The Miami Dolphins finished the 2020 NFL season with a 10-6 record, just missing out on the playoffs. However, the team has made some serious additions over the offseason that could help them get over the hump and back into the postseason.
But before the Dolphins even think about the playoffs, there's a lot that needs to be figured out before then. Miami's opening night lineup is far from decided, which is why the Dolphins are using their training camp to decide who deserves each of the team's starting roles.
Here's a look at three key training camp battles for the Dolphins this offseason.
Miami Dolphins Training Camp Battles
1. No. 1 Wide Receiver: DeVante Parker, Will Fuller V, Jaylen Waddle
The Dolphins will begin the new campaign with a trio of talented wideouts in DeVante Parker, Will Fuller V and Jaylen Waddle. While all three men will likely be starters throughout the year, only one of them can earn the arbitrary distinction of being the No. 1 wide receiver on the team. And the thing is that each man can make a solid case for the honor. This will be Parker's seventh season with the Dolphins and will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing campaign that saw him record just 793 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns following a breakout performance in 2019. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are paying Fuller $10 million this season for a reason and that's not the type of money you give to a wideout who you expected to be the No. 2 or No. 3 guy on the team. Miami also used the 6th overall pick at this year's draft to draft Waddle, so the team has high hopes for him as well to play a prominent role in the Dolphins offense. Only time will tell which of the three emerges as Miami's top pass-catching option.
2. Free Safety: Jevon Holland, Jason McCourty
When Bobby McCain left to join the Washington Football Team this offseason, his departure left the Dolphins without a starting free safety. Fortunately, Miami has backup options. The team signed former New England Patriots CB Jason McCourty this offseason and has played the safety position multiple times over the last few years. While his veteran experience is likely appreciated, the Dolphins could also decide to run with Jevon Holland. After all, they used a second-round pick on him this year for a reason. While he opted out of the 2020 college football season, he proved what he could do in 2019 by recording 66 total tackles, 4 passes defended and 4 interceptions — including one that was returned for a touchdown. However, Holland is unproven at the NFL level, which is why he needs to have a good training camp to sway his coaches.
3. Left Guard: Solomon Kindley, Jesse Davis
The Dolphins traded starting left guard Ereck Flowers to Washington earlier this offseason, which left the team with a hole to fill. One option for the position is Solomon Kindley, who Miami drafted last year. He played 748 offensive tackles in his rookie campaign, allowing 4 sacks while taking 5 penalties. Nevertheless, his 51.3 overall Pro Football Focus grade shows that there's a lot he needs to improve on. On the other hand, the Dolphins could go with fifth-year veteran Jesse Davis. He's proven that he can play any offense line position in the past and is capable of a starting role. He allowed just a single sack while taking 2 penalties on 1,055 offensive snaps last season, which shows that he does seem more reliable than Kindley. However, the Dolphins may want to use Davis elsewhere on the o-line, which could open the door for both men being starters following training camp.
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