Minicamps, organized team activities and training camps are an exciting time for NFL reporters. We get to see things materialize before the general public.
Last summer I remember watching young defensive end Olivier Vernon come into his own. Practice after practice, Vernon beat then-starting left tackle Jonathan Martin on a regular basis. It was duly noted by myself and the rest of the Miami media that Vernon was a name to watch during the 2013 regular season. Vernon went on to lead the Miami Dolphins with 11.5 sacks in his first year as a full-time starter.
That brings us to our latest poll question: Who will be year's breakout player for the Dolphins? There are several good candidates to choose from.
Will it be Dion Jordan? The former No. 3 overall pick had a redshirt rookie season as he tried to play through offseason shoulder surgery. Jordan finished with just 26 tackles and two sacks, but he put on added muscle this year to become an every-down player.
What about running back Lamar Miller? He struggled in his first year as a starter. But Miller did not have many holes running behind a porous offensive line. Can Miller hold off free-agent pickup Knowshon Moreno and put up big numbers?
New defensive tackle Earl Mitchell is another intriguing name. The Dolphins signed Mitchell from the Houston Texans and Mitchell believes he was overshadowed by defensive stars in Houston such as J.J. Watt and others. Will Mitchell prove he can be a stud in Miami this year?
Finally, there is veteran linebacker Koa Misi. He is being moved this year to middle linebacker, which brings on added responsibility. Will Misi put up huge numbers in his new role?
Using our SportsNation poll, vote on Miami’s breakout player for 2014. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below or message me via Twitter @JamesWalkerNFL.