Watch out for these potential stars for the Dolphins.
By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)
The Miami Dolphins were one of the biggest surprises in the NFL last season. Before the season began they were projected to be one of the worst teams in the league but ended up being much better than that. They finished the year with an impressive 10-6 record and just barely missed out on the playoffs. Their success is mainly due to a very young talented roster that has developed ahead of schedule, which can partially be credited to their excellent coaching staff lead by head coach Brian Flores.
It’s reasonable to believe that the Dolphins will be even better this upcoming season than they were last year considering they will have another year of development and made some solid additions to the roster as well. Some of their potential stars are still under the radar while others just aren’t getting the respect from the general public that maybe they deserve. Here are 3 potential players that could be surprise studs.
QB Tua Tagovailoa
It’s amazing how quickly the public perception of Tua took a negative turn. He was such a highly graded prospect at Alabama that there were rumors that NFL teams would be tanking their season to try and get the opportunity to draft him. After a few injuries and the emergence of Joe Burrow, Tua slid in the draft just a bit but was still the second overall quarterback drafted that year. After recovering from surgery, he still ended up starting nine games his rookie season and played pretty well in them, including throwing 11 touchdowns against only 5 interceptions, which is very solid for a rookie. The Dolphins even won 6 of the 9 games that he started.
It’s a bit strange that the general perception is so low on Tua after his rookie season. For a first-year player coming off an injury, he actually had a very good season and one that should inspire optimism about his future. All of the talent potential that he had at Alabama are still with him now, and he could really blossom into something great. Expect a big jump from Tua this season and a performance that reminds everyone how bright his future is.
RB Myles Gaskin
Unlike Tua, Myles Gaskin was not a highly rated prospect coming out of college. He was a seventh-round pick but he has not looked like it in his two short seasons in the NFL. He has been a pleasant surprise for the offense of the Dolphins and it looks like he will head into the 2021 season as the featured running back. Last year he quietly lead the team in carries with 142 and rushing yards with 584. More impressively, he did so while only appearing in ten games last season. To add another dynamic to his game, he added another 388 yards as a receiver.
His combo skill set will allow him to be a three-down running back and his outlook for this upcoming season is very bright. The Dolphins did sign Malcolm Brown to join their backfield, but it appears to be Gaskin that is going to featured while Brown provides a change of pace. All things considered, Gaskin looks primed for a really big year.
DL Raekwon Davis
Raekwon Davis is already a productive defender against the run from the interior of the defensive line. He is also skilled at occupying blockers to create lanes for pass rushers. The part of his game that could develop into a real weapon is pressuring opposing quarterbacks as an interior defensive lineman. He has the build and the tools to be successful at this, as well as the right coaching staff to develop the technique.
There aren’t a ton of players in the NFL that can generate consistent pressure from the interior, but Davis is a candidate to be one of them. It is not uncommon for this skill to take longer to perfect than rushing from the outside, so just because it has not shown up yet does not mean it isn’t coming soon. This could be the year it all comes together for Davis and if it does, he is going to be a force.