Countdown: The Most Valuable Dolphins, 21-30

With the start of training camp 2009 fast approaching, we set the stage by ranking the 82 players on the roster (the roster limit is 80 players under contract, so unsigned draft picks don't count). The countdown is based as much on value to the team as it is on ability. In this installment, we take a look at numbers 21 to 30.

30. K DAN CARPENTER — Carpenter is coming off a pretty solid rookie season after taking over for veteran Jay Feely and he's the only kicker going to camp. He needs to stay consistent while improving his kickoffs.

29. QB PAT WHITE — Logica says White won't play that many snaps in 2009, but those could be very important snaps if indeed he's used as a Wildcat quarterback. If he can add a consistent passing threat to that formation, the possibilities become very interesting.

28. CHAD HENNE — Unless Chad Pennington gets hurt, he won't play, but Pennington has never gone two consecutive years injury-free. This is a guy who will be much higher on this list next year.

27. WR DAVONE BESS — Bess isn't physically imposing or flashy, but he's got tremendous savvy as a receiver and also did a nice job as a punt returner. Don't be surprised if he's on this team for a long time.

26. G DONALD THOMAS — The big question mark on the offensive line, Thomas showed last season he has talent; now he has to show he can stay healthy.

25. ILB AKIN AYODELE — Ayodele was a solid starter in his first season with the Dolphins in 2008 and he started making some plays down the stretch. The next step is making a few more big plays.

24. PHILLIP MERLING — The Dolphins' decision to release Vonnie Holliday in the offseason might backfire if either Randy Starks or Merling don't step up. The Dolphins drafted Merling at the top of the second round last year, so they obviously think he can get the job done.

23. WR GREG CAMARILLO — Before he sustained a torn ACL last November, Camarillo had developed into the Dolphins' best receiver. Can he get back to that level?

22. SEAN SMITH — The next two spots are reserved for the two rookie cornerbacks and it's practically impossible to separate them at this stage. Smith actually was the more impressive of the two in the offseason practices, but Davis couldn't show off his physical game and that's where he has his edge over Smith.

21. VONTAE DAVIS — It almost would be a surprise if either Smith or Davis didn't start opposite Will Allen in the season opener. The bottom line is that it looks the Dolphins have their starting cornerbacks of the future in Smith and Davis.


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