EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - DECEMBER 12: Channing Crowder #52 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates a sack against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12 2010 in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
It's no secret that with this lockout dragging on, we are all going to have to start manufacturing things to talk about. Well what better way to spark some discussion and debate than ranking the team's current players, right?
So what are these rankings based on? Am I using some kind of scientific formula to come up with statistical values which I am using to rank these guys? Not a chance. These are simply my fully subjective rankings based on nothing more than my own eyes and how valuable I feel each player will be to the team in 2011.
So today we list players 20 through 11:
20. Brandon Fields - It's never a good sign when your punter makes a list of top 20 players. But Fields continues to get better and better. His 46.2 yards per punt ranked fourth in the league in 2010. And his 31 punts inside the 20 was a career high. His leg is a weapon that can swing the field position battle in an instant. He just needs to get more consistent.
19. Chad Henne - It's also never a good sign when your quarterback is this low on a list such as this one. But let's face it, Henne hasn't proven he's worthy of being among the top 15 players on this roster. He might not even be the team's starter in 2011. If he is, though, this is his final chance.
18. Channing Crowder - I'm one of the many that have gotten on Channing's case over the years for not being a play maker at all. But this Miami defense always plays better when he's on the field. That has to mean something, doesn't it?
17. Richie Incognito - The interior offensive line needed an overhaul this offseason after a disastrous 2010. But Richie was not part of the problem. The decision to sign him to a one-year deal last offseason paid off. It'll be interesting to see where he plays this season.
16. Dan Carpenter - He struggled a little down the stretch. But still, DC$ has been outstanding for most of his three year career. He's missed only one of 42 field goal attempts under 40 yards. And nobody made more than his four 50+ yard field goals. He's an asset to this team. He's just a little bit overused, that's all.
15. Yeremiah Bell - Bell has been a rock at strong safety for the past few years. He's an outstanding blitzer and is excellent in run support. But he's never been great in coverage and his age is starting to show signs.
14. Brian Hartline - Here's a question I've never been able to answer. Why do so many Dolphins fans dislike Hartline? We're talking about a fourth round pick that has produced 74 catches for over 1,100 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons despite playing with a quarterback who has struggled. He also led Miami's receivers (those with at least 10 receptions) in yards per reception last year, averaging 14.3 yards per catch. And if you extrapolate his numbers through 12 games last year over a full season, we're talking about a 57 catch, 820 yard season - which would have been even better if Henne connects with him on some of those deep balls that Hartline was open on.
13. Mike Pouncey - I must be nuts to have a rookie who hasn't played a single game and isn't even signed ranked this high. But he's going to be a very good player for a long time for this franchise. So that's why he makes my list.
12. Anthony Fasano - Here's a guy everybody wants to upgrade from. And I'm not saying there aren't better tight ends out there. But how about appreciating what we have in Fasano, a do-it-all tight end who can block and catch passes. His three year averages in Miami aren't too shabby, either - 35 catches, 440 yards, and 4 touchdowns.
11. Koa Misi - An outside linebacker who tallied only 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks rated this high? Really? Yes - because of what I see Koa becoming. People were worried about his ability to defend the run. But he proved to be more than capable. His great motor was as advertised. He's unrelenting and a tireless worker. And he's still learning the position. As he gains more experience, he's going to improve and become the 8 to 10 sack complement to Cameron Wake that this defense needs.
Players ten through one will follow at some point over the next couple of days.