By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on June 8, 2014
The Miami Dolphins have loads of talent on both sides of the football. The Dolphins were one win away from clinching a playoff berth in 2013. They have brought in a lot of new talent through free agency and the draft, but also return most of their veteran core from last season. Who are five Dolphins players primed for big seasons in 2014?
Jamar Taylor was drafted in the second round last year with the expectation that he'd be a starting corner. That was not to be in his rookie season, as Taylor was relegated mostly to special teams duty. He finished the season with just 40 snaps on defense. This season, Taylor will have the opportunity to win the No. 2 cornerback job or the nickel slot on defense. Expect Taylor to win one of the two and play a prominent role on Miami's defense.
Dallas Thomas was taken in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was expected to replace Jake Long at left tackle during his rookie season, but Thomas wasn't ready. Thomas has made the transition to left guard in 2014 and is currently getting first-team reps over 2014 third-round draft choice Billy Turner. Expect Thomas to remain in the starting lineup and make up for a lost rookie season.
Dion Jordan is another player of the Dolphins' 2013 draft choices who had a disappointing rookie season. Jordan played on only third downs or obvious passing situations because of his weaknesses in defending the run. He ended his rookie season with just 26 tackles and two sacks. Jordan will receive every opportunity in 2014 to boost his sack totals.
One of the reasons the Dolphins didn't make the playoffs last season was the lack of chemistry Mike Wallace developed with Ryan Tannehill. So far during OTAs Wallace has been the Dolphins' best player, as he's been the last player to leave the practice field during most sessions. With new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor moving Wallace around in different spots on offense, this should maximize the wideout's production.
Ryan Tannehill enters his third season with the franchise and 2014 will be a make-or-break season for him. With the Dolphins adding pieces such as Knowshon Moreno and Jarvis Landry to the offensive unit, Tannehill won't have any shortage of a supporting cast. Expect Tannehill to improve upon his 2013 statistical output of 3,913 passing yards and 81.7 quarterback rating.
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