Job Review: Defensive Ends

Now that the 2007 Dolphins mercifully is behind us, we try to figure out what went wrong. In this series, we'll examine every position on the team, evaluate performances from this past season and assess the likelihood of each player returning in 2008. This installment features the defensive ends.

QUENTIN MOSES

Contract status: Signed through 2008

2007 Season: A third-round pick in the 2007 draft, Moses joined the Dolphins after being let go by the Oakland Raiders in training camp. Moses got some playing time late in the season and actually showed some pretty good pass-rushing skills.

Will he be back?: Yes. Moses was a tremendous defensive end at the University of Georgia in 2005 before having a sub-par senior season. But the ability is there, and we saw some of it late last season.

ROB NINKOVICH

Contract status: Signed through 2008

2007 Season: Picked up off waivers from New Orleans, Ninkovich appeared in four games for the Dolphins but really was a non-factor.

Will he be back?: Maybe. He's under contract, but he's kind of small for a defensive end at 6-2, 252 and Bill Parcells likes big linemen.

DERRECK ROBINSON

Contract status: Signed through 2008

2007 Season: Picked up after he was waived by San Diego, Robinson appeared in seven games but didn't do anything to make himself noticed.

Will he be back?: Probably. Robinson has a little more size than Ninkovich, so he figures to get a look at camp. But the truth is he's a marginal player who will be a long shot to make the roster.

MATT ROTH

Contract status: Signed through 2009

2007 season: Roth moved into the starting lineup after the Dolphins let Kevin Carter go and Roth did nothing to justify the promotion. Roth finished with only three sacks and made few noteworthy plays. He was hampered by a groin injury late in the season, but still had to be considered a major disappointment.

Will he be back?: Roth is a former second-round pick, so it would be difficult to simply let him go, but the truth is that based on last season this guy should not be a starter, particularly at defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. He's also probably not athletic enough to play linebacker, so you're left with a high-motor guy who might be too limited physically to star in the NFL.

JASON TAYLOR

Contract status: Signed through 2009

2007 season: Taylor wasn't quite as dominant as he was in the 2006 season, but he still made a lot of plays and was by far the Dolphins' best defensive player. Whether he deserved to make the Pro Bowl is debatable, but there's no question he had another good year -- for a really bad team.

Will he be back?: That's a tremendous question, one that we address at length with Scout.com NFL insider Adam Caplan in another story.

STATE OF THE POSITION

When you look at the defensive end position, you have to factor in both Vonnie Holliday and Rodrique Wright, who are listed as defensive tackles on the roster. With those two, the Dolphins are in good shape here if they keep Taylor, but they'll need a stud to replace Taylor if they decide to move him.


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