The Miami Dolphins came into this season with various experts trying to outdo each other in how many losses they could give the team. No one was giving the Dolphins any chance of success this season, and the team was seen as without talent. Things looked bleak all over the roster for the Dolphins.
After two games, things may not be that bad for Miami. The team is 1-1 so far on the season, and the players aren't the bottom of the barrel group we were told they were before the season. Pro Football Focus' rankings put several Dolphins players high on their positional lists..
The most heavily debated position for Miami during the preseason was the wide receivers. The Dolphins were declared to have the worst receivers in the league. Following Week 2, PFF has Brian Hartline ranked as the 11th wide out in the league, with Davone Bess at 38th. Hartline's ranking puts him ahead of Brandon Stokely, Michael Crabtree, A.J. Green, and Dwayne Bowe. Only six other teams have two receivers inside the top 38 receivers in the league, using PFF's stats.
As for tight end, Anthony Fasano ranks 17th, putting him just below the top 50%, but still with a positive grade.
Moving into the backfield, the Dolphins have the tenth ranked running back in the league with Reggie Bush. Bush, who is currently second in the league in total rushing yards, is ahead of Arian Foster, Willis McGahee, and Trent Richardson, but behind Andre Brown, Frank Gore, and Darren Sproles.
At fullback, the Dolphins have the 11th ranked Jorvorskie Lane.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is currently ranked 17th by PFF. He is just behind Peyton Manning, but ahead of Drew Brees and Carson Palmer. The ranking also places Tannehill as the second ranked rookie, behind Robert Griffin III (5th), and ahead of Andrew Luck (21st), Russell Wilson (23rd), and Brandon Weeden (33rd - Arizona has both John Skelton and Kevin Kolb ranked).
The Miami offensive line is a little lower in the rankings, with tackles Jake Long and Jonathan Martin ranked 18th and 58th respectively. The Dolphins guards, John Jerry and Richie Incognito, rank even lower, with Jerry at 28 and Incognito at 61. However, the Dolphins offensive line is not all bad, with center Mike Pouncey the second ranked center in the league, only behind the Washington Redskins' Will Montgomery.
As for the interior linemen, Miami's Randy Starks is the second best defensive tackle on PFF's rankings, trailing just Seattle's Brandon Mebane. The Dolphins other defensive tackle, Paul Soliai, is 11th. Other than Seattle (who also have Jason Jones at five), Miami has the highest pair of defensive tackles.
For the linebackers, the Dolphins drop down the chart, with Koa Misi and Kevin Burnett ranked 23rd and 28th respectively, among 4-3 outside linebackers. Inside linebacker Karlos Dansby comes in as the 24th ILB.
Not surprisingly, the Dolphins' cornerbacks are struggling in the rankings. Sean Smith is the top ranked Miami corner, at 36th., although, PFF did point out in their review of the game that Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was only able to complete two of the eight passes thrown toward receivers covered by Smith. Behind Smith, Miami has Richard Marshall (50th) and Nolan Carroll (82nd). And, just for the fun of it, former Dolphins corner Vontae Davis is ranked 96th ou of 98 cornerbacks for the Indianapolis Colts.
Safety Reshad Jones, however, picks the rankings back up for the Dolphins, coming in as the third safety in the league. Chris Clemons was ranked as the 29th safety.
Dan Carpenter, despite having a positive grade from PFF, is ranked 21st as a kicker. His special teams mate, punter Brandon Fields, is the sixth best punter in the NFL. And, rounding out the special teams, returner Marcus Thigpen scores a third overall ranking.
As for the weekly grades this past week, PFF has Ryan Tannehill and Paul Soliai graded as the top two players for the Dolphins (+3.9). Brian Hartline (+3.1) and Reggie Bush (+2.8) were also singled out by PFF.
What do you think of PFF's rankings? Does anyone surprise you? Do you think the Dolphins will be able to keep some of the high rankings?