By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on June 10, 2014
The Miami Dolphins enter 2014 hoping to achieve their first winning record since 2008. The Dolphins have stockpiled on talent over the past two offseasons, hoping to finally get over the hump of missing the playoffs. The Dolphins came within a win away from clinching a postseason berth in 2013. Here are five early predictions for the Dolphins' 2014 season.
Dion Jordan was one of the biggest duds of the rookie draft class of 2013 last season. Jordan was such a detriment in the run defense game, that he was relegated to just third-down snaps and obvious passing situations. The former No. 3 overall pick recorded just 26 tackles and two sacks. The Dolphins will maximize Jordan's talent in 2014, and he'll post at least eight sacks in his second season.
As the Dolphins continue OTAs, one of the bigger surprises of the practices has been the role of Knowshon Moreno. While Moreno was expected to be the team's starting running back, it has been Lamar Miller, not Moreno, who has received first-team reps. As the 2014 season opens, you will see Moreno relegated to mostly third-down reps.
James Walker of ESPN.com has frequently noted that Mike Wallace has been the Dolphins' best performer thus far in OTAs. With Wallace scheduled for a .25 million cap hit in 2014, it would be wise for Wallace to increase his level of production in 2014 -- the Dolphins will likely release Wallace in the 2015 offseason if he has a second straight mediocre season. Wallace will return back to form in 2014. Expect at least 1,000 yards and eight TDs.
Ryan Tannehill has all of the weapons at his disposal in 2014. He has a top-notch receiving core with Wallace, Brian Hartline and Jarvis Landry, a dependable tight end in Charles Clay, and a running back in Moreno, who can protect the passer and act as a checkdown target in the receiving game. Tannehill will crack the top 12 in most passing categories this season.
The AFC is a weak conference, and it would be an absolute shock if the Dolphins don't finish at least second in the AFC East. The Dolphins had a Wild Card spot almost locked up in 2013, but they lost their final two games to two sub .500 teams at the end of the season. With the offseason moves the team has made, the Dolphins will clinch a Wild Card spot in 2014.
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