The Miami Dolphins showed marked improvement last season, missing out on the playoffs by a whisker after registering a 10-6 record. Head coach Brian Flores has some new faces to work with this preseason and will be expecting big things from the Fins in 2021 in the quest to go one step further.
Miami had two first-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft and made some high-profile free-agent signings to shore up the ranks. Training camp will be a great opportunity for the coaching staff and Dolphins fans to see what these new players have to offer.
Keep an eye on these players at the Miami Dolphins training camp
#1 - Will Fuller V
The former Houston Texans wide receiver was one of the biggest offseason acquisitions for the Miami Dolphins in 2021. Fuller had a breakout season last year in Houston with 53 receptions, 879 yards and eight touchdowns.
The 27-year-old may be coming into his own in the NFL, and if he can develop a connection with Tagovailoa during training camp, the wideout could be set for another big year. He has struggled with injuries in his pro career, though, so the primary aim will be hoping to get through the preseason unscathed.
#2 - Jaelan Phillips
The 22-year-old linebacker was picked 18th overall by the Miami Dolphins to help shore up their defense. Phillips had a spectacular final year in college, where he recorded 45 tackles, eight sacks and one interception for the Miami Hurricanes.
It will be interesting to see where Phillips lines up on defense. The Dolphins have him listed as a linebacker, not a defensive end. The upcoming training camp should answer a lot of questions about where Brian Flores will use the six-foot-five Phillips in 2021.
#3 - Tua Tagovailoa
All eyes will be on the Miami Dolphins quarterback during this year’s training camp. After struggling at minicamp, Tagovailoa will want to show his teammates and coaches he is the man to lead this team in 2021 and beyond.
The Dolphins have handed Tua the keys to the offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick leaving this offseason. They did sign veteran QB Jacoby Brissett to back up Tagovailoa, but all expectations are that Tua will be the starter come Week 1.
#4 - Byron Jones
Last season, the Miami Dolphins made Byron Jones the highest paid cornerback in the NFL with a five-year $85 million contract. So far, Jones has not lived up to that massive deal.
In 2020, Jones only recorded two interceptions, 37 tackles and one forced fumble. The Dolphins will be looking for a big year from their veteran cornerback. If Xavien Howard continues to hold out, even more pressure will fall on the 2018 Pro Bowler, Byron Jones.
#5 - Jaylen Waddle
Former Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was drafted with the sixth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The Miami Dolphins appear to have huge plans for the young receiver.
Waddle has been reunited with his Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagavailoa, which should help him get up to speed faster. The upcoming training camp will be a good gauge of where the rookie is before pre-season begins in August.
The five-foot-ten, 182 lbs wideout also brings considerable speed to the Miami Dolphins offense alongside Will Fuller V. There were some pre-draft comparisons to the Kansas City Chiefs' explosive Tyreek Hill, which should stand Waddle in good stead this year.
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