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Miami Dolphins players No. 1 to beyond roster limit

Drum roll please ...

It is time for the annual Miami Herald countdown of the Dolphins roster! Excited? Fired up?

Yeah, I can sense the tension.

Anyway, this is my annual countdown of the players on Miami's roster from the best to the bottom of the roster guys. It should not surprise that No. 1 on the list did not change in 2010. The rest of the list did change.

Take this in. Study it. Tell me where you agree and don't. Understand that rookies and free agents who have never played a game for Miami or even in the NFL are on this list. Those guys are included in the list as projections.

This is a lot to take in. Do it in increments if you wish. This list will be up a while as I'm going on vacation and leave and won't be back until July. Well, I will come back if something happens (like the start of free agency) because I'll only be out of town two of the weeks I'm off.

But otherwise, this is the annual summer vacay post as well as the summer roster list post. If you need to see what I'm up to, you can follow me on twitter.

The list:

1. LT Jake Long: He blew out his left shoulder in November against Tennessee. That wasn't his first injury of the season as he suffered a knee injury in the preseason finale against Dallas. No problem. Long got treatment for the knee and played without issue. He got a harness for the shoulder and continued playing despite knowing he'd need surgery after the season. And he was still a Pro Bowl player for the third time in three seasons.

2. OLB Cameron Wake: Studly. He came from part-time work to a full-time starting job and more than doubled his production. He became one of the NFL's most unrelenting and explosive pass-rushers. The scary thing is Dolphins coach Tony Sparano has said Wake has not yet reached his full potential. He might get better!

3. WR Brandon Marshall: When he's right, when he has the right people around him, when he's used correctly, he can dominate and take over a game. In 2010 he was rarely used right and didn't really have the right people around him. He was good but he and quarterback Chad Henne never meshed. There might be a personality problem going on in that relationship and the problem isn't necessarily Henne's.

4. ILB Karlos Dansby: He was as-advertised in that he was a tackle machine and was solid and a leader. But it is rare when an inside linebacker can be a game-changer. Ray Lewis has done it. Brian Urlacher has done it. Dansby can do it in the future but he didn't do it in 2010. Still, he was a significant upgrade as a free agent.

5. NT Paul Soliai: He was given an opportunity starting the second week of the season and he turned it into a $12 million franchise player payday. It was as if Soliai, at times immature, turned the corner. The question is whether the improvement was his reach for a contract that might fade once he gets paid, or a legitimate and lasting ripening of a fine player.

6. DE Randy Starks: The Dolphins need to keep Starks at one position because he plays quite well when he gets the opportunity to make a position his home. Late last season, Starks was again Miami's best defensive end after starting the year at nose tackle.

7. WR Davone Bess: Exceedingly hard worker. Reliable hands. Dependable route-runner. He is a very good possession receiver and every NFL team needs at least one of those. His receptions (79), yards (820) and TDs(5) were career highs.

8. SS Yeremiah Bell: Always excellent in run-support, he led the team in tackles again. Bell is consistent in that he's had more than 100 tackles each of the past three years. I don't understand why the Dolphins didn't blitz him more often because he's outstanding at that.

9.CB Vonate Davis: Most physical and potentially dominating cornerback on the team. He still has not made the climb from "being there" on contested balls to "winning" the battle for most of those balls. He's good now. Not excellent. Not great. Not very good. Good.

10. DE Kendall Langford: An end in the 3-4 defense is never going to be a big-playmaker if he's not named Suh. So Langford hasn't been a playmaker but has been solid and consistent. There is a step or two Langford could take to reach a level of excellence that would turn Miami's front into a dominant unit.

11. DE Phillip Merling: Merling asctually played relatively well when he returned from the non-football injury list last year. It suggests he has matured and could be ready to finally meet the potential that made him the No. 32 overall selection in 2008.

12. CB Sean Smith: He was humbled a year ago in losing his starting job to Jason Allen. Jason Allen! He didn't quit. He never gave up. He fought through adversity, although it was of his own making. He regained his job and played well. The difference between playing well and being a star? Smith drops every pass that hits his hands. He could have had eight or nine interceptions a year ago. Time to catch those, Sean.

13. WR Brian Hartline: He was open enough and effective enough to suggest he can continue to be a good deep-threat option. His stats -- 43 catches for 615 yards -- would have seemed nicer if quarterback Chad Henne had connected with him on the handful of times Hartline got open behind defenses.

14. ILB Channing Crowder: Solid. That's what he's always been when he's healthy. But excellent? Game-changing? Nope.

15. OLB Koa Misi: Starter who showed a great motor. He never gives up on a play. He is relentless. He needs to get stronger both in the upper and lower body. Once he truly becomes a technician at his craft, he has potential to be an eight- or nine-sack a year guy.

16. C Mike Pouncey: First round pick. Not exciting, but a safe pick. Why was it a safe pick? Because Pouncey is going to be a very good player. That's why. When he proves it, he'll rise on this list.

17. TE Anthony Fasano: He is unappreciated because he's not playing in a great passing offense, he's had some memorable drops in previous years, and doesn't like media attention too much. That doesn't mean he's a bad player. Fasano was second on the team with 13.5 yards per catch (among players with double-digit catches). He was fourth on the team in catches and yards. Great? No. Good? Yes.

18. RB Daniel Thomas: Second round pick better be Miami's top rusher in 2011 because, well, that's what he was picked for. He'll share the load with whatever free agent running back Miami lands. Obviously, this is a projection.

19. QB Chad Henne: Anytime a QB is not among the Top 10 best players on the team, that team is in trouble. Anytime a QB throws more interceptions than touchdowns and gets benched at least once in the season because the team isn't scoring enough, he cannot be ranked too highly and definitely not in the Top 10.

20. RB Ronnie Brown: Good man. Fearless every Sunday. But not the greatest instincts, and injuries seem to have sapped speed and explosion.

21. RB Ricky Williams: He had flashes but they are coming farther and farther apart now. He no longer has the amazing burst he once had, he no longer breaks tackles or avoids tackles in the second level.

22. G/C Richie Incognito: He was the team's best interior lineman. He was not the problem.

23. RT Vernon Carey: He has the ability to be the most frustrating player on the offensive line because he has the ability to be an A-player but has too often been a C-minus player. His best season came in 2008 when he was pushing for a new contract. He hasn't played at that level since.

24. FB Lousaka Polite: Good blocker. Good short-yardage runner. He might be replaced in 2011 if the Dolphins put their expected greater emphasis on the H-back postion over FB.

25. P Brandon Fields: He followed his best NFL season in 2009 with his second best NFL season in 2010 -- although the two blocks he suffered (not really his fault) look bad on his stat sheet. His 31 punts inside the 20 were a career high.

26. K Dan Carpenter: After connecting on 89 percent of his kicks in 2009, he dropped to a disappointing 73.2 percent in 2010 and had two kicks blocked. The end of Carpenter's season was a nightmare, as he booted only two of his seven final attempts. He did deliver 14 touchbacks on kickoffs, tying the number for the previous two years combined.

27 (tie). DE Tony McDaniel: There is thinking out there that McDaniel, a free agent in 2011, will go elsewhere because he will price himself out of the Dolphins market. That's is possible. But I would argue the Dolphins need to be very careful not to undervalue McDaniel because neither Odrick nor Merling are absolutes based on their histories. On a scale of 1-10, McDaniel is a solid 7. You don't want to lose those.

27 (tie). C Joe Berger: Berger was a pleasant surprise in that he was a solid C to B-minus center most of the year. He was the improbable starting center last year when the Jake Grove experiment proved a failure. And it would not be surprising if Berger is the starter early in training camp while Mike Pouncey gets acquainted. But that won't last barring an injury to Pouncey or others.

29. S Chris Clemons: Solid. Doesn't make mistakes. But neither does he really make any big plays. He had only one interception in 14 starts.

30. S Reshad Jones: He's a ball magnet and he will compete for a starting job with Chris Clemons in training camp. Truth is I expect him to win the job. He had one interception in two starts, which is the same as Clemons had in 14 starts. Until he wins the job, however, he finds himself just behind the starer.

31. G John Jerry: Last year it was about him being a rookie, and him being unable to get back from his early-season sickness, and his need for being stronger and his need for using better technique. This season it has to be about Jerry overcoming those issues and living up to his potential.

32. DE Jared Odrick: He was a starter the first week of the season and then was lost for the rest of the season. He has much to learn. He has much to improve upon. And he must stay healthy because durability is a category on which players are judged every bit as much as ability.

33. QB Chad Pennington: He was coach Tony Sparano's choice to lead the team in the crucial point of the season but although Pennington's spirit was willing, his flesh was weak. He sufferedanother shoulder injury on his first possession of the game he started. Having suffered another injury playing basketball this offseason, the Dolphins seem prepared to move on. If he's healthy, he's better than Henne.

34. CB Benny Sapp: He was on the team last year because Will Allen got hurt. He didn't disappoint but neither did his play impress. The Dolphins want to push Sapp to either make him better or find someone better.

35. ILB Tim Dobbins: Solid backup and that's a big deal because Crowder is injury prone and even Dansby got hurt at the end of last year. 

36. S Tyrone Culver: Solid role player in dime defense. Solid special teams tackler. He's .... solid.

37. CB Nolan Carroll: Ah, if only he'd caught that interception versus Cleveland. He could have been a hero. As it was, he was a rookie making mistakes and trying like crazy to compete. Carroll has great speed. Decent ball skills. Good work ethic. Let's see if those translate in Year 2.

38. LS John Denney: The only time one notices him is when he botches a snap. But he doesn't do that and that makes him valuable. Excellent at his craft.

39. QB Tyler Thigpen: Gutsy, willing to gamble, and strong-minded, he has the personality of a winner. But he's erratic and just as likely to throw two interceptions as two touchdowns in a game.

40. CB Will Allen: He's got to prove he can still contribute after missing two years because of injuries.

41. WR Marlon Moore: That 57-yard TD catch against Oakland was an eye-opener. But he had some troubling drops in the following couple of games and was basically iced against Buffalo before returning the final two games of the season. He had two catches for 43 yards in the season-finale so he finished on a high note. It is time to go higher.

41. WR Roberto Wallace: Big. Strong. A fine special teams player. Good hands. But still largely unproven. His special teams ability is the reason he played ahead of Moore most of the season.

42. WR Edmond "Clyde" Gates: Yeah, he doesn't like to be called Edmond. He likes Cylde. I'll call him Mr. Clyde if he lives up to his speed and blows the top off defenses likes he's supposed to. We'll see. This is obviously a projection.

43. S Jonathon Amaya: Great hitter on special teams. He might have been Miami's most effective special teams hitter late in the season.

44. RB Patrick Cobbs: His role on offense declined to practically zero last year. That showed .. 1. The coaching staff's hesitation to seek alternatives to underpeforming Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and 2. Cobbs' inability to show himself worthy of a shot. Yes, he was the special teams captain. But Miami's special teams were terrible. Solid locker room presence. 

45. OLB Ikaika Alama-Francis: There was much buzz about Alama-Francis early in the season but injuries and circumstances prevented him from playing up to that buzz. He's a hard worker and a solid run-stopper.

46. TE Charles Clay: Hopefully this kid becomes a latter day Chris Cooley or Dallas Clark. No idea if he'll be even in the same conversation thus his low ranking.

47. DB Jimmy Wilson: A seventh-rounder who missed two years while in prison facing murder chargers, Wilson is obviously a gamble. He's also got the feels of a special teams contributor.

48. RB Lex Hilliard: Time to be more than a special teams player because the Dolphins are looking for viable running back options and he's not exactly the first name on anyone's lips among team insiders. With the team bringing in more special teams talent, 2011 could be a turning point year.

49. ILB A.J. Edds: The plan has not changed from a year ago in that he will be a passing situation substitution for Channing Crowder or Karlos Dansby if he has the abilities the team thought he did when he was drafted.

50. OLB Quentin Moses: Extremely under-rated. Mostly unknown. Can you believe he's been on the team since 2007? Says something for his latent ability which is little used. He did

51. Nate Garner: He was going to get a chance to compete to start at G when he got hurt and was lost for the year. Now the onus is on to prove he can recover and show some durability. 

52. OL Pat McQuistan: He started a handful of games. He should be a backup.

53. T Lydon Murtha: He is good stay active and take to the game as a backup. Is he good enough to displace someone on the starting unit? I doubt it, but I'd like to see him try. It can only make everyone better.

54. G Rey Feinga: His chances of winning a starting job are also dependent on the health of other players. Betting on someone to be hurt is a tough way to earn a living.

55. DT Frank Kearse: The Dolphins need a backup for Soliai not named Starks. Kearse has the opportunity to be that guy. Does he have the ability?

56. WR Julius Pruitt: He was active the regular-season finale but didn't catch a pass. He's been all about potential. It's time to be about production.

57. ILB Austin Spitler: The youngster got better at his special teams duties later in the season.

58. WR Patrick Carter: He's been in camp with Seattle, Tampa Bay, Denver, Baltimore, and was most recently on the Hartford Colonels. He's 26 now so this camp is probably his make-or-break NFL moment. Don't bet on make.

59. LB Mark Restelli: A free agent signee from the CFL. He's only 6-2 and 215 so he needs to get better. He's strictly a special teams guy if he makes the team at all.

60. T James Marten: The Dolphins are his fourth team in four years and he's still a project player.

61. QB Tom Brandstater: Late season signee and never really an option to play. Don't expect much different in 2011.

62. RB Kory Sheets: He had speed and potential before an Achilles' injury. No idea if he has either now.

63. CB Nate Ness: Cut in the preseason, then cut by Seattle when he was toasted during one game, he returned as insurance against injuries.

64. FB Deon Anderson: Dolphins have to learn that signing every Dallas Cowboys reject is not a good idea. Anderson was signed after the Cowboys dropped him and he promptly got hurt one week into his Dolphins career. He probably won't be on the team this year.

65. LB Mike Rivera: He's been jumping from practice squad to practice squad and was active only for the season-finale against New England. I simply do not know enough about him to give you an idea which direction he's going.

66. T Matt Kopa: Signed off the 49ers practice squad in November, he was mostly just insurance and was inactive the final seven games of the season.

67. DE Ryan Baker He's undersized. He's probably not the most naturally gifted player. But he works. He studies the game. He is a good guy in the community.

68. G Cory Procter: He was a backup most of the year before going on injured reserve in late November. He's likely played his final game with the Dolphins.

69 (tie). TE Dedrick Epps: Young kid. Project.

69 (tie). TE Mickey Shuler: Young kid. Project.

69 (tie). TE Jeron Mastrud: You kid. Project.

(Not rated) T Allen Barbre: He spent one week with the Dolphins last year, the final week of the season. I have no idea what he's about.

(Not rated) DT Chris Baker: Don't know enough about him.


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Dear Mr. Salguero

When you go vacation/leave will you be taking Mr. Aloco and Mr. Cuban Menace with you ?

I wish I could come with you guys...I could be like that Zak Galifianakis guy from the Hang Over movies...we would have alot of fun together.

Anywhoo maybe next year

Soiled :)



Not even Odin believes half what he says.

-Yeah, like the time I crashed into the Police Car. They threw me in the tank with nothing but my tightie whities and toilet paper.

It was so cold I HAD to do something! They called me "The Mummy" for my entire "stay".

So yeah, I STILL don't even believe that one either.

He is stuck in a time warp and thinks the party animal lifestyle will impress us.

-Stuck in a time warp? You must not know me very well. ALL my friends and family say I'm stuck on stupid.

Finding people in your lawn mower shed drinking, beer and dorito breakfasts, sounds darn awful and derelict to me.

-Yeah, those guys struck me as a little derelict as well. If I was drunk in your lawn mower shed, you can bet the FARM I'd be stealing you tractor and making a liquor run

It's all just exagerrated bs.

-I ALWAYS tell the Judges and Magistrates the same thing, but they NEVER believe me either.

When there is no party he suddenly always has all these hotties popping up.

Dude, you're going to thank me for this one! I think I figured out your problem. It's not the Hotties that "Pop up".

At least not the kind of hotties.......uh.......I......uh......sleep.......Ooooooooh! Oooooooooooh!

If your Hotties have pop ups, flame on FLAMER. Git on down with your bad self.

Its funny though he will tell you about the hottie he had last night yet you will see he was bloggling whole night before LOL!!!!!

-Sure, hate me because I multi task. I get it, the Green eyed Monster. Well, I guess, in your case it's the One eyed Monster.


Posted by: nnnnnn | May 31, 2011 at 06:50 AM

I'd like to see Brooks Foster and Gates before Wallace and Moore.

Not even Odin believes half what he says.

-Yeah, like the time I crashed into the Police Car. They threw me in the tank with nothing but my tightie whities and toilet paper.

It was so cold I HAD to do something! They called me "The Mummy" for my entire "stay".

So yeah, I STILL don't even believe that one either.

-Come on now you haters.

You just can't make up stories like this.

I was just never the kind of person to think, "maybe I shouldn't do this".

I would get into a jam, find myself at the cross roads. I would think my situation through very logically and prudently.

Then a voice in my head would scream: What the hell, imagine the stories you can tell your Grand Kids!

I'm stuck on stupid alright, but I've enjoyed it for the MOST part. In the end, that's ALL it comes down too.

If you don't enjoy your life, it's your own fault and in my opinion you don't DESERVE to have one.

ValHalla-YeeHaaw and ride a bronco bucking Brown Donkey while you're at it!!!!

PS: Aloco, you have every right to believe or disbelieve anything you want. Especially things you read on the Internet. I understand.

That notwithstanding, I still take offense when someone alludes to or accuses me of being a liar.

You don't believe me, that's fine. But why ask questions about something you're not going to believe anyways?

Brings to mind and old Lynard Skynard song called:

Don't ask me no questions

And I won't tell you no lies!

It's as simple as that, go listen to it.


Mando, I though you WERE on vacation already! Another?

Odin, Aloco, Rob, Darryl and the guys, wazzup?

Soiled, maybe Mando can coordinate a cruise for Dolfans? No wives, only girlfriends! We could say it was a football seminar. Odin's band could play!

I would like to rank the contributors to this blog from #1 all the way down to #60.

#1 is, of course, odinseye.

# 2 on the list of Dolphins in Depth contributors is, of course, Soiledbottom

While Odin delivers straightgoods and the facts -- Soiled is the showman who fills the seats. I salute you sirs.

Gary I second those nominations, congratulations sir!

Upon reading Mando's FULL post, I can only assume that Mando has thrown a bone into a pit full of hungry dogs, to keep us busy fighting over that bone ( his rankings ) until he gets back!

You said it: Marshall not used properly & neither was Henne!!! Henning's play calling was way too conservative!!! The offense was run poorly & I blame Henning's BAD play calling!!! Start by dumping the Mildcat & let Henne throw the ball!!!

...If there were an academy award for "Dolphins In Depth" posters I think I could come up with my top 5 favorite bloggers...Armando, you should do this. The winner gets a Dolphins In Depth t-shirt with you likeness on the front..

Here are my nominees
1 Rob in OC..
2 Derek 4 Dolphins
3 Odinseye
4 Fin4Life
5 Soiled Bottom
Honorable mention Dying Breed
Lifetime achievement ALoco

...Has anyone seen Bootang25?




Looks like I didn't make the cut...

I take laundry and hang on line. This is my only plan today.

KillerFin, Henne and Sanchez were the worst QBs in the NFL under pressure! They were ok when not pressured....Henne isn't it but he is what we got. I say give him a Henning free year and it's sink or swim. No more excuses!

Darryl, whom are you looking for, poontang?

Did I just get the Gary Stevens award here at Dolphins in Depth?

Did I just edge out Soiled Bottoms?


In yo FACE!

In Yo.................ah, I mean, I'd like to humbly accept this awarad on behalf of myself on ALL of my fellow bloggers here at Dolphins in Depth.

I couldn't have done it alone fella's.

I mean after all, who else could, other than Aloco.............. ;)

Aloco, You said Bess is not worthy and you use the excuse that he had "lousy 5 TDs". What did Marshall do? Marshall 3 lousy TDs. I will also add that Marshall had all three of those TDs thrown to him in the end zone oppose to where Bess had to break a few tackles to score a TD on a couple of his 5 TDs. Not saying Bess is better then Marshall but this past year Bess has made more clutch plays in key parts of the game then Marshall had. Bess is an important part of the team. I wouldn't rank him in the top five of the team but he is definitely in the top ten.

Davis is another overrated player. He was mediocre this past season. While he was great at supporting the run at the line of scrimmage, his open field tackling was horrendous and really needs to improve. He also was burned down the field a few times as well. If you were to watch the last four games you would see that Smith ended the season as the better corner.

I look at Koa Misi with eyes looking for the great Somoan players that came before him. Junior Seau, look at the beast for the ravens at NT----Misi has not shown me that he is in that class of great Somoan players.

Everybody is talking about Hartline.

I think what Hartline ends up doing this year depends allot on Gates.

If Gates ends up being a true burner and gets playing time, I picture Hartline turning into a KILLER working out of the slot along with Bess in the 4 wide sets!

If opposing D's are forced to put their fastest corners on Gates, Hartline should equal a ton of mismatches.

Forget talking about WR's...we need a QB that can get them the ball

45-51 I think are underrated also Ricky and Pennington are most likely gone but both should retire

Misi played GREAT when you consider he was a Rookie Defemsive End being switched to SOLB in the NFL.

With more and more attention being paid to Wake, Misi will look good in a hurry.


I'm hip DUDE!

I can't believe we didn't get Mallet!

Oh well, we can always trade away some high picks for Palmer.



Some of the fan base seems to think every player should be of pro bowl calibur by their second year. Hartline has had only 2 years in one of the most frustrating offenses in fin history, plus young QB still figuring things out. Hartline will keep getting better for us regardless of what Gates does.

Site blanked out again. Test!

Odin, Mallet needs the time NE can give him to develop, we need someone that can start NOW!!

Mild sociopaths like odin are refreshing(to me).

I'm off to see the Game. My older son(who mainly watches basketball) said that the Heat in six. Good Luck, us Miamians.






Hartline will keep getting better for us regardless of what Gates does.

Posted by: kerr | May 31, 2011 at 08:36 PM

I agree. I wasn't cutting on Hartline at all. On the contrary, I see Gates allowing us to get Hartline into mismatches in much the same way New England does Welker.

Site blanks out AGAIN! Test!


I was being sarcastic about mallet.


THANKS! Mild sociopath is putting it politely!

Only So. Fla is rooting for Heat. Go Heat! I love HATERS! That's why we love the Dolphins...

Wow! Blanked out again, I'm done! Goodnight all!

Odin, my humble apologies for missing the sarcasm....distracted by the Heat Dancers at the time....you understand....

The Heat Dancers.

Yeah Buddy, no apologees necessary!

Reshad Jones and Clemons should start and Bell in the nickel and dime.



..I do apologize to any blogger that feels short changed by my top 5. Craig M, Kris(had to lump the two of you guys next to each other since this is a feel good post) 0x80, beerphin, JUSTIN CREDIBLE THE OG CAPS GUY, DC Dolfan...You guys read enough of my stuff to know half the time I'm wrong, and have no clue.So if I left anyone off nothing personal, you guys all post good stuff, spur of the moment inspiration.....






ALoco...No big deal. Not kissing anyones behind. I wrote my list, and stand bye it. I left off a few very good contributers. The "In Depth" awards are purely hypothetic. So I'm sure anyone left off isn't too upset, or takes this too serious. Just having some fun...

Enjoy your lifetime achievement award!

As expected NO-RING-SKI disapeared when it mattered most, HEAT in 5, LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!

Frankly, who cares who the top bloggers are



Fin4, go HEAT!

Aloco, DD has drinks!!! Better than dessert!

DD, you're not in the flood zone right?



Aloco, you, Odin and I should go to Montana to visit Darryl Dunphy! FIELD TRIP!!!! Just north of Bozeman, my father-in-law lives there, has a pool table!

Aloco, music doesn't matter " if the drinks are free"! What song Odin?

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