Two weeks of training camp have come and gone. The first preseason game was one to forget for Dolphins fans and realize that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Miami has a lot of new pieces that still have to learn to play together. They are still a young team with many roster positions that are still wide open.
There have been some players that have stood out thus far during training camp and during the first preseason game. There have been others that have failed to meet expectations.
Let’s take a look at who’s stock is up and who’s stock has fallen.
Few players stood out more than Chad Bumphis during Sunday night’s Hall of Fame game. Bumphis led all Dolphins receivers with five receptions for 85 yards including a 45-yard reception.
He managed to get open a few times and proved he can compete in the league. He has been practicing with the third team during training camp, but after his performance, he may be promoted.
Bumphis did drop a pass that led to an interception that was returned for a touchdown, but overall it was a good first game for the undrafted receiver. The fourth and fifth wide receiver spots are wide open and Bumphis just took a small step towards earning one of those spots.
It was a forgettable first game for rookie offensive lineman Dallas Thomas. He came in for Jonathan Martin at left tackle and was just not able to hold his ground.
He was constantly getting pushed around and was even knocked down. Thomas was injured throughout rookie camp and sat most of OTA’s as he recovered from shoulder surgery.
As a rookie, Thomas needs all the experience he can get and is just now getting a feel for football again. He clearly doesn’t look ready to be a starter on the offensive line, but with some experience things can change.
It’s safe to say that Derrick Shelby made his presence felt during the first preseason game. Shelby, who received the starting nod after Olivier Vernon and Jared Odrick were inactive, made a case to be kept around this season.
He recorded two sacks and pressured the quarterback numerous times. He was given the opportunity to impress the coaching staff and he didn’t disappoint.
The defensive line is Miami’s strongest and deepest unit. If Shelby wants to contribute, he will have to keep performing at a high level in order to earn a roster spot.
There’s not many good things I have to say about Daniel Thomas. During his two year tenure, he hasn’t shown anything that would make you think he’s capable of being a reliable option at running back.
During training camp, he’s been in a battle at running back along with Jonas Gray and rookie Mike Gillislee. He hasn’t shown anything to secure a spot or be considered to be ahead of Gray or Gillislee.
After the Hall of Fame game Thomas may find himself as the fourth running back in the depth chart as both Gray and Gillislee had promising appearances. The leash is short on Thomas and it may be getting shorter.
As opposed to Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller is firmly in the driver’s seat to be Miami’s feature back.
Miller has been performing well throughout training camp and there has been little competition to unseat him at the top. He had a terrible start to the game on Sunday, but redeemed himself on his next two carries.
It’s important for Miami to have a solid rushing attack and Miller will be the one to give it to them. He’s off to a good start and hopefully he can keep it up.
Like Dallas Thomas, Jonathan Martin did little to prove he’s ready to protect Ryan Tannehill’s blind side. Miami decided not to address the left tackle position during free agency and it’s not looking like they made the right choice thus far.
Martin came into camp looking bigger and stronger, which is something he had to improve from last year. However, he hasn’t been showing too much of an improvement on the field.
He struggled during Miami’s scrimmage and many people thought it was because of Miami’s stout defensive line. Now, against a Dallas defensive line that was missing its best player, Martin failed to prove anything different.
Left tackle is still a question mark for Miami and one that needs to be answered very, very soon.
Last year, Reshad Jones exploded onto the scene and became one of the league’s best safeties. He recorded 94 tackles and four interceptions. Because of his high level of play, Jones was rewarded with a four-year, $30 million extension.
Jones had threatened to sit out OTA’s due to his unhappiness with not being given a new contract. Instead, he decided to attend OTA’s and let everything play out. Jeff Ireland knows he can’t lose a playmaker like Jones, which is why he decided to sign him before his contract ran out at the end of the season.
Jones will be one of the veterans in Miami’s secondary and will be looked at as a leader. He got the contract that he wanted, now it’s up to him to keep making plays and live up to his new contract.