Every year, and the NFL season approaches, the discussions around each and every team include looks at players who could break out that year. For the Miami Dolphins, the consensus is quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Lamar Miller, both entering their second season in the league, are ready to take the next step. But, what about the lesser known names? Who else could have a big year for the Dolphins?
Obviously, the first name a lot of people are going to consider is wide receiver Chad Bumphis. He led the Dolphins with five receptions for 85 yards during the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday and had another good practice today. Bumphis is not going to jump into the top three receivers, but he definitely has an opportunity to work his way up the depth chart, after starting as an undrafted free agent.
Josh Samuda appears ready to take the next step in his career, after making the roster last season as an undrafted free agent. He played in all 16 games last year, serving as Mike Pouncey's understudy at center. This year, he is in the running for a starting guard slot, while continuing to be the number two center. His work last year and this offseason is readily apparent whenever he is on the line, anchoring well and not allowing people past him in pass rush. Samuda could very easily become a starter on the offensive line this year, beating out incumbent John Jerry, free agent signing Lance Louis, and draft pick Dallas Thomas.
Finally, cornerback Nolan Carroll could be set for a successful season. Last year, more was asked of Carroll than he could accomplish, and he ended up getting beat more often than anyone would want from a starting cornerback. But, that's where the problem was. Carroll is not a starting cornerback. He is a depth corner, able to come in on multiple wide receiver sets. He's also a great special teams player, able to work as a gunner, an expert at positioning himself to down a kick inside the five yard line. Fans will cringe reading that Carroll could break out, because he is someone a lot of fans would rather see the team cut, but, given he will likely be playing in a position to take advantage of his strengths, Carroll really could have a solid 2013.
None of these players are going to put up massive numbers, or dominate like an All Pro, but they could be in position to have successful 2013 campaigns and could be solid players for the Dolphins. When you are talking about undrafted free agents, or 2010 fifth round picks who struggled with too much responsibility last year, that's everything the team needs.