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Walker's Fab 40 finale: Nos. 1-4

1/31/2015

We're concluding our series ranking the Miami Dolphins' top 40 players this season.

Finally, we have Miami's best four players.

No. 4: Mike Wallace

Position: Wide receiver

2014 stats: 67 receptions, 862 yards, 10 touchdowns

Analysis: It's difficult to appreciate how dynamic Wallace is in Miami. He's arguably the fastest player in the NFL, and I've rarely seen a player get as open as he does. However, the Dolphins' offense and quarterback Ryan Tannehill are not a match for his talents. Still, Wallace did all he can to develop into a possession-type receiver and led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. His longest reception of the season was 50 yards. Frustration eventually boiled over in Week 17 when Wallace was benched after a verbal altercation at halftime. It remains to be seen if the Dolphins will bring Wallace back next season, but I doubt Miami will be able to easily replace his production.

No. 3: Cameron Wake

Position: Defensive end

2014 stats: 36 tackles, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles

Analysis: Wake, 32, is still playing a high level. He posted double-digit sacks for the third time in his career and made it to his fourth Pro Bowl. Wake did have a few slow stretches during the season but few offensive tackles can handle his fastball. Wake's dedication to fitness and taking care of his body is a testament to his strong play despite his age.

No. 2: Brent Grimes

Position: Cornerback

2014 stats: 57 tackles, five interceptions

Analysis: Due to his modest demeanor, Grimes may never get the credit he deserves for being one of the NFL's best cornerbacks. Those who watch Grimes on a weekly basis knows how good he is. Grimes had another good year in Miami by leading the team in interceptions for the second year in a row. His best play last season was a one-handed, leaping interception against Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Grimes further showed his stuff in the Pro Bowl, when he intercepted a pass and made a strong push for MVP honors.

No. 1: Branden Albert

Position: Left tackle

2014 stats: Nine starts

Analysis: I was wrong about Albert. I thought he was a very good -- but not elite -- left tackle. So when the Dolphins invested $47 million on the former Pro Bowler, I wasn't completely sure it was the best move to make. But after watching Albert play in Miami over the course of the past season, he's clearly one of the league's top left tackles -- when healthy. Albert shut down opposing defensive ends and his contributions were even more noticeable in his absence. With Albert, the Dolphins allowed 2.5 sacks per game. Without Albert, those numbers escalated to 3.5 sacks per game. He was definitely my MVP in the first half of the season. Albert is trying to recover from a torn ACL -- which is a concern -- but according to Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey, he's progressing well and appears ahead of schedule.

That concludes "Walker's Fab 40" for 2015.

Here are my complete and updated rankings of Dolphins players:

1. LT Branden Albert

2. CB Brent Grimes

3. DE Cameron Wake

4. WR Mike Wallace

5. QB Ryan Tannehill

6. S Reshad Jones

7. P Brandon Fields

8. G Mike Pouncey

9. WR Jarvis Landry

10. LB Jelani Jenkins

11. DE Olivier Vernon

12. RB Lamar Miller

13. TE Charles Clay

14. RT Ja'Wuan James

15. LB Koa Misi

16. C Samson Satele

17. WR Brian Hartline

18. LS John Denney

19. QB Matt Moore

20. DT Randy Starks

21. DT Jared Odrick

22. S Louis Delmas

23. DT Earl Mitchell

24. LB Dannell Ellerbe

25. CB Cortland Finnegan

26. RB Knowshon Moreno

27. S Jimmy Wilson

28. DE Derrick Shelby

29. DE Dion Jordan

30. LB Jason Trusnik

31. TE Dion Sims

32. G Daryn Colledge

33. WR Brandon Gibson

34. CB Jamar Taylor

35. LB Philip Wheeler

36. OT Jason Fox

37. G/OT Dallas Thomas

38. DE Terrence Fede

39. CB Will Davis

40. DE Chris McCain