The Miami Dolphins, along with the other 31 teams of the NFL, are heading into the one down month of the year - the one month where there are no football games, free agents, drafts, or practices. It is a chance for players and coaches to get away for a few weeks, between the end of the offseason training program and the start of full training camp. It also gives us a chance to take a look at the status of the team in our stock up/stock down format.
We are not going to do this in the usual, in season way, where we pick individual players in our stock rating, but instead will look at position groups.
Stock Up: Defensive line. Is there any doubt about the stock of the defensive line rising? Ryan Tannehill described Ndamukong Suh as having the fastest first step he has ever seen - and this is on a line with Cameron Wake. Not much has been said of Olivier Vernon lately, but that could be a good thing, as everyone focuses on the Wake/Suh side of the defensive line. Add in the signing of C.J. Mosley, along with Earl Mitchell, A.J. Francis, Jordan Phillips, and Anthony Johnson, and the defensive line should be set to have a big year.
Stock Down: Kickers. Okay, this really is an individual player pick, given it is all about the leg injury to Caleb Sturgis, but it is the right selection. Sturgis was injured, ironically, during a kick ball game the team was holding. The injury was to his plant leg, and should be healed by the time training camp opens, but Sturgis has had a string of leg injuries since he was drafted by the team, and it is just another set back for a player who needs to prove he can improve his kicking accuracy.
Stock Up: Running Backs. Good things have been said about Jay Ajayi since he arrived in South Florida. He was considered one of the top running backs behind the first round duo of Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, but fell to the Dolphins in the fifth round due to concerns about his knee. Organized team activity and minicamp report all seem to support that he is running hard and should be a productive option for the Dolphins this year. Combine him with the 1,000-yard performance of Lamar Miller, and the Dolphins running backs should be a strong option for the offense this season.
No Change: Everyone would expect the offensive line to be in the stock down category, but I do not feel their stock is lower after the minicamp. They went into the offseason program with questions at guard, and they left with questions at guard. Nothing was going to be decided without pads, so there really has not been any change to the offensive line. We will also include the cornerbacks in the no change category. Obviously, Brent Grimes is set as the top cornerback, but behind them there is a tangle of players who are trying to prove they are ready to take over as the starter opposite Grimes. Jamar Taylor should have the early edge, but it will come down to training camp and the preseason before we know for sure if that is a good or bad thing.