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Mel Kiper discusses players he expects 'to make the leap' in 2012 ... and there's actually a Dolphin on the list

Mel Kiper thinks this Dolphins player has the potential to do some damage in 2012.
Mel Kiper thinks this Dolphins player has the potential to do some damage in 2012.

You'll never guess which Dolphins player made Mel Kiper's list of 2011 draftees he believes are poised to make the leap this season. Go ahead, I'll give you a second to think this one over. Please, take your time.

(clock ticks away as I watch the the Thunder/Lakers game and wonder how many more times I'll have to sit through commercials for that show Men at Work. The writing on that show just reeks of a trying-too-hard sitcom, and the guy who played Hyde on That '70s Show should've take a cue from Foreman and stayed away from telev--and there's another commercial for the show. Forget it.)

Anyway, if you answered Mike Pouncey or Daniel Thomas to the above question, you were waaaaay off. Rather, the Dolphins player who made Kiper's list is none other than Clyde Gates, Abilene Christian's speedster du jour. Surprised? You should be. I was. I mean, we're talking about a player who spent a lot of time without the ball last season (and looked wholly uncomfortable whenever he actually had the rock). Kiper could find fault in any player not named Andrew Luck or John Elway, so it's surprising to see him mention a second-year player who was on very few radars in 2011. Please tell us why, Mel.

"This is another longer shot because Gates didn't show us much last year. But Miami lacks weapons in the passing game, and this kid can fly if he can become a dependable pass-catcher. Interested to see if he develops into a player. The potential is there for a leap, though."

Interesting. I'd say Miami's receiving prospects look tons more promising now that guys like Michael Egnew, B.J. Cunningham, Rishard Matthews (and even Lamar Miller) are on the Dolphins' roster, but it's certainly a corps still in transition (in a completely new offense, to boot). Because of this, I'd say Gates definitely has a chance to make a considerable splash in 2012. Maybe Philbin and Sherman come in and mold Gates into the receiver we all thought he'd be last fall, or maybe he'll just be a less-glorified version of Ted Ginn Jr. Whatever the case, it's promising to see Gates get some attention from Lord Widows Peak of the Baltimore area. Now we just need to hope Clyde gets some attention from Dolphins quarterbacks.