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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 1-4

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 the top players currently for the Dolphins:

No. 4: Brandon Fields

Position: Punter

2013 stats: 48.8 average, 32 kicks inside the 20

Analysis: Could a punter really rank this high? Absolutely. Fields is one of the top punters in the NFL and finally got his first Pro Bowl nod this past season. He is the most consistent Dolphins player at his job, which is good enough for No. 4 in “Walker’s Fab 40.” Fields has been punting at an elite level for the past few years but finally made it to Hawaii after the Dolphins won a few more games and finished 8-8.

No. 3: Mike Pouncey

Position: Center

2013 stats: 14 starts

Analysis: It was a trying year for Pouncey off the field. He was cited in the Ted Wells report as one of three players responsible for harassing teammate Jonathan Martin. On the field, he made his first Pro Bowl at center and was the only stable piece in an otherwise awful offensive line. Expect the Dolphins to make plenty of changes to the guard and tackle positions around Pouncey.

No. 2: Brent Grimes

Position: Cornerback

2013 stats: 60 tackles, four interceptions

Analysis: The Dolphins weren’t sure what they had last season in Grimes. Miami signed Grimes to a one-year contract following a torn Achilles in 2013. However, Grimes showed no effects from his injury and had arguably the best season of his career. He tied for the team lead with four interceptions and made his second Pro Bowl. Grimes is easily Miami’s biggest free agent and will be looking to cash in. The one-year franchise tag also is a possibility.

No. 1: Cameron Wake

Position: Defensive end

2013 stats: 37 tackles, 8.5 sacks

Analysis: Yes, Wake is still the best player the Dolphins have on the roster. He battled through knee injuries and still made the Pro Bowl this past season with 8.5 sacks. When not having double-digit sacks is a down year, that means you’re a really good player. Miami got a nice find in Wake, who is expected to come back with a vengeance in 2014.

Here is a full recap of “Walker’s Fab 40” Dolphins players following the 2013 season:

1. Cameron Wake, DE

2. Brent Grimes, CB

3. Mike Pouncey, C

4. Brandon Fields, P

5. Mike Wallace, WR

6. Olivier Vernon, DE

7. Brian Hartline, WR

8. Ryan Tannehill, QB

9. Charles Clay, TE

10. Paul Soliai, DT

11. Randy Starks, DT

12. Dannell Ellerbe, LB

13. John Denny, LS

14. Jared Odrick, DT

15. Dion Jordan, DE

16. Richie Incognito, G

17. Bryant McKinnie, OT

18. Philip Wheeler, LB

19. Reshad Jones, S

20. Dimitri Patterson, CB

21. Koa Misi, LB

22. Brandon Gibson, WR

23. Chris Clemons, S

24. Dustin Keller, TE

25. Lamar Miller, RB

26. Tyson Clabo, OT

27. Jonathan Martin, OT

28. Rishard Matthews, WR

29. Matt Moore, QB

30. Jimmy Wilson, CB/S

31. John Jerry, G

32. Caleb Sturgis, K

33. Nolan Carroll, CB

34. Daniel Thomas, RB

35. Derrick Shelby, DE

36. Nate Garner, OL

37. Jelani Jenkins, LB

38. Jason Trusnik, LB

39. Don Jones, DB

40. Will Davis, CB