The search for the Miami Dolphins‘ next GM and offensive coordinator is now in full swing. As we wait to see which candidates emerge from the pack, let’s continue our look back on the season that was by ranking the team’s top 20 players of 2013. The newest addition to the list can be seen below.
No. 20: Rishard Matthews, wide receiver
No. 19: Brandon Gibson, wide receiver
No. 18: Dimitri Patterson, cornerback
No. 17: Tyson Clabo, right tackle
No. 16: Nolan Carroll, cornerback
Passes defensed: 12
Pro Football Focus breakdown
Position rank: 52 of 110
Coverage rank: 66 of 110
Snaps played: 809
Receptions allowed: 43 on 90 targets
Yards allowed: 640
Touchdowns allowed: 2
QB rating allowed: 65.0
Why he’s No. 16
Many Dolphins fans undervalue how solid Carroll was for the majority of the season, pointing to his past struggles to define a player who was actually quite improved. Carroll stepped in for an injured Dimitri Patterson and provided starting-caliber coverage on the boundary opposite Brent Grimes. His three interceptions, 12 defensed passes and two sacks were all career-highs. According to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks only managed a 65.0 quarterback rating when targeting Carroll in coverage, which was the ninth lowest in the entire NFL among qualifying cornerbacks. Carroll is scheduled to enter free agency this offseason, but the Dolphins will surely consider re-signing him and letting him compete to retain his starting role in 2014.
Why he’s not higher
Carroll was solid until the Dolphins needed his coverage the most.
Then, the wheels seemingly fell off. During the final two games, Carroll surrendered a combined 173 yards in coverage and was targeted by quarterbacks Thad Lewis and Geno Smith. His breakdowns extended several drives that kept the Dolphins’ offense, which only scored a total of seven points in said games, off the field. While Carroll can’t be blamed for the entire team’s collapse or the offense’s ineptitude, he played a significant role in what was an embarrassing choke-job by Miami. The Dolphins may consider re-signing Carroll this offseason, but his lack of consistency in 2013 suggests he shouldn’t be trusted with a multi-year deal.