Tag Archive for: Miami Dolphins

2023 NFL Mock Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft is just days away and NFL teams are finalizing their big boards and start to focus on draft day. This 2023 NFL Mock Draft answers the biggest questions on where the quarterbacks will be going, potential trades and big surprises.

In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft I will be focusing on the first round and finally give my thoughts on what the Dolphins will do with their first pick in this years draft.

Top 10 Mock Draft

1) Carolina Panthers: QB C.J. Stroud

As of now, the betting market has QB Bryce Young to be selected first. However, I believe new Panthers Head Coach Frank wants a prototypical QB for the scheme he’ll bring to Carolina in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft

2) Houston Texans: QB Bryce Young

The connections are too great for Bryce Young to not be selected by Houston. Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans have spoke highly of Young. While Young does not fit the mold of your typical NFL Passer, he’s reminiscent of another QB (Kyler Murray) that was taken high with other elite traits at the QB position.

3) Detroit Lions (Projected Trade with Arizona): QB Anthony Richardson

Now this will make the biggest headlines in the 2023 NFL Draft if this actually happens. Yes, Jared Goff has done well with the Lions last year, but having Richardson in this Lions offense, with this many weapons and a good OL would set the Lions up for success in the future.

4) Indianapolis Colts: QB, Will Levis

Mayo loving QB Will Levis has been making waves in the pre-draft process. Scouts and NFL Media are raving about Levis playing in a pro-style offense at Kentucky. The Wildcat prospect has enough tools to work with, athleticism and ran a pro style offense with no run game, a bad OL and subpar receivers in the SEC. new HC Shane Steichen has worked with many QB’s in the past and could fit him up to be the next Colts QB.

5) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver): DL Jalen Carter

Jalen Carter is exactly what the Seattle Seahawks need in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. The Georgia Bulldog prospect is a monster up front, pairing him up with Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed is another step in revamping their front four and getting back to playing Championship caliber defense.

6) Arizona (Projected Trade with Arizona): EDGE Will Anderson

This is the best scenario for the Cardinals as there becomes a frenzy on QB’s and they take the best player available in the draft and gain picks to start their rebuild. Anderson is a blue chip prospect and the best player at his position. He has the athleticism, build, and arm length to make relentless plays against the pass and run

7) Las Vegas Raiders: OT Paris Johnson

With Jimmy Garoppolo as their new Qb, the Raiders will need protection up front. Johnson has the  a really nice prototype at OT-size, length, and quickness- for the Raiders to become a nasty unit up front. Kolton Miller is their LT for now and Johnson has only played a year at LT, he’s versatile enough to play RG. He’s an elite run blocker that will pave the way for Josh Jacobs.

8) Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Tyree Wilson

The Falcons need help with their pass rush, especially as they were ranked 26th in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate. Wilson gives the Falcons a player with elite traits and measurables in a rotating pass rush group that will develop his skills and pass rush moves.

9) Chicago Bears (from Carolina): OT Peter Skoronski

The Chicago Bears are in desperate need of any and all offensive linemen to protect QB Justin Fields. The best available OL for Ryan Poles on the board is Northwestern Peter Skoronski. According to the Bears evaluation chart, Length is a big requirement to play OT. Skoronski fits as a Guard with his measurables.

10) Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans): RB Bijan Robinson

Death, Taxes, and Howie Roseman picking up value as one of the best General Managers in the NFL. Analytics be damned! Bijan rules and the Eagles try to continue to surround newly paid QB Jalen Hurts with more talent to make another run at the Super Bowl. Robinson and Hurts’ gravity with their legs will put defenders in a bind.

The Middle picks

11) Tennessee Titans: OT Broderick Jones

The Titans lost a lot of veteran offensive lineman in free agency and need to get younger, especially with Tannehill and Henry getting older. Tennessee gets bigger and stronger up front with the big UGA Bulldog. Jones has insane upside and is a great fit for Tennessee’s power running game.

12) Houston Texans (from Cleveland): WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Jaxson Smith-Njigba might be the best WR in this years class and certainly the first WR taken in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. While JSN might not be super fast, he’s an exceptional route runner, creates separation and gets downfield. He’ll pair up well in Houston with Bryce Young and John Metchie III.

13) New York Jets: OT Darnell Wright Tennessee

The rest of the world is waiting on the Aaron Rodgers saga, I’m not. The Jets need help at their Tackle position. The Jets depth chart at Tackle is paper thin and Wright becomes their best OL regardless of whoever is playing QB.

14) New England Patriots: EDGE Nolan Smith

The New England Patriots do not have any other pass rushers under contract beyond 2023 besides Matthew Judon and 2021 draft pick Ronnie Perkins. Smith is an athletic freak. He’s comparable to Haasan Reddick and gives Bill Belicheck a versatile player in the front seven.

15) Green Bay Packers: EDGE Myles Murphy

The Packers are currently looking to select a pass rusher in the draft and Murphy is the best option on the board. Murphy is a higly athletic pass rusher along the lines of what GM Brian Gutenkest likes in pass rushers. Murphy’s explosive off the edge but needs to better his technique against the run.


Use code “FIVE” to receive a matching $100 bonus on Prizepicks

16) Washington Commanders: CB Devon Witherspoon

Washington is in dire need of a cornerback and Witherspoon is the first corner off the board. Witherspoon’s the best corner on the board and offers position flexibility. Witherspoons learning curve in the Commanders defense would be minimal as Illinois ran a similar style in 2022.


17) Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Christian Gonzalez

Gonzalez is one of the many corners the Steelers have brought in for a draft visit and also need secondary help. At 6’2″ and 200 pounds, he is an ideal size to matchup with bigger and stronger wide receivers at the NFL level especially in the AFC.

18) Detroit Lions: CB Joey Porter Jr.

As the run on CB’s start, the Lions bolster their defense with an NFL Bloodline prospects. After the trade of Okudah, the Lions level up in the secondary. With Porter’s versatility means he’ll fill in anywhere he’s needed and a good schematic fit for the Lions.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Brian Branch

Todd Bowles needs a thumper in the middle of his defense and someone who can wear multiple hats while doing it well. Branch is that player. He’s a do it all defender with good instincts in coverage and speed as a blitzer. As of now the Bucs need a nickel defender and someone who has the ability to also play safety. Branch is the pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

Rounding out the teens

20) Cincinnati Bengals (Projected Trade with Seattle): TE Dalton Kincaid

This is a pretty shocking trade to pull off, especially for a TE. However, this TE class is absolutely loaded and Kincaid is the best pass catching TE there is to help bring more firepower to an electric Bengals offense.

21) Los Angeles Chargers: WR Quentin Johnson

There are targets up for grabs in LA, and Johnston fits a similar profile to the type of receivers the Chargers have drafted in the past. Size, RAC, and toughness. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams aren’t getting any younger.

22) Baltimore Ravens: CB Deonte Banks

Deonte Banks stays home in Maryland in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Banks is a natural fit in Mike MacDonalds system and great in man coverage. Banks is a young infusion in a well tenured defensive back group that dealt with injuries last season.

23) Minnesota Vikings: WR Zay Flowers

It would not shock me if the Minnesota Vikings trade back to gain more draft capital, however; if a top WR2 prospect like Zay Flowers is avaliable, I think they take him. It’s a good move to pair up Zay Flowers with Justin Jefferson, two really good separators that can do damage against top CB’s.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars: DL Calijah Kancey

The Jaguars have a void in the interior of their defensive line. Calijah Kancey gives the Jaguars a young, but dominant core for the next couple of years. While Kancey does not have the measurables, he was disruptive and a productive force at Pitt and can line up anywhere on the front seven to make the Jaguars a multiple front.

25) New York Giants: WR Jordan Addison

An extremely productive receiver at Pitt with Kenny Pickett and at USC with Caleb Williams, Addison goes to newly paid Giants QB Daniel Jones to give the football Giants a brand new playmaker they have desperately needed into their offense. Addison is a refined route runner that can lineup in the slot and move around the field.

26) Dallas Cowboys: DL Bryan Bresee

This pick goes against the grain of what the Cowboys have done in the first round, they’re all about flashy players on offense, TE feels like a safe pick but they have pressing needs at defensive tackle. While Dallas’ defense is strong they need someone in the middle of the line to make it stout. Having Breese, coming off an ACL injury, but young and talented to play by Micah and DeMarcus Lawerence would set the Boys DL for the future

27) Buffalo Bills: EDGE Lukas Van Ness

Recent history suggest Bills draft defense in the first round, especially amongst the front seven. Buffalo gets a physical but raw defender in Lukas Van Ness in this 2023 Mock Draft.  Van Ness is a project early on but having him learn the tools of the trade behind DaQuaon Jones, Ed Oliver, and Von Miller will benefit his development. His upside is not to be taken lightly. The Bills defense is built from the inside out, and the rugged Hawkeyes pass rusher would fit the culture and could be a critical rotational edge rusher as a rookie.

28) Seattle Seahawks (Projected Trade with Cincinatti): G O’Cyrus Torrence

In a whirlwind trade with the Cincinatti Bengals, the Seattle Seahawks get tremendous value in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. One of the best offensive lineman in the draft lands up in Seattle to form a young offensive line that provides a long term fixture at guard. Geno Smith gets another year to prove himself behind an OL that ranked 27th in the NFL per PFF with two rookie tackles.

29) New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco through Miami and Denver): DL Mazi Smith

The Saints need to shore up the interior of their defense, especially after losing three starters in Shy Tuttle, David Onyemata, and Marcus Davenport. The consensus points to Michigan prospect Mazi Smith to settle down in the Bayou. Smith is a classic run stuffer for a Dennis Allen Saints defense with athleticism on early downs. They ranked 24th against the rush, Mazi is a big bodied presence for the Saints.

30) Philadelphia Eagles: OT Anton Harrison

It’s like General Manager Howie Roseman loves Sooner Prospects. First Lane Johnson, then Jalen Hurts, next up in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft is Anton Harrison. Harrison just had a top 30 visit with the Eagles. Harrison is reloaded into the Eagles offensive line to continue their dominant run game and protect Jalen Hurts. Also, Eagles Coach Jeff Stoutland loved what Harrison was able to do in the pass rush drop drill at the Combine.

31) Kansas City Chiefs: TE Michael Mayer

Man would this be a selection for the Kansas City Chiefs. Pairing up one of the best TE prospects in this draft class with a future Hall of Famer in TE Travis Kelce. The Combination of Mayer and Kelce will be destructive for opposing defenses as the Chiefs would do damage in 12 personnel. Michael Mayer can do the dirty work in the trenches and pick up yards in the passing game.


51) Miami Dolphins: TE Darnell Washington

Darnell Washington is hard to miss if he’s available on the board. At 6’7 and 265 pounds, Washington is a freakishly good athlete that relies on his strengths to block in-line and can catch passes at his size. He’s hard to take down. It’ll take some time for Washington to become a tactful blocker in Miami, but he does strengthen the blocking aspect of Miami’s offensive line.


Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

Miami Dolphins Mock Draft 2023

For another year, it won’t be that difficult to put together a Miami Dolphins mock draft. The Miami Dolphins turn to the 2023 NFL Draft to re-tool and reload for the 2023 NFL Season. 

However, as the Dolphins organization looks forward to the 2023 season, the team still has some way to become a consistent playoff team and hopeful Super Bowl winner. General Manager Chris Grier brought in esteemed defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to improve their struggling passing defense. Furthermore, new names were brought in to shore up their biggest needs in free agency. 

Before the midseason trade deadline, the Miami Dolphins acquired edge rusher Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos, and before the start of Free Agency they traded pick 72 and Hunter Long to the Los Angeles Rams for Jalen Ramsey, a three-time All-Pro cornerback. Also, they inked a deal with David Long Jr. To help build depth in the linebacker position 

The Miami Dolphins addressed major needs through trades, free agency acquisitions and re-signing key players. While doing that, the team will need to fill holes and depth with four picks in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.

Round 2, Pick 63– Zach Charbonnet RB, UCLA

*Projected Trade with Kansas City, Kansas City Trades Pick 63, Pick 95 and Pick 122 for Pick 52, Pick 238 and EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah*

In this Miami Dolphins 2023 Mock Draft, I have the Dolphins trading back to get more picks to increase their roster depth and save $11.19 million by trading away Emmanuel Ogbah. The PFF mock draft machine accepted the trade.

Former Michigan and UCLA alum Zach Charbonnet packs a punch in the running game. Charbonnet is a physical runner and excels at running between the tackles and in the outside zone scheme. He’s tough to bring down with the first hit and is a pinball bouncing off of defenders. The Bruin running back waits for holes to open in the run game and utilizes his vision on his cuts. 

Charbonnet can be a true three down back for the Miami Dolphin as a workhorse running back, he’s serviceable catching passes out of the backfield. The only concern is his breakaway speed. He’s not as fast as current Dolphins Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson but makes it up by breaking tackles and having the second highest rushing yards over expected (+1.34) in the 2023 NFL Draft class.


The Dolphins don’t have any running backs contracted through the 2024 season and selecting Zach Charbonnet with their first pick in this 2023 Miami Dolphins Mock draft paves the way for their RB of the future. 

The Dolphins don’t have any running backs contracted through the 2024 season and selecting Zach Charbonnet with their first pick in this 2023 Miami Dolphins Mock draft paves the way for their RB of the future.

Round 3, Pick 84- Tucker Kraft TE, South Dakota State

Mike Gesicki and Hunter Long are no longer Dolphins which leaves the Dolphins tight end room with Durham Smythe, Tanner Connor, and free agent pickup Eric Saubert. Enter in 6-foot-5, 255 pound tight end Tucker Kraft in this Miami Dolphins 2023 Mock Draft, who Lance Zierlen comps to Pat Freiermuth.

The Jack Rabbit alum is versatile, he can play in-line, from the slot and even out wide. He’s made really tough contested catches by using his massive frame and catches with soft hands to reel in passes. Kraft runs very well and is tough to bring down after the catch racking up extra yards. While Kraft is an average route runner, he excels on short routes to gain YAC. He can get off the line quickly in the tight end alignment and has been utilized as a seam threat over the middle.  

Furthermore the athletic tight end was a major contributor to the Jack Rabbit running game. Kraft is well versed as a run blocker and contains a powerful lower body and strong hands to sustain blocks out wide and to the second level. He will need to lower his pad level in the passing game as a blocker and that will be cleaned up with coaching. The SDSU product should see the field early on due to his run blocking to help spring up a middling Dolphins run game. 

While Kraft may be from the FCS and hasn’t played better competition, his skillset and traits on film have shown the ability to succeed at the next level. Pair this with his production and athletic frame, he could become the next Dallas Goedert, or as head coach Mike McDaniel has worked with in the past, the next George Kittle. Not to mention, Head Coach Mike McDaniel met with Kraft at the combine.

Use code “FIVE” to receive a matching $100 bonus on Prizepicks

Round 3, Pick 95- Tyler Steen OL, Alabama

Count on Miami Dolphins General Manager to draft an Alabama prospect. Alabama is one of the most popular schools that the Dolphins draft out of, with five selections since the 2016 draft. I project in thie Miami Dolphins 2023 Mock Draft for Chris Grier to select Alabama OL Tyler Steen. Steen, a Miami native, stands at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds. Tyler Steen went to Vanderbilt for three seasons and transferred to Alabama for his senior year and started as a LT. 
As a pass protecter the Crimson Tide product is able to get out of his stance at the first step and shows lateral agility making him a scheme fit in a zone blocking team. For as big as Steen is, he attacks pass rushers rather than defending the QB to wash them out of the play. With his quick feet he’s able to adjust to pass rushers bends and resets his feet. However, Steen will need to clean up his technique and leverage to be more consistent against NFL opponents. 

In the run game, the Miami native utilizes his athletic frame to attack blockers and get up to the second level. Alabama ran a lot of backside runs where Steen was a cut blocker to seal off backside defenders from making a play. He’ll need to shore up his anchor and technique in the run game, focusing on zone blocks rather than focusing on a single player. 

At some point in the future, Steen will become a starting Left Tackle; however, Miami needs help at the Left Guard position and Steen projects to do well there early on, as he showed at the Senior Bowl. Especially if he is taken by the Dolphins and given a chance to develop alongside future hall of famer Terron Armstead.

Round 4 Pick 144- YaYa Diaby DL,/EDGE Lousiville  

YaYa Diaby stands at 6-foot-3 as a potential EDGE/OLB that provides rotational depth to a team’s pass rusher group.  
Diaby’s quick get off suggest he would be sutied to play as an EDGE in a 4-3 scheme and an OLB in a 3-4 scheme. Diaby’s is able to generate pressure through one moce and one move only, his bull rush. He displays his power to generate displacement, strength to shed blocks and pursuing the ball carrier.   

Diaby is a straight line rusher and needs to learn several different moves in his arsenal, pressure needs to be schemed up for him and will benefit learning from a solid group of pass rushers. 

He’s able to anchor his lower body to shed and climb blocks in the run game but needs for upper body strength to disengage offensive lineman and make the tackle against running backs on lateral runs.

Round 6, Pick 197- Ronnie Bell WR, Michigan 

Ronnie Bell is a tough, hard nosed wide receiver that makes tough contested catches with a frame of 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds. He plays bigger than his frame and playing in a run-oriented offense, Bell can do the dirty work in the run game. 
The Michigan Wolverines product is a former basketball player, and it serves him well releasing off the line of scrimmage, getting into his breaks and creating separation at the stem of his route. It allows him to catch the ball with ease. Bell has strong hands that helps him at the catch point. Bell is a pretty versatile receiver in terms of where he has lined up in college, he’s been in the slot, out wide and used on sweeps and motions.

Bell doesn’t have the speed like the rest of the Dolphins have on offense, he is a good route runner who creates separation which works well in a timing-based offense. He reminds me of a possession style wide receiver and someone that can come big on third and short plays. Surprisingly, Bell is a YAC monster, he fights for every yard against defenders and has experience returning kicks on special teams. 

In this Miami Dolphins Mock draft, the 2023 edition, Bell projects as a “big slot” later down the line in his career. Although Michigan manufactured his touches he was a reliable chain mover. He will need to add more play strength against physical defenders in the NFL and to help out in the run game. 


Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

Tua Tagovailoa’s Injury: The NFL must change its concussion protocol rules

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken to University of Cincinnati trauma care after suffering head and neck injuries against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Social media posters, pundits, fans and media analysts alike questioned whether he should have been playing against the Bengals after his initial injury against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday.

In Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills, Tua underwent concussion evaluations at halftime after he hit his head on the ground and then stumbled while trying to return to the huddle. The team initially listed him as questionable to return because of a head injury but later said it was a back injury that caused him to stumble. 

Coach Mike McDaniel stated in his post-game conference that he did not have a concussion. “Yeah, otherwise we would have reported him having a head injury,” McDaniel told reporters. “That’s why the NFL has these protocols.”

Concussion protocol for Tua Tagovailoa’s injury

When any player receives an impact to the head and exhibits symptoms or signs of a concussion, the player goes into concussion protocol. Per the the NFLPA and NFL player health and safety checklist it goes as follows:

It is required for all players who undergo any concussion evaluation on game day to have a follow-up evaluation conducted the following day by a member of the medical staff.

Who is to blame?

First reaction to Tua Tagovailoa’s injury was the initial question, “Why did the Dolphins play him if he had a concussion against the Buffalo Bills?” Secondary reaction was, “The Dolphins lied about Tua injury on Sunday and put him in this predicament.” Thirdly, the reaction was to hold the Dolphins coaches, trainers and medical staff accountable for putting Tua Tagovailoa out on the field and increasing his risk of injury.

The blame game has already started and the focus is on the Dolphins organization and their handling of Tua Tagovailoa’s injury from last Sunday’s win against the Buffalo Bills. What was initially thought to have been a head injury, turned out to be a back injury. The Dolphins quarterback was tested for a potential concussion injury, Tagovailoa did clear the concussion protocol.

As with many concussion protocol predicaments, the NFL and NFLPA conduct their investigations, in which a team physician and unaffiliated neurologist cleared him to return Sunday. The investigation is still ongoing in regards to Tua Tgaovailoa’s injury. 

Yet, the narrative exists that the Dolphins coaching staff, team doctors and independent neurologist did not follow proper protocols, lied or are covering up what truly happened. 


Use code “FIVE” to receive a matching $100 bonus on Prizepicks

Timeline of Tua Tagovailoa’s injury:

– Tua receives impact to the head against the Bills, looks to have gross motor instability which is then determined by team physician and independent neurologist on the sideline

– Dolphins team account tweets out Tua Tagovailoa has a head injury and is questionable to return.

-Tua Tagovailoa is then taken into the locker room to conduct the locker room exams as per the NFL concussion gameday checklist

– The “no go” rule has to be followed up with the team physician and the independent neuro- they took him to the locker room to be examined. 

– NFL SCAT and Neurological exam is conducted per the concussion gameday checklist. Tua is returned to play meaning the assessments were normal 

– After the game it is cited from Tua and Coach McDaniel that he tweaked his back at the goaline earlier in the game. Injury reports for the week listed him with Back/Ankle injury

On the quarterback sneak, I kind of got my legs caught under someone, and then they were trying to push back and then kind of felt like I hyper-extended my back or something. Then on the next play I kind of hit my back and kind of hurt. Then I got up and then that’s kind of why I stumbled – my back kind of locked up on me. For the most part, I’m good. I passed whatever concussion protocol they had, so I’m good.”

Tua Tagovailoa on his injury against the Buffalo Bills

He was given daily examinations from NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills above what the concussion protocol dictates “is required for all players who undergo any concussion evaluation on game day to have a follow-up evaluation conducted the following day by a member of the medical staff.”

Optics on Tua Tagovailoa’s injury

Tua Tagovailoa remained motionless on the ground, was eventually stretchered off the field, and taken by ambulance to University of Cincinnati trauma care. After the game, the Dolphins said that Tagovailoa would be discharged from the hospital and fly home with the team.

The incident leaves questions that many ask the NFL and the Dolphins. Was his injury on Sunday really a back issue?

Why wasn’t the NFL and the union able to complete their investigation in time for Thursday night’s game, considering the potential risk of exposing a young star’s brain to multiple traumatic injuries in one week?

The optics look terrible, but if the investigation finds everything was properly followed, then again, that’s a failing on the league’s part, not on the Dolphins or anyone else.

There has been scrutiny of the NFL’s handling of concussions. The league is able to claim that it is battling this fight through small adjustments like safer helmets or more stringent roughing-the-passer penalties—but we know that their main goal is to avoid consequences rather than actually solve the issue.

Normally, the NFL’s strategy works, because the players want to play. The NFL and NFLPA’s investigation wont be concluded up until the end of the week to finally understand what exactly happened, if the protocols were followed and if they were effective. However, the league must see the effects of putting a star QB’s brain at risk captured in great detail and replayed continuously. The NFL must review its concussion and injury policies while also telling the truth.


Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

Quick react: Tua, defense help Dolphins slip past Bills, lead AFC East

The Miami Dolphins are a force to be reckoned with after week 3 in the NFL. Last week, the Dolphins arguably played their best game ever, beating the Baltimore Ravens 42-38 after a 21 point fourth quarter comeback. This week, the Dolphins put up a score of 21-19, beating the best team in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills.

This unbelievable performance was the most balanced game the Miami Dolphins have played this season. While the offense didn’t have 500+ yards this week like they did against the Ravens, Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and company looked amazing again.

Tagovailoa threw a bullet to wide receiver River Cracraft for a touchdown early in the game. In the second quarter, Tagovailoa seemed to get injured, standing up and stumbling, a very scary sight for Dolphins fans. However, when the third quarter started, the quarterback was back in the game and unfazed.

Tagovailoa set the Dolphins up for a pivotal touchdown on a 45 yard pass to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. This may be the most beautiful ball we have seen from Tagovailoa, not to mention this throw allowed the Dolphins to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

The Miami defense also played the best game any team has played against the Buffalo Bills so far this season, holding them to 19 points. With a strip sack from safety Jevon Holland and many defended passes from cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Nik Needham, the Bills offense looked lost.

All Dolphins fans can agree this is the best start to a season we have seen in many, many years.

Lamar Jackson has Dolphins on list if he leaves Ravens

As Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens prepare to play the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, the star quarterback’s future is still up in the air.

And Miami could be in play there also.

You’re probably aware of what was originally a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the Ravens offered the former MVP a six-year deal that could be worth more than $290 million because only $133 million was fully guaranteed. And that Jackson, who represents himself rather than working with an agent, rejected the deal and decided to play out the last year of his contract.

But we have also learned at 5RSN that Jackson, who was born in Pompano Beach and played at Boynton Beach High, has the Dolphins high on his list if he cannot come to terms to remain in Baltimore.

Here is some background:

Lamar Jackson’s current contract

Per Spotrac, Jackson’s contract is his rookie deal and entering the fifth and final year of his contract. Meaning, after this season he may become an unrestricted free agent after the season, unless the Ravens organization decides to franchise tag Lamar Jackson.

Over the cap projects the franchise tag for a QB in 2023 to be worth $31.5 million. The Ravens have franchised tagged one of their own former quarterbacks in the past in Joe Flacco. Would it be worth the risk if Jackson plays on the tag and hits free agency after a year?

Jackson will make around  $23 million in his fifth-year option but has no guaranteed money after this season. His hope is to land an extension after this season with the Ravens, who are expected to apply their franchise tag on Jackson and prevent him from hitting free agency if the sides still are unable to reach a deal.

Timeline on Lamar Jackson’s new contract

It sounds absurd for Jackson to decline a monster $290 million contract, but it came with stipulations.

The deal was reportedly in the same ballpark as Russel Wilson and Kyler Murray’s contract. However, Jackson does not see himself on the same tier as Wilson and Murray. The Ravens quarterback wants a contract similar to the fully guaranteed deal Deshaun Watson received from the Cleveland Browns.

Per source, the Ravens organization are hesitant to give Jackson a fully guaranteed deal worth over $200 million. The value of Lamar Jackson’s contract is uniquely looked at on the field. 

Jackson, acting as his own agent along with his mother and the NFL Players Association, wants a fully guaranteed deal to secure his future based on injury risk. He has taken more hits amongst all NFL quarterbacks (737) since 2018.

“It was a pretty big risk last season. The year before,”I’m just playing football. Anything can happen. God forbid the wrong thing happens.”

Lamar Jackson on his contract situation

The Ravens have offered Jackson more than what Kyler Murray currently has. One of the unique situations is the value of Deshaun Watson contract which Jackson wants. Jackson, like Watson, is in the prime of his career; however, the Browns are a dysfunctional franchise badly in need of a long-term solution under center. The Ravens are not.

A source close to Jackson stated that Jackson was going to sign on Monday, September 5th. Yet, the Ravens modified the contract by putting a hefty monetary incentive for a Superbowl pushing it upwards of $270 million. Lamar Jackson declined the offer.

Furthermore, Jackson asked for Greg Roman to not be the play-caller if he were to sign due to the play style the last few seasons and potential risk of injury. There’s been murmur of Jackson disliking of the playcalling “upstairs”, while comments of offensive coordinator throwing shade on Jackson improvement in passing the ball. When asked if Jacksons improvements on throwing the ball would “open up the playbook”, Roman replied “No.”



Use code “FIVE” to receive a matching $100 bonus on Prizepicks

What’s next for Lamar?


According to a source close to Jackson, he’s privately told those close to him that he will not play if the franchise tag is placed on him.

Unless the Ravens change their stance and offer Jackson what he’s asked, the potential for a sign and trade is open. It would look poorly on the Ravens organization if Lamar is left to deal with the open market in free agency.

Jackson does have a list of teams he would be interested in going to. Per source the list includes the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles.

The Detroit Lions have the offensive weapons for Jackson. The Lions have a young but solid offensive line, a workhorse running back and pass catching weapons. The Lions defense is a concern right now but have franchise cornerstones in Jeffrey Okudah and Aidan Hutchinson.

The Philadelphia Eagles have Jalen Hurts as their current quarterback but they may not be sold just yet. The Eagles have two very good tackles that can handle their own in the trenches, a solid run game, a dominant receiver in A.J. Brown and a potential top five defense in the NFL. Furthermore, the Eagles have the draft capital to lure the Ravens into a sign and trade deal.

The Miami Dolphins are an interesting choice because of Jackson’s ties here. There’s buzz around current Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s 3rd year being “make or break,” even though new coach Mike McDaniel has showed a strong commitment to him so far. The offense consists of weapons like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Chase Edmonds to complement a top defense in the NFL. However, will Chris Grier have the asset to secure Jackson? The quarterback the currently-suspended Dolphins owner Steve Ross wanted in the 2018 NFL draft?

While contract talks have stalled, the conversation about Jackson will continue, here and elsewhere — and is likely to get louder after he faces Miami on Sunday.


Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel


Jaylen celebrates after scoring the clinching touchdown for the Miami Dolphins in the win against the New Orleans Saints.

The Most Successful Sports Teams in Florida

In the world of sports, there are teams that are successful, and then there are teams that are simply dominant. In Florida, a few teams stand out as being some of the most successful in the country. Whether it is football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport, these teams have been able to bring home championship after championship. Here is a look at some of Florida’s most successful sports teams.

What Makes Sports So Popular in Florida?

Sports are a huge part of Florida culture. From high school football to professional baseball, there is no shortage of sporting events to attend in the Sunshine State. In addition to the many traditional sports teams, Florida is also home to a number of unique sporting venues, including spring training for Major League Baseball and NASCAR races at Daytona International Speedway. But what is it that makes sports so popular in Florida? Part of the answer may lie in the state’s climate. With an average temperature of 75 degrees and sunny weather year-round, Floridians are able to enjoy outdoor activities year-round. In addition, the sports betting tradition in Florida is popular, and it’s estimated that 44% of residents have partaken or Googled the term online sports betting Florida in their lifetimes.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that sports play a big role in Florida culture.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are one of Florida’s oldest and most successful sports franchises. They have been around since 1966 and have earned a unique place in the sport’s history. They have won two Super Bowl championships and five conference championships. They are also the only NFL team to go an entire season undefeated, which they did in 1972. That season culminated in the team winning Super Bowl VII.

The Dolphins joined the NFL in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged. In their first Super Bowl appearance, they defeated the San Francisco 49ers. In the next season, they won the AFC championship. The Dolphins went on to win three consecutive Super Bowls.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team. The team was founded in 1988. Its first season was a loss, but it soon became relevant after Pat Riley became its head coach and president. He built a championship team by making trades that included Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning.

These players helped the team win four division titles. The team also added Dwyane Wade.

The Miami Heat have a storied history and are considered one of Florida’s most popular sports teams. Fans love to watch this team during all seasons, and even during their worst seasons, they still provide fans with the thrills and excitement they crave. The team has established a foundation in South Florida, and Erik Spoelstra is set to take over the team once Pat Riley retires.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are a baseball team that plays in the American League’s Eastern Division. For the first decade of the team’s existence, the Rays finished last in the AL East, with the exception of 2004. The team won the AL East in 2008 and 2010 and made the World Series in both years. The team’s name was changed to Rays when Stuart Sternberg took over the team from Vince Naimoli two years later. The team’s logo features a sunburst and a manta ray.

In 1995, the Devil Rays were awarded an expansion franchise, with the Atlanta Braves former assistant general manager Chuck LaMar serving as the team’s general manager. The team’s first manager was Larry Rothschild. In 1997, the Rays acquired 35 players in the Expansion Draft, including Bobby Abreu, who would eventually become a star. In the same year, the Rays traded away Abreu to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Orlando City SC

Since 2005, Orlando City, SC, has been experiencing meteoric growth. The team has established itself as a soccer powerhouse and a magnet for soccer fans. The city’s burgeoning population and growing soccer scene have provided the perfect storm for this club. Listed below are some of the club’s many successes.

Orlando City, SC, has had a busy July. This weekend, the club will play at D.C. United for the first game under new manager Wayne Rooney. Despite the busy schedule, the team will be hopeful for a successful game against the Reds. A win would put Orlando in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

In 2013, Orlando City was announced as the 21st franchise in the MLS. In its first year of competition, the club brought in the first Designated Player in the league, Kaka, a former FIFA Player of the Year. Orlando City SC was the league’s second-highest-charting team in its second season. It also launched the Orlando Pride in the NWSL in 2016 and opened its new downtown stadium in 2017.

University of Florida Gators

The University of Florida Gators is a top college basketball program and is one of the most successful teams in the country. They have won 12 national championships since 2010, including two straight outdoors and a pair of championships indoors. They have made the NCAA Tournament finals every year except two and have won the SEC championship every year since 2006 and the National Invitation Tournament every year.

The University of Florida has had success in many sports, including basketball, football, and volleyball. They have won 30 NCAA team championships, including two in football and three in basketball. The Gators also have seven women’s tennis titles. Their alumni have also found success in professional sports, including six-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte and NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.

Dolphins preseason Bucs

Skylar Thompson forcing Dolphins to make hard choices

Very few people knew the name Skylar Thompson when the Miami Dolphins drafted him in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, many were wondering why Miami would use a draft pick on a QB who many believed would be available as an undrafted free agent. Surely, there were other developmental players available the Dolphins could invest in during a win-now year.

However, from the moment he put on the uniform, Skylar Thompson was turning heads.

The 25-year old rookie out of Kansas State is showing extreme poise under pressure. Granted, he’s playing against backups the majority of the time, but his preseason performances are undeniably impressive. In just over five quarters of preseason play, Thompson has gone 29-of-38, with 347 yards and two touchdowns.

Even the team’s starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, can’t help but be impressed by Thompson’s play so far.

“I’ve been extremely impressed with Skylar.” Tagovailoa said after Saturday’s game. “Skylar handled the Tampa game extremely well, and then now he comes in a little later into the third quarter, gets his group going, has — I don’t even know how many plays he had. He probably had a 10-play drive leading up to the score that we had our first score that we had here at Hard Rock for this 2022 season. But I think he has handled it extremely well. He gave us an opportunity to kick a field goal to win the game. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but I think he has done an extremely great job for us.”

To some draft pundits, Thompson’s success comes as no surprise. Matt Waldman – creator of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio since 2006, stated during his evaluation that Thompson has at least one trait that stands out above every other QB prospect in this draft.

“Thompson has the best pocket management of this class. He maneuvers from all types of pressure better than at least half of the NFL starters I’ve watched this year.  He also takes hellacious hits and maintains the equanimity to deliver an accurate ball.”

Perhaps what held Thompson back during the draft were the injuries he suffered at Kansas State. During his senior year in 2020, Thompson suffered an upper-body injury which limited him to only three starts. But in those games, he went 40-of-64, 62.5 completion percentage, 626 yards and four touchdowns.

He didn’t have much better luck in 2021, as he suffered a knee injury that allowed him only ten starts. However, he still put up decent numbers (162-of-233, 69.5%, 2,113 yards, 12 TDs, four INTs) and finished his career by winning Texas Bowl MVP honors in the team’s win over a depleted LSU roster, in which he went 21-of-28, 259 yards and 3 TDs.

Had he been healthy throughout his collegiate career, it’s safe to assume Thompson would not have fallen all the way to the 7th round. His lack of production at Kansas State was partly due to those injuries. It was also partly due to the demands of the scheme he was in. Nonetheless, coach Mike McDaniel saw something in Thompson that caused the Dolphins to deem it fit to use a draft pick on him.

So far, McDaniel appears justified in that assessment.

“He just gets better every day.” McDaniel said after the preseason loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. “This game the operation was better. There was one time that he kind of lost the play clock a little bit, and we had to burn a timeout, but more than anything, he really had command over everything. And he is starting to make plays that when one or two aren’t there, feeling the concept. And like that touchdown they threw to ‘Z. White’ on the left-hand side, that’s something that Skylar doesn’t make at the beginning of preseason. So, I’ve seen continued improvement, but he is very diligent about the process. He has got the makeup of what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. So I think all of his teammates can feel that too.”

Now given the opportunity to produce in a QB friendly offensive scheme, it’s clear Skylar Thompson’s production was not due to lack of skill. PrizePicks.com had Thompson’s O/U on passing yardage at 165.5 yards, assuming that he would play the entirety of the second half if not more.

In spite of entering the game with less than a minute left in the 3rd quarter, Thompson was nearly able to reach that prop. As he led the Dolphins down the field and nearly led what could have been the game-winning drive, Thompson went 9-of-10 for 129 yards and a touchdown, all in the span of barely over one quarter’s time.

Skylar Thompson wasn’t supposed to make things difficult. But he is. Now, the Miami Dolphins have a difficult choice to make. Do they run the risk of letting him test the waiver wire? There are surely QB-needy teams who would love to claim him as their own. Or, alternatively, do they roster three quarterbacks? That idea is unprecedented in today’s modern NFL, but the Dolphins may not have a choice.

Veteran backup QB Teddy Bridgewater has a contract worth up to $10 million. $6.5 million of it is guaranteed. The way it’s structured, as of this moment, releasing Bridgewater saves Miami a grand total of zero dollars in cap space. And it puts them in a deep hole financially as they would be forced to pay him that amount no matter what.

However, if the Dolphins can trade Bridgewater, that changes. Trading him saves Miami $4.5 million in cap space with only $2 million in dead cap. The hard part is finding a trade partner.

These are the questions Skylar Thompson is forcing the Dolphins to answer. His performance in preseason and in practice make it extremely difficult to justify waiving him. By the same token, keeping him instead of Bridgewater hurts the team financially. In 2023, Miami is going to need every penny they can save.

And if they simply keep all three QBs? Then another position that may need the extra depth will lose an important piece. The Dolphins are low on cornerbacks and good offensive line depth. Can they afford the extra roster spot? It’s up to Mike McDaniel to weigh the pros and cons and make that choice.

As for Skylar Thompson himself, he’s determined not to let the situation get to him as the preseason rapidly approaches its end.


“That decision is out of my control.” He said. “All I can do is focus on being the best teammate that I can possibly be every day, continue to grow and try to learn and get better. That’s really all I’m focused on right now, and everything else I know will take care of itself whichever way that may fold. This is out of my hands. I’m just here to be a good teammate – help the team the most whichever way I can.”

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for eight years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung


PrizePicks is the easiest, fastest, and most exciting way to play daily fantasy sports! 

PrizePicks is daily fantasy made easy. It’s just you against the numbers. Members predict the over or the under on between 2 and 5 player props of their choice. The more picks they correctly predict, the more money they win! Payouts on PrizePicks can be as high as 10X – 15X. 

Use promo code: FIVE at signup for a deposit match up to $100!

Dolphins preseason Bucs

5 Takeaways from Dolphins Preseason Win vs Bucs

The Miami Dolphins began the Mike McDaniel era with a 26-24 preseason victory in Tampa Bay. The franchise’s 11th head coach (14th if you count interims) hopes to be the fifth new head man to lead Miami to the postseason in his first year with the club. Saturday night’s preseason contest against the Bucs lacked most of the top names on either side, but the game still provided plenty of excitement.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the Dolphins preseason win over the Buccaneers.

Skylar Thompson Makes His Roster Case for Dolphins in Preseason Win Over the Bucs

McDaniel and the coaching staff opted to sit starter Tua Tagovailoa for the Dolphins preseason opener against the Bucs. Presumed backup Teddy Bridgewater dressed for the game, but did not see the field either. That left the quarterbacking duties to Miami’s seventh round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, Skylar Thompson.

The former Kansas State Wildcat impressed in his debut, completing 20-of-28 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown. Thompson also rushed for 25 yards on three carries. He looked poised in the pocket and largely avoided the big mistakes throughout the evening.

One of the big questions entering the season is whether Miami will roster three quarterbacks this year.

Thompson may force the Dolphins hand in that regard following his performance in this preseason win over the Bucs. Miami probably shouldn’t chance Thompson potentially getting poached from the practice squad, a la Reid Sinnett last year. He may have earned his roster spot.

Lynn Bowden Looks Like a Valuable Piece at WR

Of all the Dolphins receivers to play in this contest, and not all of them did, Lynn Bowden Jr. looked like the player who took the most advantage of his playing time on Saturday. The Dolphins deployed Bowden in several roles during their preseason win over the Bucs, including eight offensive snaps at receiver as well as several opportunities on special teams. And he made the most of his offensive snaps.

Bowden led the Dolphins in receiving yards (55) and targets (4) on Saturday, hauling in the lone offensive touchdown. He flashed his potential on the outside with his double move against a helpless Bucs corner on the 22-yard TD catch. He also hauled in a 29-yard pass that could’ve also been a touchdown had Thompson hit him in stride.

Bowden’s versatility and explosiveness seems to have given him the edge in this training camp battle at wide receiver. Although Miami still sports a number of talented receivers on the roster, Bowden’s performance during the Dolphins preseason win over the Bucs may have solidified his hold on a 53-man roster spot.

Preston Williams did not see a target in his 13 offensive snaps on Saturday and managed just 13 yards on two punt return attempts. Mohamed Sanu, meanwhile, caught all three of his targets and finished with 39 yards.

Trill Williams’ Injured Leaves 4th Corner Spot Open

Another roster battle worth monitoring on Saturday was that of the fourth cornerback position. With the team’s top three spots accounted for with Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, and Nik Needham, players like Trill Williams and Noah Igbinoghene stood as the most likely candidates to fill that role.

But while Williams seemed to have the edge with his impressive showing at camp, the young cornerback suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the Dolphins preseason win over the Bucs.

Williams’ injury leaves the fourth cornerback spot wide open for the remainder of camp. The top options to fill that role currently on the roster include Igbinoghene, who’s struggled at times in camp, and journeyman Keion Crossen, who’s been primarily as a special teamer in his career.

Elijah Campbell may get a look considering his solid play on Saturday. 

Undrafted rookie free agent Kader Kohou has also turned heads in camp, though he didn’t play on Saturday due to an injury. The Dolphins could look to the free agent market at this point, or wait until later in training camp after a round of league cuts, to fill this position.

Benito Jones Could Fill Defensive Line Depth

The Dolphins cut Adam Butler earlier this offseason following a failed physical by the defensive lineman. Butler provided the Dolphins a solid rotational player along the defensive line, so losing him creates an opening for a young player moving forward. The first one that flashed as a potential replacement was Benito Jones.

Jones signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent following his four-year career at Ole Miss. He only played in six games as a rookie in 2020, making one tackle. Jones has spent the majority of his NFL career on Miami’s practice squad, but flashed his potential as a run stuffer in the Dolphins preseason win over the Bucs.

Jones registered three run stops in his 21 defensive snaps. He was in on five total tackles, including one tackle-for-loss. He’s a big-bodied defensive tackle who can thrive in Josh Boyer’s defense given the opportunity.

Offensive Line Depth Still a Question Mark

The Dolphins sat their top two free agent additions along the offensive line during this preseason win over the Bucs. Both Terron Armstead and Conner Williams enjoyed a night off. The three projected o-line starters who did play against Tampa Bay, Robert Hunt, Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson, all played through the first two offensive series (11 snaps).

2021 seventh-round pick Larnel Coleman started at left tackle and played 42 of Miami’s 45 offensive snaps. He surrendered a critical sack on third-and-goal on the Dolphins’ first drive, which led to a field goal, and struggled at times afterwards. His fellow tackle, Kion Smith, also surrendered a sack. Smith played on 34 of Miami’s 45 snaps.

Neither Coleman nor Smith flashed in their time on the field and the offensive line as a whole failed to open running lanes throughout the night. Miami’s other tackle on the roster, Greg Little, was ruled out prior to kickoff but could get a chance to prove his worth at some point this preseason. Otherwise, the Dolphins may opt to keep additional interior lineman, since Eichenberg can slide over if need be.

PrizePicks is the easiest, fastest, and most exciting way to play daily fantasy sports! 

PrizePicks is daily fantasy made easy. It’s just you against the numbers. Members predict the over or the under on between 2 and 5 player props of their choice. The more picks they correctly predict, the more money they win! Payouts on PrizePicks can be as high as 10X – 15X. 

Use promo code: FIVE at signup for a deposit match up to $100!

More on the Dolphins Preseason Win Over the Bucs

For more on this Dolphins preseason win, check out the episode of The Final Yard postgame show on the 5 Reasons YouTube channel!

RELATED: 5 Breakout Candidates for the Miami Dolphins in 2022

5 Takeaways from Miami Dolphins Training Camp Day 9

1: Stars of the Day


Jaylen Waddle seemed to be everywhere on the field today. Waddle caught multiple mid-range throws but the highlight was when Tagovailoa was able to feed waddle a 25-yard strike in stride as waddle immediately bursted down field finished the play in the end-zone. Fourth-round pick Erik Ezukanma caught a beautiful touchdown as quarterback Skyler Thompson rolled out and delivered a bomb. Ezukanma’s consistent performance in camp has been impressive and is making a case for the 53-man roster. 


2: Training Camp Vibes at an All-Time High


Defensive End Ben Stille was the player hyping the fans up to start practice by doing the “Worm” dance.



Stille is an undrafted free agent from Nebraska who is also having a relatively impressive camp. Defensive tackle Christain Wilkins later, jokingly told us that Stille “stole” and “plagiarized” the move from him. 


About midway through camp, the quarterbacks lined up near the 50-yard line and started launching balls aiming for a net sitting near the back of the endzone. Each time a QB “scored,” the crowd would subsequently erupt in cheers, especially when Tua did so (twice).



3: The Front 4


The defensive line has no doubt been a force to be reckoned with all throughout camp, and that didn’t stop today. Our own “Three Yards Per Carrry” cited Emmanuel Ogbah as practice player of the day but it was also Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips and Zach Sieler who continue to burden the offensive line. 


4: Trill Williams


Defensive back Trill Wiliams has been showing his diverse set of skills throughout the week. You usually see WR Tyreek Hill burn every corner in the book, but Williams was able to keep up with him today. Williams had a great coverage on a deep ball from Bridgewater to Hill and was able to close the window and force the incompletion. Then shortly after, Williams shut down a quick hitter to Hill. 


5: Did Noah Igbinoghene get an INT?


During one of the plays on 11-11, Igbinoghene was able to jump a route on a telegraphed throw from Tagovailoa. There was an immense debate during some of the conversations had today abot whether Igbo indeed came down with the football. Nevertheless, a good sign from Igbinoghene as he had one of his better days at camp. 


Dolphins breakout candidates

5 Breakout Candidates for the Miami Dolphins in 2022

The Miami Dolphins kicked of the Mike McDaniel era this week when rookies reported to the team’s facility. The Dolphins 2022 draft class featured a franchise-low four selections, but with undrafted rookies, a decent crop arrived to start training camp. With veterans poised to report on Tuesday July 26th, it’s time to consider which Dolphins are breakout candidates for the coming season.

McDaniel, the quirky offensive guru and 11th head coach in franchise history, is tasked with reshaping one of the most stagnant offensive attacks in the NFL. The Dolphins haven’t had a top-10 offense in 27 years, when Dan Marino was still under center.

Entering his first training camp as a head coach, McDaniel must identify the players that can help take Miami to the next level. The Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game in 2000 but seem to have populated the roster with players talented enough to end that drought.

Here’s a look at five breakout candidates for the Miami Dolphins in 2022.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: WR Cedrick Wilson Jr.

The headlines this offense naturally went toward the trade acquisition of Tyreek Hill, but the signing of Cedrick Wilson Jr. should also excite ‘Phins fans. Miami targeted Wilson early in free agency, which signals confidence in potential production and offensive fit.

At 6-foot-2, Wilson stands as a solid complement to Miami’s other speedy pass catchers, and he’s something of a burner himself. He fits McDaniel’s as a run-after-the-catch threat, something that, coupled with the addition of Hill, pushed DeVante Parker off Miami’s roster.

Wilson comes to Miami following a career-year with the Cowboys. He made 45 catches for 602 yards and six touchdowns. Last season, Dallas quarterbacks registered a 138.0 passer rating when targeting Wilson on intermediate routes. That figure ranked eighth among all wideouts.

Although he’ll share time and targets with Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki, among others in the passing game, Wilson should provide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with a reliable redzone threat. Waddle led the Dolphins with 15 redzone targets last year, but no other player was in double figures.

Gesicki saw nine, as did running back Myles Gaskin. Departed wideouts Mack Hollins and Parker vacate 14 redzone targets between them, so Wilson could pick up the slack there. He saw nine redzone targets last season, making six catches, including three for touchdowns.


While the 27-year-old fourth-year pro has never recorded a 1,000-yard season, he’s poised to assume a significant role in the Dolphins’ passing attack.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: RB Chase Edmonds

Miami revamped their backfield this offseason with the additions of Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel, and Alec Ingold. While there’s a clear tie between Mostert and McDaniel given their shared time in San Francisco, Edmonds stands taller among Dolphins breakout candidates.

Edmonds was one of two running backs last season that registered more than 100 carries, over 5.0 yards-per-carry, and over 40 receptions. He finished top-10 in yards-per-rushing-attempt (5.1) and generated 341 yards after contact. Edmonds posted career-highs in 10-plus yard carries (19) and missed tackles forced (16).

Edmonds looks like a great system fit, too. The 49ers used a zone blocking scheme 282 times last season, 6th-most in the NFL. Edmonds thrived behind zone blocking last season, ranking first in the NFL in yards-per-attempt (5.8).

Edmonds seems to have an inside track for the starting role in Miami, and his dual-threat nature has him poised for a breakout season. He made 43 catches in 12 games last season, finishing 14th among running backs. He averaged 3.6 receptions per game, so if he had played a full season, he might have finished with 61 grabs. That figure would have put him top-5 among all running backs.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: S Brandon Jones

While most of the offseason attention will go to Miami’s other safety Jevon Holland, Brandon Jones also looks ready to make the leap next season. He flashed an elite skill for his position last season, blitzing the quarterback, and finished with five sacks. That figure led all defensive backs in 2021. He also recorded 14 pressures.

Miami personnel official Matt Winston said recently Jones is “very reliable, in terms of what you’re getting day in and day out. You know you’re going to get some sort of explosive play. He’s got a niche rushing the passer in exotic packages. Really being a force in and around the line of scrimmage is where he’s stood out to me.”

Jones posted a 77.6 pass-rush grade in 2021 for Pro Football Focus, which ranked 10th among qualified safeties.

During OTAs, Jones told reporters he wants to avoid being labeled a “blitz only” guy. He said his goal is “just trying to be and find the best way for me that I could be well rounded.”

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: Jaelan Phillips

The No. 18 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Phillips finished with 8.5 sacks, second among all rookies last season behind only Micah Parsons’ 13. He also registered 16 QB Hits as a rookie.

Phillips played all 17 games last season, but seemed to get more comfortable as the year progressed. He recorded seven of his sacks in the second half of the season, including a run of five games registering at least half a sack. Phillips should get more run in 2022 following a rookie campaign that saw him play just 54 percent of defensive snaps overall.

Teammates recognize Phillips’ potential as well. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead said Phillips “has the chance to be special” in the NFL. And Phillips’ pass rush partner, Emmanuel Ogbah, noted Phillips “has the mentality” and he’s “excited to see his growth this year.”

For comparison’s sake, Jason Taylor managed five sacks as a rookie, then nine in his second season. Taylor set Miami’s single-season sack record (18.5) in 2002, his sixth season.

If Phillips follows a similar trajectory, he’ll be among the elite pass rushers in the game. Should he make a four-sack jump in Year 2, he’d finish with 12.5, a figure that would’ve tied for seventh-most last season.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: Tua Tagovailoa

This one seems like the obvious one, so I’ve saved quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for last among the Dolphins breakout candidates. Behind an improved offensive line and with a ground attack designed by running game guru McDaniel, a run-after-the-catch design for this offense should be one Tagovailoa thrives in.

Over his 12 games last season, Tagovailoa registered 2,653 yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a 67.8-percent completion percentage. He led the league in deep ball completion percentage (50.0 percent) and red zone completion percentage (64.9 percent). Tagovailoa posted the highest clean-pocket completion percentage among starting quarterbacks (76.3 percent). That’s noteworthy considering offensive line play should improve following the additions of Armstead and Connor Williams.

Tagovailoa ranked fourth in play-action completion percentage (69.0-percent), too. While he might not excel throwing into tight windows, his top-3 receivers for 2022 can all create space for their quarterback with their speed.

Following his hire as Dolphins head coach, McDaniel said of Tagovailoa: “I think it’s important that you empower the quarterback with the rest of the players around him and the scheme you bring forth. So, I think his best days are in front of him.”

Tagovailoa’s accuracy and decision-making should help him capitalize on the talent upgrades surrounding him in Miami this season.


These veterans will report to Miami’s facility on Tuesday, July 26th, set for training camp. The first practice open to the public will occur on July 30th. Follow 5 Reasons and Three Yards Per Carry host Alfredo Arteaga for updates during training camp to see who stands out among the Dolphins breakout candidates.