- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Miami Dolphins' offseason program is now complete.
Following last week's mandatory minicamp, here is a look at whose stock is rising and falling:
1. Olivier Vernon, defensive end: Vernon was Miami's breakout player of 2013. The former third-round pick exploded on the scene and led the Dolphins with 11.5 sacks. Now, Vernon is out to prove last season was not a fluke. Vernon had another strong offseason, capped by his 2 1/2 sacks in Miami's team scrimmage last week. Not only that, Vernon beat Dolphins Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert for two of his sacks. Vernon definitely caught Albert's attention. "He's real, real good," Albert said after the scrimmage. Vernon looks poised to hold onto his starting job and keep former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan on the bench.
2. Ryan Tannehill, quarterback: The Dolphins are asking a lot of Tannehill in an important third season. Not only is he expected to lead Miami to the playoffs, Tannehill is expected to become a primary leader on the team and asked to master a new offense under first-year coordinator Bill Lazor. Tannehill had some ups and downs this offseason. But Tannehill is showing growth, especially in the leadership department. Tannehill has not been afraid to challenge teammates when things aren't going well. The Dolphins must see more of that from their young quarterback this season.
1. Dolphins offensive line: It's official that Miami will have five new starters in Week 1 compared to a year ago. That is not good news. The Dolphins have their foundation pulled from under them this week when Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey went under the knife for major hip surgery. Pouncey is expected to miss about 3-4 months, which could keep him out for all of September. Pouncey is the quarterback of the offensive line and will be missed. It also doesn't help that Miami will face two AFC East opponents -- the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills -- in the first two weeks of the season.
2. Knowshon Moreno, running back: Also going under the knife is Miami's big free-agent pickup at running back. Something looked suspicious with Moreno this offseason. He wasn't in the best of shape and didn't look explosive. It turned out an ailing knee was bothering him and he decided to get surgery following minicamp. Moreno fell behind incumbent starting running back Lamar Miller during offseason workouts. Moreno must get healthy in order to have a chance to compete with Miller in training camp.