Miami Dolphins: Can Cameron Wake Excel Amongst the NFL's Pass-Rushing Elite?

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IAugust 12, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 04:  Linebacker Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins is introduced against the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

While the media has remained focused on the heated training camp battle that is now just between Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill, Miami’s defensive star, defensive end Cameron Wake, has remained relatively quiet.

An undrafted free agent out of Penn State, Wake dominated the Canadian Football League before earning a tryout with the Miami Dolphins. Recording 39 sacks in two seasons with the British Columbia Lions, Wake received accolades ranging from Most Outstanding Rookie to Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

In a Dolphins uniform, Wake has been nothing short of spectacular. Recording 5.5 sacks as a backup in the 2009-2010 season, he earned himself a starting job the following year, putting up a monster 14.0 sacks on the season. Yet he only had 8.5 last season.

Now as preseason continues, the Dolphins will look to Wake yet again as the key component of their pass rush. With rising star and fellow Nittany Lion Jared Odrick lined up on the opposite side of the defensive line, Miami is hoping that their quarterback pressure compensates for the secondary, especially with the New England Patriots in the division.

The question of how good Wake will be in the following season remains unsolved. His ability to get to the quarterback has put him amongst the pass-rushing elite in the NFL.

If the Dolphins defensive unit hopes to improve from last season, Wake will have to put up similar numbers as he did in the 2010-2011 season.

Miami needs a defensive star that can be seen in the same light as the likes of Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware. Wake has the ability, and this year can be his opportunity to rise to the top.