Ranking the Best Miami Dolphins Positional Battles to Watch on 'Hard Knocks'

Christopher Amick@https://twitter.com/#!/TheAmickCorrespondent IJune 8, 2012

Ranking the Best Miami Dolphins Positional Battles to Watch on 'Hard Knocks'

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    There may be nothing more intense than a training camp battle in the NFL.

    Except maybe a training camp battle on HBO in front of the whole world to witness.

    When head coach Joe Philbin and the Dolphins agreed to appear on the hit series Hard Knocks, he called the move a "football decision." It remains to be seen if it will pay dividends on the field.

    One thing that is certain is that the show will be entertaining, and it will be fun to watch the drama unfold while these players compete for starting positions.

4. The Right Side of the Offensive Line

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    Jonathan Martin vs. Lydon Murtha

    Jake Long has been battling lingering injuries but should be fully healed in 2012. When he is healthy, Long is one of the game's better left tackles.

    There are also some other solid options on the left side with Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito in play, but some young guys need to step up to solidify the offensive line. 

    The Dolphins drafted Jonathan Martin out of Stanford in the second round with hopes that he will anchor the right side. He should battle Lydon Murtha for a starting spot. 

    Murtha played well before he injured his foot last preseason and the loser of this training camp battle could possibly switch inside and play guard.

    Artis Hicks, John Jerry and Nate Garner are also looking to get some looks during camp.

3. Wide Receiver Depth

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    Legedu Naanee vs. Roberto Wallace vs. B.J. Cunningham vs. Richard Matthews vs. Julius Pruitt vs. Marlon Moore vs. Clyde Gates

    Outside of Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, there are about nine guys battling it out for four positions in Miami.

    Bess and Hartline are locks to make the squad and will start.

    Countless scenarios for the other members of the receiving corps are mind-numbing. 

    Legedu Naanee has produced at the NFL level and could be a decent third option. Roberto Wallace also joins rookies B.J. Cunningham and Richard Matthews in the mix.

    Special teams also plays a role in deciding how deep the Dolphins will go at receiver, and Julius Pruitt will get a huge chance if special teams play is a factor.

    For added drama, there is speculation that recently released Chad Ochocinco could be a candidate to join the ranks in Miami. The outspoken veteran could be a welcome addition for HBO and would certainly add some humor to Hard Knocks.

2. Safety

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    Everyone Trying Out for Safety

    After releasing Yeremiah Bell in March to save cap space, the Dolphins let it be known that both safety spots are very much open season.

    Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons look to lead the way but general manager Jeff Ireland is confident in the entire group of defensive backs, and he told Sunsentinel.com.

    I'm looking for someone to separate himself from the pack. There's great experience there, some very good core special teams guys that have established themselves as that. Now we need to establish themselves as really good football players and safeties. It's a good group, but someone needs to rise up.

    Tyrell Johnson, Jimmy Wilson and Tyrone Culver will get some playing time this summer, and the Dolphins are hoping that the cream rises to the top in July.

1. Quarterback

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    Matt Moore vs. Ryan Tannehill vs. David Garrard

    Joe Philbin and the Dolphins are hoping that one of the three quarterbacks can make a charge and grab the position by the throat.

    Matt Moore played well in 2011 and the Oregon State alum looks to have an inside track on a starting gig, according to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

    Moore threw three touchdowns on three separate occasions, and ended the season with only nine interceptions in his 12 starts.

    Ryan Tannehill remains the biggest obstacle that stands between Moore and a starting job.

    Tannehill was picked eighth overall in this year's draft, and NFL teams do not select quarterbacks inside of the top 10 to keep the bench warm.

    The recent success of rookie signal-callers like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton has placed the bar for young quarterback play insanely high. Dolphin fans will be anxious to see what Tannehill can do.

    A wild card in this scenario looks to be David Garrard, who has a Pro Bowl season to his credit.

    However, the logical end to this battle looks to see Moore under center in Week 1 and then Tannehill getting his chance a bit later on.