, to a lesser degree, guard/tackle Damion Cook. The Dolphins think they'll be better up front because the players individually will improve and also because new offensive line coach Hudson Houck will get the most of his group. One thing for sure, it won't be difficult to do better than last year.

The battles: There has been some juggling up front, with Vernon Carey moving from right tackle to left tackle, where he will challenge incumbent Damion McIntosh for the starting job. In addition, Wade Smith is moving from tackle to center, while last year's starting right tackle, John St. Clair, could see time at guard. There should be competition at most spots during training camp, with McDougle and left guard Jeno James probably the two surest things to be in the starting lineup. In addition to the left tackle spot, Rex Hadnot figures to battle St. Clair at right guard, while Seth McKinney will try to hold off Smith and possibly Hadnot at center.

Projected starters: Stockar McDougle (RT), Rex Hadnot (RG), Seth McKinney (C), Jeno James (LG), Vernon Carey (LT)

Projected on the 53-man roster: McDougle, Hadnot, McKinney, James, Carey, John St. Clair, Damion McIntosh, Wade Smith, Damion Cook

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