By Tyler McMullen @Direct_Snap on June 13, 2014
The Miami Dolphins have just about wrapped up all OTA activities and will look to get mandatory mini camp underway within the following days. We saw some surprises, some disappointments and some very good performances during OTAs. Here are five players who are climbing Miami's depth chart after OTAs.
I know, it really sounds silly to say that the former third overall selection just one year ago is climbing Miami's depth chart, but he really has been making strides. DE Olivier Vernon is not, let me repeat, NOT entrenched as the starting DE opposite All-Pro DE Cameron Wake. It's an open battle between Jordan and Vernon. Miami's staff has had nothing but great things to say about the former Oregon Duck. Hopefully we see a ton from him this year.
Rookie WR Jarvis "Juice" Landry has been climbing the depth chart at OTAs for Miami at numerous positions. The team inked Landry to a four-year deal yesterday, leaving first-rounder Ju'Wuan James and third-rounder Billy Turner as the only unsigned rookies. Landry has been working in with the first team as the slot receiver and has seen looks as a return man. Watch the slot battle this offseason. It will get a lot more heated as we move on.
Last season everyone gave up on Dallas Thomas, including the coaching staff, who would not insert Thomas into the lineup despite allowing a league-high 58 sacks. Thomas, now with a full NFL offseason under his belt, has come back much stronger and in much better shape, which has given him the opportunity to be the team's left guard. If Thomas can nail down the LG spot, this offensive line has improved a ton over one season.
Last season, rookie OLB Jelani Jenkins began to steal snaps away from first string WLB Philip Wheeler as the season progressed. Jenkins excelled in that role as the team's coverage linebacker. With Wheeler's struggles last season, the team has opened up the competition this offseason between him and Jenkins. Jenkins has been seen working with the first-team defense the past few weeks, and it could be a permanent job if he excels.
Lamar Miller has been the team's biggest winner thus far by a long shot. After bringing in RB Knowshon Moreno to compete with Miller and former second-round pick Daniel Thomas, Miller has blown both players away in an open competition. Miller, who I have compared to a poor man's LeSean McCoy in the past, has looked incredibly solid and is a perfect fit for OC Bill Lazor's system. Miller may have a breakout year in season three.
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