If the Miami Dolphins were built with balance, they would have young, talented, highly-skilled players with gigantic potential at multiple positions.
In fact, in choosing seven players with “extremely enormous” (who cares if that’s redundant?!?) career potential, it was noted by the Daily Dolphin that all seven play a different position.
That’s good news for Miami’s future.
It’s a relatively young roster with relative balance. Four players listed are on the defensive side of the ball, including at least one at each level. And three players here are on the offensive side of the ball, including a lineman and two skill players.
Not a bad start to building an upper-echelon roster.
These seven young Dolphins have colossal, mammoth, tremendous, titanic, gargantuan potential.
Some might even say these Dolphins have an “extremely enormous upside:”
- Laremy Tunsil, OT, 22 years old — What if Tunsil plays left tackle for Miami for the next 12 years, making 10 Pro Bowls and meriting Hall of Fame consideration? What would all those team owners and general managers and coaches who passed on Tunsil in the 2016 NFL draft think? Miami is convinced Tunsil will be better at left tackle than he was at left guard. With all due respect to Branden Albert, the Daily Dolphin is convinced Tunsil will be better at left tackle in 2017 than Albert was in 2016. And will garner more career accolades.
- DeVante Parker, WR, 24 years old — If Parker can stay healthy. If Parker can continue to upward arc in how he takes care of his body and stays committed to reaching his potential. There is no reason Parker can’t be a Pro Bowl receiver. There is no reason Parker can’t lead the Dolphins in receiving yards and touchdowns. There is no reason Parker can’t make every type of catch: long, medium, short, deep bombs to short screens. It seems Parker will be as good as Parker wants to be.
- Charles Harris, DE, 22 years old — The Dolphins believe that not only can Harris be a pass-rushing demon, but that he can hold up fine against the run in the Wide 9 defense. Harris has an explosive first step, speed, determination and an underdog mentality. In an ideal situation, he is groomed by Cameron Wake and emerges as his successor as starter as early as 2018. Harris is not fully-formed as a pass-rusher or an overall defender. Which is good. This is the point of the exercise, after all.
- Xavien Howard, CB, 23 years old — Howard sustained two knee injuries during his rookie season. And the hope is that he will be able to stay healthier as his career progresses. Howard can cover and is a willing, engaged tackler. His ability to diagnose runs and offensive scheme variations should improve in his second season (though a more complete first season would have been ideal). Howard is hard-nosed, tough, physical and there is no reason he can’t be a starting cornerback for Miami for years to come. If his body holds up.
- Kenyan Drake, RB, 23 years old — Drake had only 33 carries and only 9 catches as a rookie. But he had 13 kickoff returns for 30.5 yards per return. And he scored two touchdowns on those 33 carries, including a spectacular Marcus Allen-like 45-yard score. Drake is exciting. He is explosive. He is dynamic. At times as a rookie he frustrated his coaches with on and off-field concentration and detail issues. But he has made some growth. What if Drake were to become one of the NFL’s most feared third-down backs and return men?
- Raekwon McMillan, LB, 20 years old — McMillan was born after Braveheart was released and TLC asked us not to go chasing Waterfalls (really!?!). Anyhow, McMillan has sound tackling technique and plays with the requisite desire. The Dolphins need to add players with Alpha personalities and they believe McMillan is one. The Dolphins will need McMillan to be a physical thumper, whether he begins his career on the outside (likely) or spends some time on the inside (veteran Lawrence Timmons has also been added). McMillans’ former coaches say he’s smart and durable. Only time will tell what he can become in 3-4 years.
- Jordan Phillips, DT, 24 years old — At times, Phillips looks like a draft-day steal. At times, he looks lost. At times he uses his power and strength and speed to disrupt opposing offensive lines and running backs and quarterbacks. At times, Phillips over-pursues, takes himself out of the play and allows a crater for an opposing running back to run through. What if Phillips became more disciplined? What if he allowed Ndamukong Suh to fully take him under his wing? Phillips should actually be higher on this list, based purely on physical abilities alone. But he’s down here because as high as his ceiling is, an enormous as his upside is, his floor is extremely low, too.
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