Four Miami Dolphins That Need to Step Up

Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, Daniel Thomas, and Davone Bess have all been serviceable for the Miami Dolphins. They each have been good team members and have their share of fans, but it's time to face facts. They could be on the bubble this season.

These Dolphins are not bad players, but their numbers have not been awe-inspiring. For different reasons (coaching, system change or injury) these guys are not quite living up to expectations that have been placed on them. This current off season has been fast-paced and deliberate and should send a clear message. The writing is on the wall.

The departure of Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett should send a message to Misi. The signing of Brandon Gibson and the anticipated training camp competition with the other receivers on the roster should get Bess' attention. The franchise tagging of Randy Starks and the chatter that Miami should draft a pass rusher opposite Wake should ring bells with Odrick. And lastly, Daniel Thomas should wake up and realize, with Bush gone, Lamar Miller is his only potential competition.

Davone Bess
5'10", 193 pounds
UDFA, 2008 Hawaii
Five seasons: 500 targets, 321 receptions, 3,447 yards, and 12 touchdowns
Entering his sixth season, Bess has been a productive receiver for The Dolphins, but in four years under Sparano he may have been victim of the outdated offensive system and below average quarterback play. Last season he had decent numbers, but he has now become a question going into 2013. Reports are Bess is still a part of the plans, but he could just be depth on the roster. With the wide receiver signings during free agency and the deep pool of wide receivers in the draft, Bess should be looking over his shoulder.

Daniel Thomas
6'1", 233 pounds
Second Round, 2011 Kansas State
Two seasons: 256 rushes, 906 yards, four touchdowns, 27 receptions, 228 yards, one receiving touchdown
Going into his third season Daniel Thomas has the potential to be an explosive power back, but two things have gotten in his way: injuries and lack of confidence. Injuries are a part of the game and I will not fault any player for them, but his lack of confidence when he runs between the tackles is another story. I am not saying he is scared. I just think he doesn't believe in himself. This can be cured with addition by subtraction. Reggie Bush was signed the same year Thomas was drafted, and with Bush talking up a storm about being a featured back running between those tackles, my theory is Thomas was in awe and overwhelmed by Bush's presence. Thomas has the ability to step up this season and be a change of pace back in the red zone. He could also be the starter if Miller goes down or doesn't produce. Now that Bush is gone, Thomas should seize the moment.

Koa Misi
6'3", 257 pounds
Second Round, 2010 Utah
Three seasons: 140 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles, five passes defensed
This will be Misi's fourth season and looking at his time in Miami his numbers do not drop jaws. To his defense he has had injuries causing him to miss games. He also had his best season in 2012 under defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's new system (65 tackles, three and a half sacks, three forced fumbles, and two passes defensed in 14 games). Misi has the size to be a force, but he needs to be more of a playmaker on defense. With the departure of Burnett and Dansby, the talk of needing to bring in a pass rusher this year, and with Vernon looking to step up his game this offseason, Misi should be concerned. But, Misi should continue to grow after a productive 2012 season and with one of the best defensive lines in football.

Jared Odrick
6'5", 302 pounds
First Round, 2010 Penn State
Three seasons: 58 tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, four passes defensed
Odrick missed his entire 2010 (rookie) season because of injury, so his numbers in two seasons are very respectable for a defensive lineman. My concern with Odrick is that he is naturally a defensive tackle and the Dolphins just franchised Starks and have Soliai under contract. They also have two rookies from last season looking to work their way into the rotation, so he will have to assert his position. This year's draft is also deep with defensive linemen who can start immediately, so it wouldn't be impossible for Ireland to draft another one. Odrick is planning on losing 20 pounds to stay at defensive end, according to an article from KFFL.

So who do you think should be concerned about their future and who will end up being a Dolphin long term?

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