The Miami Dolphins found themselves on the wrong side of a 24-17 final score in Saturday night's game against the Houston Texans. While the loss really means nothing in the long run, how each individual player performs could go a long way to deciding the roster, especially with the first cuts looming.
The roster must drop from 90-men down to 75-players by 4pm ET a week from tomorrow.
Who helped themselves and who hurt themselves in the effort to make the roster? Let's take a look.
Stock Up: Tristan Okpalaugo. The undrafted free agent defensive end recorded a sack against the Texans, giving him one in each of the Dolphins' three preseason games. The rookie is still facing an uphill battle, given the number of talented defensive linemen ahead of him on the roster, but he is clearly making the decision more difficult for the coaches. The Dolphins are likely going to try to stash Okpalaugo on the practice squad, but he may be catching the attention of some other teams around the league.
Stock Down: Jimmy Wilson. There are not many scenarios where Wilson does not make the 53-man roster, but he is getting the wrong kind of attention right now. He's had two personal fouls called on him in the last two weeks. It's not enough to make the coaches cut a talented young player, but he could be seeing his playing time decreased if he keeps up this trend. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is not one to take penalties lightly. Wilson has to clean up his play in order to ensure he continues to rotate into the lineup.
Stock Up: Daniel Thomas. There has been a constant refrain among some Dolphins fans that the team needs to cut Thomas. That he is a waste of a roster slot, a draft bust. Yet, he has been running hard throughout the preseason, and continued that Saturday night. He finished the game with team highs in carriers (4) and yards (25), giving him a game high 6.3 yards per carry. He also had several key blocks during the game, and looked comfortable in blitz pickup. Thomas is not going to be the starting running back, but he is clearly running like he thinks he could still get the job, and he is solidifying his role as the second runner on the team.
Stock Down: Chad Bumphis. Every year, a wide receiver seems to burst onto the scene for the Dolphins, then, just as quickly, disappear. Last year, Chris Hogan became an overnight favorite to make the roster with his "7-11" nickname and his ability to always be open. He did not make the roster. This season, that player seems to be Bumphis. He started off hot this year, but has been cooling over the past couple of weeks. Saturday night, he played just six offensive snaps, and was not targeted. Is the team trying to hide him so they can stash him on the practice squad? Or, has he already hit his ceiling and we are now seeing him descend?
Stock Up: Jamar Taylor. The second round draft pick was able to get onto the field, which is a step up for him so far this preseason. He has been sidelined throughout training camp as he recovers from sports hernia surgery, but he was able to make his professional debut Saturday. He had just one tackle in 11 defensive snaps (plus four special teams snaps), but the fact that he was on the field raises Taylor's stock.
Stock Down: Will Davis. We've all seen the highs with Davis, like his interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 of the preseason. On Saturday, we saw the lows. Davis bit so badly on a double move, he felt the need to apologize for it on Twitter. Davis is a home run hitter, but at this point, he is either driving the ball out of the park or he is striking out. The rookie needs to be more consistent, which will develop with reps and time in the league, but his play on Saturday night did hurt his stock some.
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