Winning competitions is the name of the game in the NFL, and the 2016 Miami Dolphins training camp will be no different. This is the fourth installment of the "Training Camp Battle" series, and it will look at players that will be vying for starting positions. I will provide links to the older installments as we move forward.
The last unknown on the OL, the competition for right guard will be fierce. On top of that, this competition is tough to project until the pads come on, which hasn't happened yet.
No time for foreplay, ladies and gentleman. Awww, you're disappointed - such a sad face. Well, there's 5 guys to cover, let's just do it!
Why Billy Turner Will Win:
Billy Turner has started games for this team, and he has experience going against the vaunted DL's in the AFC East. He's a young player who most of us knew would take some time to develop coming from North Dakota State. Coming into his 3rd year, he will be hitting a very important year in his growth trajectory, a year that players determine if they are a one-and-done contract, or if they have vitality in this league.
This will be the year that Billy Turner proves to the front office that he was worth a 3rd round investment. He's our best chance at a "mauler".
Why Dallas Thomas Will Win:
Screw it, I'll admit, it took me more than 5 minutes to write my first sentence in his defense. And it's just a self-aware sentence, not even a sentence about Dallas Thomas. I'm surprised he has a job. This is hard.
Um…hmm…OK! I got it!
Let me grab a beer first.
What were we talking about? I don't remember either!
Why Kraig Urbik Will Win:
Our highest rated G by our lovely friends at PFF, by a wide margin. He has started in this league and is also familiar with the AFC East, playing with the Buffalo Bills. He signed a 2 year deal, but it's essentially a 1 year "prove it" deal. As a 30 year-old, this is his chance to play for another contract and demand some dollars as a starting NFL guard, compared to being paid as a back-up.
I'm pretty sure he's big and strong and good at pushing people and stuff like that, too. He's my quasi-darkhorse to win the competition.
Why Jermon Bushrod Will Win:
I want him to have as much success and notoriety as possible with a surname like Bushrod. The potential sexual innuendos almost approach infinity. Please, please, for outrageously selfish purposes, win this competition. I want to buy your jersey.
Although his experience is at tackle, Adam Gase may have seen a potential fit for Bushrod to plug a hole (see! I'm telling you…infinity!) at a glaring weakness when Gase took the reins of the team. He will have every chance to win the guard competition, and worst case scenario, he loses and we have more legit tackle depth in the event of injury.
Why Jamil Douglas Will Win:
The dude didn't get a chance to show himself at guard, as he was forced to play center due to rampant injuries to the OL. He was projected as a better NFL guard, despite playing some tackle at Arizona State (he played guard there as well). He'll have his opportunity to prove whether that projection was indeed correct, as he did not appear to have a chance at an NFL career playing center. His quest for redemption will give him the motivation to rise up the depth chart.
He's young, and the one knock on him was his strength and power, and another off-season in a professional training regimen, on top of the work he's already done, should help his case.
The one positive from Douglas' scouting profile was his athleticism. If he can combine his athleticism with some more raw power, he has a chance to raise his floor AND his ceiling.
It's really tough to spread enough reps around to 5 guys. Adam Gase will need to trim the fat soon to get better looks at the most viable competition. I look for Urbik and Turner to separate themselves. I wouldn't kid you though, bro, I have no idea how this is going to turn out.
SUTTON's Probability: Urbik 35%/Turner 33%/Douglas 15%/Bushrod 15%/Thomas 2%
This is the most wide open competition on the entire team. It will be interesting to see who separates themselves, and if we can finally assemble an OL capable of allowing our skilled position players more opportunities to make plays. Considering the defenses we will face this year in 2016, the Miami Dolphins need a will-imposing OL, and the competition at RG might just be the most important competition on the roster. We've had subpar OG play for years. I'm not even sure if we know what good OG play looks like. Hopefully one of these 5 dudes will snap us out of our rut.
Let me know your thoughts in the Comments Section! Phins Up and a middle finger salute to all your stessors from the SUTTON family!