Thursday, January 30, 2014
Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 33-36
By James Walker
ESPN.com’s Miami Dolphins page continues to rank the top-40 players on the team.
Next up, we take a look at Nos. 33-36.
No. 36: Nate Garner
2013 stats: Six starts
Analysis: Garner is Miami’s most versatile offensive lineman. He’s the only player on the team that can play all five positions on the offensive line, which is his biggest strength. That is the kind of versatility head coach Joe Philbin and his staff covets. However, Garner is not great at any particular one position. That prevents him from starting long-term.
No. 35: Derrick Shelby
Position: Defensive end
2013 stats: 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks
Analysis: Shelby took advantage of a strong training camp to earn a spot in Miami’s defensive-line rotation. But his regular season was mostly mediocre. Shelby is a decent technical player but doesn’t have a very high ceiling. Still, Miami’s coaching staff trusted Shelby more in 2013 than rookie No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan, which was evident by Shelby’s higher snap count.
No. 34: Daniel Thomas
Position: Running back
2013 stats: 109 carries, 406 rushing yards, four touchdowns
Analysis: Thomas, a former second-round pick, averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and has been mostly a draft bust. He had plenty of opportunities behind starter Lamar Miller. Neither proved they couldn’t handle the load. Thomas had one big game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in inclement weather, but the rest of his season was underwhelming.
No. 33: Nolan Carroll
2013 stats: 47 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks
Analysis: With Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes on the other side, Carroll was picked on often last season. Sometimes Carroll held his own, and other times he allowed big plays. But Carroll did show some improvement in 2013, accumulating a career-high three interceptions and two sacks. He’s just not full-time starter material.