The Miami Dolphins are three fifths of the way through their preseason schedule, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scheduled to come to South Florida this weekend in what should be the dress rehearsal game for both teams. Over the first three games, Pro Football Focus has graded every snap from every player for the Dolphins, determining who, by their system, is playing well, and who is not showing up for the Dolphins, as of yet.
Of course, this is the preseason, so players like Reshad Jones and Cameron Wake, who will be big members of the Miami defense this year, will not score as high as they could, simply because they are not playing the number of snaps they will see in the regular season. But, that does not mean there is not some validity to the grading, especially when it comes to bubble players.
Today, we will take a look at the Dolphins' grades from PFF, as well as where that grade stacks up against other players at each position from around the NFL.
|OL||Jonathan Martin||59||4.5||2 OT|
|OL||Richie Incognito||59||2.7||4 G|
|OL||Mike Pouncey||59||2.1||3 C|
|OL||Sam Brenner||122||0.6||79 G|
|OL||Lance Louis||19||0.6||79 G|
|OL||Tyson Clabo||59||0||69 OT|
|OL||Chandler Burden||96||-0.7||82 G|
|OL||Jeff Adams||68||-0.8||94 OT|
|OL||Jeff Braun||7||-0.8||87 G|
|OL||Will Yeatman||85||-1||104 OT|
|OL||Chris Barker||73||-1.2||95 G|
|OL||Nate Garner||80||-2.7||134 G, 18 C|
|OL||Dallas Thomas||89||-4.4||136 OT|
|OL||Andrew McDonald||64||-5.5||140 OT|
|OL||Josh Samuda||121||-5.5||141 G, 51 C|
Yes, that is the favorite whipping boy among the offensive starters sitting on top of the grades right now, and second in the league among tackles. Jonathan Martin is playing well, with just a few bad moments. Richie Incoginto and Mike Pouncey are exactly where they should be for Pro Bowl caliber players at this point in the offseason. Tyson Clabo is a little bothersome, but some of that can be attributed to scheme changes coming into Miami, while part of it is also the constant shuffle at right guard. Hopefully he will improve once the position next to him is solidified.
The right guard is clearly the position that still needs to be fixed. Lance Louis and John Jerry, both of whom are returning from injury, should be able to fit the bill.
This is the perfect example of how the preseason can skew PFF grades. Tannehill comes in as the 25th best quarterback in the league right now. Meanwhile, Eli Manning is 74th and Joe Flacco are 83rd. Looking at just starting quarterbacks, Tannehill is tied with Philip Wheeler as the 11th ranked quarterback.
To get an even better idea of how the rankings are in the preseason, the number one quarterback at this point is Drew Brees. That makes sense. Number three? Pat White. Yes, that Pat White.
So, seeing Tannehill at 25 is not that concerning, since most of the people ahead of him are simply racking up grade points based on the number of snaps or the defenses they are facing.
Daniel Thomas is running really well right now. He is seeing his share of first team defenses, and he has the same number of carries as Lamar Miller, but is far ahead of the presumed starter for the Dolphins. Will Thomas be able to stay healthy and control the fumbles this year? If he is able to do that, he will clearly be a good second punch to Miller's break away ability.
Miller's grade is being pulled down by his role in the passing game. He has to improve there, and stop dropping passes like he did against the Houston Texans this past week.
At this point, Charles Clay is likely the first member from this group to make the roster. Evan Rodriguez and Jorvorskie Lane may have seen a roster stop open up with the Dustin Keller's injury, so their play this week could be a big factor in deciding the 53 man roster. It's interesting that Lane, last year's starting fullback, is seeing the fewest number of snaps among the fullbacks. Either he is losing his grip on the position, or they know what they have in him and are trying to see the other two guys. At this point, it might be the former.
This one hurts. Dustin Keller was clearly going to be a major part of the offense, and was already the fourth ranked tight end in the league. Now, he is gone for the year, and Miami will have to find some way to replace him. Kyle Miller is ranking well at this point, but he only has 31 snaps after missing last week's game. Dion Sims and Michael Egnew will have to step up their play with Keller gone for the year.
From what we have seen in the preseason, these rankings are just about right. Brandon Gibson and Mike Wallace are starting to develop the chemistry with Tannehill that they will need. Chad Bumphis and Keenan Davis had great games early in the preseason, but are starting to fall off some. Brian Hartline had a good game against Jacksonville two weeks ago, but then was not as good against the Texans last week, so he needs to rebound a little (and stop dropping touchdowns).
The rest of the receivers are all fighting for a roster spot.