Bubble Watch for Miami Dolphins' Training Camp

Thomas Galicia@thomasgaliciaFeatured Columnist IVJuly 17, 2013

Bubble Watch for Miami Dolphins' Training Camp

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    There's not really much in terms of competition for jobs on the Miami Dolphins going into 2013's training camp, but there will be fights when it comes to the bubble of the Dolphins' roster.

    Miami's roster bubble will be a fight to the finish, with a mixture of veterans and rookies competing for the final five spots.

    Here we will take a look at 10 players on the Dolphins' roster bubble who will be fighting for their jobs.

    Depth charts are courtesy of Ourlads.com.

Jorvorskie Lane

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    Experience: One year

    Depth Chart Position: Second-string fullback

    Analysis: Jorvorskie Lane was one of the best stories on the Dolphins last year. He fought and scratched his way onto the team four years after he graduated from Texas A&M after spending that time on the indoor football circuit.

    During the season, he gave the Dolphins good run-blocking, two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in what was overall a decent season.

    So why is Lane on the roster bubble?

    Because of the emergence of Charles Clay, as well as the potential signing of Vontae Leach. Clay has more upside than Lane, while Leach is considered one of the best fullbacks in the game. Competing against one will be tough enough for Lane, but if Leach is signed, Lane might be shown the door.

    If Leach doesn't sign with Miami, however, then Lane's spot does get a little bit safer; the Dolphins likely won't have a problem carrying two fullbacks on the roster.

Rishard Matthews

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    Experience: One year

    Depth Chart Position: Fifth-string wide receiver

    Analysis: The fight for the fifth wide receiver will be a battle of potential, and one would think that Rishard Matthews, entering his second year with the Dolphins after being drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 draft, would be the favorite.

    However, for now, the fight for wide receiver No. 5 is fairly even, especially with Armon Binns likely taking the fourth receiver slot.

    Matthews is still the pole-sitter in the fight for the fifth slot. But his status has changed from week to week in the last month, as a visit to his Rotoworld page would indicate when you see the highlighted stories about him.

    This is the very definition of a player on the roster bubble.

Jasper Collins

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    Experience: Rookie

    Depth Chart Position: Fifth-string wide receiver

    Analysis: Running a 4.49 40-yard dash, Collins definitely has the speed to help Miami at wide receiver as well as on punt and kickoff returns. His versatility might help him in his position battles and allow him to crack the final 53-man roster.

    Collins has already impressed plenty of people during his time in South Florida, including myself on the Dolphins Central Podcast, as well as Jesse Agler of The Finsiders, who tweeted about Collins that he had "noticed him more than any other UDFA during OTAs and mini-camp."

    Collins gets rave reviews all around. He will be a force during training camp.

Chad Bumphis

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    Depth Chart Position: Fifth-string wide receiver

    Analysis: Bumphis might be considered more of a question mark than Collins, though he does have a bit more big-game experience coming from the SEC (as opposed to Collins, who came out of Division III Mount Union). 

    Bumphis has good hands, but his speed does leave much to be desired, which is part of the reason why he went undrafted and will be fighting for a roster spot with the Dolphins. However, Bumphis does possess the talent to be a steal for Miami because of his abilities catching the ball. He is a dark horse for the final 53-man roster.

Michael Egnew

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    Experience: One year

    Depth Chart Position: Third-string tight end

    Analysis: Last season, the third-round pick was a waste, barely playing any snaps for the Dolphins due to his inability to block. This season Miami drafted a tight end who does have blocking ability (and in fact was one of the best blockers available in the draft), and also has great skills and athleticism when it comes to catching the ball. 

    Egnew's 2013 training camp is make or break.

Nolan Carroll

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    Experience: Four years

    Depth Chart Position: Fourth-string cornerback

    Analysis: Carroll was a starter for most of last season after the secondary was decimated by the Vontae Davis trade and Richard Marshall's injuries.

    This season, Carroll looks to be fighting for his job against fellow veteran Dimitri Patterson and quite a few younger players with more upside. 

    With Carroll we pretty much know what we're getting, and at his best, he's a nickel or a dime corner who can play special teams well. Younger players with more upside have the chance to unseat Carroll this training camp.

Dimitri Patterson

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    Experience: Seven years

    Depth Chart Position: Fourth-string cornerback

    Analysis: Patterson played well after the Dolphins picked him up off of waivers from Cleveland last season. He would have a guaranteed roster spot if it weren't for the fact that he is due $4.5 million this season and $5.3 million next year.

    For that kind of money, you want at the very least a nickelback, not someone who will fight to make the team during training camp.

    If Patterson is in a Dolphins uniform in 2013, expect him to be released when the final cuts are made, then re-signed after Week 1.

Jimmy Wilson

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    Experience: Three years

    Depth Chart Position: Second-string safety

    Analysis: Here's where Jimmy Wilson will be challenged: Miami's seventh-round pick Don Jones, last year's impressive camp stud Kelcie McCray and this year's impressive undrafted free agent Jordan Kovacs are all fighting for two backup safety spots.

    Wilson might be the leader for now. If the Dolphins cut him, he will find work within an hour of being released. But with the depth Miami has acquired at the safety position, Wilson is on notice.

Jordan Kovacs

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    Experience: Rookie

    Depth Chart Position: Fourth-string safety

    Analysis: If you're competing to play the same position as a guy who was signed thanks to a personal phone call from owner Stephen Ross, went to the same university as Stephen Ross, and had this puff piece written up about him on the Dolphins' website, then you better step it up. Because Kovacs will likely get the benefit of the doubt.

    In fairness to Kovacs, he won't get any gig with Miami through favoritism. But combine all of those factors with the fact that he's a player both Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin love, and you have a player that is firmly on the roster bubble right now. 

Dan Carpenter

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    Experience: Six years

    Depth Chart Position: First-string kicker

    Analysis: It's difficult to hold onto your job when you're coming off your worst season, your team just drafted a young kicker, and you make six times as much as the young kicker you're competing with in camp.

    All Caleb Sturgis has to do is match Dan Carpenter, and he's out. But if Sturgis has some NFL jitters during the preseason, then Carpenter might be able to stay.