It is time for another edition of The Phinsider 90-in-90 series. This annual look at the Miami Dolphins’ offseason roster take a closer look at each individual player, with the goal of having it take around 90 days to complete - of course, we are well behind that schedule, but are you actually tracking it, because I am not. The breakdown takes a look at the player’s 2017 performance - in the NFL or at the college level - and then why the player may progress in 2018, why he may regress this year, and the chances he has to make the 53-man regular season roster.
This year, we have already finished the reviews for wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Xavien Howard, long snapper Lucas Gravelle, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end A.J. Derby, running back Frank Gore, defensive tackle Gabe Wright, wide receiver Kenny Stills, cornerback Tony Lippett, kicker Jason Sanders, kicker Greg Joseph, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, tight end Mike Gesicki, linebacker Raekwon McMillan, running back Kalen Ballage, wide receiver Jakeem Grant, tight end Durham Smythe, quarterback David Fales, wide receiver Albert Wilson, defensive tackle Akeem Spence, and linebacker Chase Allen. Today, we turn to defensive end Cameron Wake.
Wake is the example that proves the NFL’s Top 100 Players list is...fickle. In 2016, Wake recorded 11.5 sacks and 29 tackles. In 2017, he had 10.5 sacks with 36 tackles. Apparently, that one sack was worth a 12 position fall in the annual rankings. Clearly, how a team finishes their season - in the playoffs or not - goes into how the players vote in the annual rankings. Wake, however, continues to be a dominant force in Miami’s pass rush.
Why he will progress
The Dolphins are again talking about limiting Wake’s snaps this season to keep him fresh, but the last time they made this move, he still ended up being the starter and having better stats after gaining more snaps on game day. The Dolphins are trying to do the right thing with Wake, and it should help him get after opposing quarterbacks this year, but do not be surprised if, at the end of the year, Wake is again out on the field more than he is early in the season. Wake should also benefit from a retooled defensive line. The addition of another pass rusher, Robert Quinn, plus the development of 2017 first-round pick Charles Harris, should force opposing offensive lines to try to block too many options from Miami, and potentially open up rushing lanes for Wake.
Why he might regress
Age has to catch up to Wake eventually, right? He turned 36 in January, so maybe one day he will lose a step and only become inhuman instead of a freak of nature. The loss of Ndamukong Sun to the defensive line could also have some impact on Wake’s 2018 stats.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
At this point, Wake’s “chances of making” has nothing to do with the roster and has to do with Canton. He may have turned 36, but, we may as well face it, the man is immortal (along with John Denney). Can Wake finish his career with enough force to make him an undrafted free agent who was cut from the league and had to go to the CFL turned Hall of Famer?