5 Miami Dolphins With the Most to Earn in Training Camp: Part 1

Joel Auerbach

As the Miami Dolphins training camp nears, I've decided to take a look at five Dolphins who could propel themselves forward with a strong showing at camp.

The Miami Dolphins have released the dates of their training camp. Camp will open on July 25th at 8 AM ET and will conclude with the August 16th preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As training camp inches closer, I've decided to take a look at a few players who could earn themselves a promotion with stellar play when the pads finally come on.

There will be another version of this article with five more names as we close in on the start of training camp.

Lamar Miller

Miller is in a great position right now. With Knowshon Moreno's knee scope keeping him out until training camp (and disallowing him to get into shape), Miller will be given practice reps with the first team while Moreno works on rehabbing and conditioning.

Miller, as I've previously written about, is the running back who best suits the Dolphins new offense under coordinator Bill Lazor. Miller's ability to get the edge on any given play due to his speed makes him the perfect back for an offense that will feature many outside zone runs.

Miller will need to prove he can catch passes effectively to maximize his playing time. Miller was an inconsistent pass catcher in 2013 and had a game-winning touchdown pass bounce off of his hands in a Week 2 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Overall, Miller has a huge advantage in multiple ways heading into this training camp. If he doesn't take advantage and become the Dolphins' Week 1 starter then he may not be starting material anyway.

Jarvis Landry

Landry enters his first training camp surrounded by a crop of talent and trying to separate himself from the crowd. Landry is trying to earn the starting slot receiver spot, but right now it looks like Rishard Matthews and Brandon Gibson, the two guys who played the slot last year, have the upper hand.

Landry has a lot to prove to earn a starting spot. The first thing this 2014 second round pick needs to do is adjust to the speed of the game (the biggest struggle for rookies, especially receivers). That means not only adjusting to how much faster everyone else is, but being able to process what is happening on any given play without any hesitation or slowing down.

Landry has clear talent that you will find on highlight reels across the nation, but transferring that talent to the NFL is a different challenge.

This isn't an overly important training camp for Landry. Landry has many capable receivers in front of him, so the pressure to perform right away is absent. However, Landry, who lacks great numbers on measurables, is a pure "football player" who knows how to play the game.

Landry will see the field and will likely become one of Ryan Tannehill's favorite targets. It's just a matter of time at this point. This training camp is his first real opportunity to prove he deserves that playing time now rather than later.

Dallas Thomas

Thomas, in my opinion, is the player on this list who is most likely to end up with a starting position. Thomas, a 2013 third round pick who couldn't find the field in his rookie season despite the offensive line struggle of his team, has held down the left guard spot throughout all of the offseason workouts.

This training camp is huge for Thomas because the only true way to gauge an offensive lineman is when the pads come on and defensive tackles go full-throttle.

When Randy Starks is coming at him in training camp, Thomas' grit and determination will be tested. Will Thomas be able to withstand, play physically and even push that monster of a man backwards? If the answer is yes then the Dolphins have found their new starting left guard. If not.... The Billy Turner experiment will start sooner than anticipated.

Speaking of Turner......

Billy Turner

Turner is in a similar position to that of Thomas, only Turner doesn't enter training camp with a starting position already in hand. Turner will need to earn it playing with the second team.

Turner thrived as a left tackle in college due to his towering size and abominable strength, but everyone who plays in the trenches in the NFL fits those qualifications.

Turner still has a lot to learn in terms of technique and discipline, but learning from one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, John Benton, will lessen the learning curve tremendously.

Turner has to prove he plays with good enough technique and that he can block NFL defensive lineman when the pads come on in training camp for him to even get a sniff at first team reps.

Gator Hoskins

Charles Clay junior. That's what I call Hoskins. Hoskins has an uncanny ability to score, highlighted by his 28 collegiate touchdowns at Marshall. Hoskins is not your traditional tight end in that he is only 6'2". Like Clay, Hoskins is more of an H-Back. Hoskins played some fullback as a lead blocker in his time at Marshall.

Hoskins may be short for the tight end position, but physicality is not lost on this one. Another reason I compare him to Clay is his ability to bowl people over when charging downfield. Some of Hoskins' most memorable plays, like Clay's, feature multiple defenders being brushed off of him. Hoskins also has very good hands and was used as a "stretch-the-field" tight end in college.

Not only that, but Hoskins is still a viable redzone target due to his large catch radius and physicality. Don't judge Hoskins by his stature because there's a reason this man has 28 touchdowns in four years.

Hoskins versatility and nose for the end zone will give him a chance to make the Dolphins' roster if he can have a strong camp. Hoskins will need to prove he can in-line block, like all tight ends, and learn the Dolphins playbook. If he can do these two things, on top of the skills he already possesses, then Hoskins won't be a liability when on the field (which is step one to making any team).

Hoskins could be one of the few undrafted free agent who sticks with the team and one of the surprises of 2014.

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