Miami Dolphins rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor is trying to beat out Richard Marshall for the starting gig opposite of free agent signing Brent Grimes, and Taylor was able to participate fully in the Dolphins first day of training camp despite hernia surgery this offseason. The bad news is that, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Taylor was burned by Pat Devlin and Jeff Fuller for a 70-yard touchdown. It’s just one play in camp and Marshall isn’t exactly the strongest opponent (he’s good at his best, but we have no idea if he will be at his best), but it’s still going to be very tough for Taylor to nab a starting gig. Taylor is a good player, though, and he received a long look from the New England Patriots in the pre-draft process, so we’ll see if the Boise State product can have a solid rookie campaign. Even if he doesn’t start over Marshall, he still figures to have a significant role in the Dolphins defense.
The Dolphins starting defensive end duo will likely be Cameron Wake and recently signed rookie Dion Jordan, but there is one other player worth watching in Olivier Vernon. Many have Vernon tabbed as a sleeper for a breakout 2013, and Dolphins fans seem high on last year’s third-round pick.
Barry Jackson also reported in the piece that Vernon’s hard work in the offseason to prepare for a big 2013 year has not gone unnoticed or unrewarded, as he was running with the starters in training camp. He and Cameron Wake lined up as the starters at DE, and Wake praised Vernon, who impressed everyone with two sacks. I don’t expect Jared Odrick to make a run at the starting gig, because he clearly isn’t a fit as a 4-3 DE and is better off as a defensive tackle in passing situations (that’s how they used him yesterday in camp). Jordan is still the most likely candidate to start as the high first-round pick, but Vernon is a sleeper to watch and should still have a considerable impact as a backup.