The website ProFootball Focus (PFF) has released their grades for the Hall of Fame pre-season game performances by the Dolphins and Cowboys. I'm posting the grades for most players, and I decided to offer my take on a few key performers, particularly those in position battles or otherwise in the spotlight. For the sake of article length, I'm only doing the offense for now.
Starters (10 snaps)
Jonathan Martin (+0.5): Notably, left tackle Jonathan Martin received a positive grade for his performance in 10 snaps. PFF joins the chorus of writers including the Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly and The Phinsider contributing writer Chris Early who have argued that national media pundits who declared Jonathan Martin was outmatched in the game were all simply, flat-out wrong. Now, there are important caveats that apply, including:
1. It was just a pre-season game, so the Cowboys didn't reveal any exotic blitzes in a meaningless game.
2. The offense was only on the field for 10 snaps.
3. The Cowboys' starting defensive ends, most notably Demarcus Ware, didn't play at all.
So frankly, it should be expected that a starting left tackle would survive 10 snaps in this scenario. Nonetheless, it's encouraging that Martin graded positively since he has historically done poorly by PFF's metrics, being rated as one of the worst offensive tackles in the NFL last year by PFF. Saturday's pre-season game against the Jaguars, and in particular pass rusher Jason Babin (who has played RDE for the Jaguars since being picked up off waivers from the Eagles) should be a more legitimate test for Martin.
Ritchie Incognito (+0.2)
Mike Pouncey (+1.1)
Josh Samuda (-1.5): One of the Dolphins' star performers in practice failed to live up to the hype in limited action. He achieved a +0.2 pass block grade, in keeping with his reputation from practice as a reliable pass blocker. However, he received a -0.5 screen block grade because he was part of the right side of the offensive line that did a terrible job blocking on a designed screen pass to the right. He received a -1.3 run block grade.
Tyson Clabo (0.0)
Dallas Thomas (-3.4, 32 snaps): Unlike Martin, Thomas' night actually was as bad as it looked to most casual observers, per PFF's grading. He did poorly both pass blocking and run-blocking as a left tackle. Perhaps not coincidentally, coaches began trying Thomas at right tackle after the game.
Nate Garner (-3.1, 43 snaps): Like Thomas, Garner did poorly both run-blocking and pass-blocking in a large sample of snaps at right guard.
Sam Brenner (+1.6, 60 snaps): Brenner did well playing most of the game either at left guard or center, particularly at run-blocking.
Dustin Keller (-0.2, 10 snaps): 1 catch for 4 yards
Michael Egnew (-0.9, 31 snaps): Egnew did good work as a receiver, aside from 1 drop, but both his pass and run blocking left much to be desired, and he was called for a penalty. He finished with 4 catches for 52 yards.
Kyle Miller (+0.8, 31 snaps): Miller did well across the board, catching and blocking, and he has begun making more plays in practice as well. He had 3 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Dion Sims (-0.9, 22 snaps): Sims' negative grade comes from being called for 1 holding penalty. He otherwise graded positively as a blocker but wasn't able to produce much on his limited snaps spent running routes.
Brandon Gibson (+0.8, 10 snaps): 1 catch for 7 yards.
Marvin McNutt (-1.1, 29 snaps): A disappointing showing for a guy who had made plays in practice. He was guilty of a drop and was outshone by his former Iowa teammate Keenan Davis. After a solid first few practices, he has had drop issues, and those have continued. Not good when combined with 0 catches in the first pre-season game.
Brian Tyms (-1.3, 29 snaps): Like McNutt, Tyms failed to make the most of his snaps on the field, only making 2 short catches for 15 yards and being guilty of a drop.
Chad Bumphis: (+0.9, 42 snaps): Bumphis was almost exclusively in the slot (running 33 slot routes) this game. Bumphis was given a large number of snaps and was consistently productive, finishing with 5 catches for 85 yards. The one blemish on his night was an admitted "miscommunication" in which Bumphis stopped running his route when Matt Moore expected him to keep running, leading to an "overthrown" pass that was deflected by Bumphis into the waiting arms of a Cowboys defender.
Jeff Fuller (+0.2, 16 snaps): Fuller has done a bit better this year than last year in practice, but like last year, he failed to get a significant number of snaps on offense in pre-season (so far). He had 1 catch for 21 yards in this game, but it's telling that new acquisitions like McNutt and Bumphis were featured more heavily than Fuller despite Fuller spending all of last year on the Dolphin's practice squad. He'll have to be earn more snaps on the field in pre-season and be more productive to earn a spot on the 53 man roster.
Keenan Davis (+0.7, 38 snaps): Davis flat out made plays, especially later in the game, whether it was making tough catches to convert fourth downs, drawing a defensive pass interference call, and scoring a touchdown. He was guilty of one drop, but one of the newest additions to the Dolphins' receiving corps made a noticeable impact on the field in the first pre-season game, finishing with 3 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. At 6'2" and 220 lbs, he could give the Dolphins' receiving corps some of the size lost when Armon Binns suffered his season-ending knee injury. It's important to not overstate the importance of 1 preseason game performance, but Davis is a "bubble" receiver worth watching closely.
Lamar Miller (-0.4, 10 snaps): Miller looked fast and had 2 carries for 21 yards (averaging 10.5 yards per carry), but he was guilty of fumbling a handoff on the first play on offense.
Daniel Thomas (-0.4, 10 snaps): It's not all Thomas' fault, but 4 carries for 5 yards, plus 1 catch for 1 yard, is not enough. That's all I have to say.
Mike Gillislee (+1.0, 31 snaps): Gillislee did good work both as a runner and as a pass-blocker. Like Thomas, he had less than stellar blocking, but unlike Thomas, he was able to generate 21 yards on 7 carries (for a more respectable 3 yards per carry), and 1 catch for 10 yards.
Jonas Gray (-0.3, 30 snaps): Gray made some bad decisions in the backfield, but overall he showed good speed for a guy his size and finished with 41 yards on 7 carries plus 35 yards on 4 catches (plus 1 drop).
Charles Clay (+0.1, 8 snaps)
Jorvorskie Lane (-0.9, 6 snaps): After starting out strong last year, Lane's blocking fell off, and he did poor work in limited snaps in game 1. Multiple beat reporters have said Lane's spot on the roster is in danger due to the team having more versatile options at FB, including Clay and Rodriguez.
Evan Rodriguez (+0.4, 11 snaps): Rodriguez was a mediocre blocker, but he looked fast on the field running routes and finished with 2 catches for 19 yards.
Ryan Tannehill (-1.1, 10 snaps): Tannehill threw 5 passes, completing 2 of them. 1 was a throw-away on a blown screen, but he was guilty of poor ball placement on both passes to McNutt. McNutt could have caught one of them, but the catch was more difficult than it needed to be. However, unlike ESPN's Merrill Hodge, I'm not ready to ring the alarm bells over 2 bad slant passes thrown to a second-team WR. Tannehill finished with 2 of 5 passing for 11 yards.
Matt Moore (+0.1, 41 snaps): He struggled when stuck with poor pass blocking early, but after being re-inserted following Pat Devlin's injury, he did well against the opposing 3rd string defense. He finished with 19 of 29 passing for 238 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT that probably wasn't his fault.
Pat Devlin (-3.0, 30 snaps): Devlin gets docked for taking a couple of sacks and being late on a couple of throws, but he finished with a solid line of 8 for 13 passing for 86 yards, and 1 TD before getting injured.
Hat tip to Phinsider Corroncho.