Most of the endless pre-camp chatter about the Miami Dolphins revolved around the quarterback position and the impending battle there. Would incumbent QB Matt Moore, who played well down the stretch in 2011, step up his game and earn the starting spot? Or would veteran David Garrard , a former Pro Bowler, show up with some of the playoff caliber play from earlier in his career? Would first round rookie QB-of-the-future Ryan Tannehill outplay the other two guys and stifle the is-he-ready-or-not debates by earning the starting job?
While fans are earnestly watching this battle, one name routinely gets left off that list: Pat Devlin. The second year QB earned a spot on the Dolphins practice squad last season as an undrafted rookie. The former Delaware Blue Hen QB followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, Joe Flacco, transferring from a D-IA Pennsylvania school to be the starting QB for Delaware. Unlike Flacco however, Devlin was not as heralded a draft prospect and fell completely out of the draft. The Miami Dolphins picked him up in the hopes they could develop him into a quality QB. In his one season, he didn't do enough to warrant consideration for a roster spot in 2012.
Devlin went into this season desperately far behind the eight ball. He has been nothing more than an afterthought. But as you know, anything can happen in training camp. As the first day of camp ended, Devlin has turned some heads. He seemed to be playing well and notably, was making good deep throws, which surprised some people. He hit both Marlon Moore and rookie Jeff Fuller for touchdowns, while missing a third that Clyde Gates couldn't rein in (an issue in day one). Word from some writers is that Devlin looked good today, possibly even better than Matt Moore.
Does this really mean anything? Probably not. It was the first day of camp and Devlin was playing with second and third team guys. But is it promising that he started out well and hopefully he can gain some momentum heading into the first few preseason games. It's too early to tell anything right now, but Devlin may have just made the QB conversation a bit more interesting, adding his name to the growing list of player to keep an eye on this training camp. An improving Devlin can only mean positive things for the Dolphins moving forward.