Nolan Carroll

Preseason Week 1: Dolphins to watch against Jaguars

The Miami Dolphins will travel to Jacksonville for a matchup with the Jaguars in Week 1 preseason action. For the Dolphins, this is the second of five exhibition games, meaning the starters will likely play a bit longer than they did in the Hall of Fame game. However, this contest will still be about evaluating talent to round out the roster as well as determining what works and what doesn't for positions that remain a question mark.

Here are five players to watch against the Jaguars:

1) Jonathan Martin, LT

No player has generated more debate than left tackle Jonathan Martin over the first three weeks of training camp, and with good reason. He didn't show much promise as a rookie and reports suggest he has struggled in practice. Martin did receive a grade of +0.5 from Pro Football Focus for his performance against Dallas, however, he was going up against backups. He is one of the few starters that I would pay close attention to throughout the preseason. 

2) Chad Bumphis, WR

Bumphis was the one receiver that stepped up in the preseason opener and he followed that up with a solid performance in practice this week. At this point it appears that Bumphis has the inside track on becoming the team's 4th WR but he will have to show consistency leading up to the season. The battle for the final two receiving spots is one of the fiercest competitions on the Dolphins roster, therefore it will be interesting to see if players such as Brian Tyms, Keenan Davis, Marvin McNutt or Jeff Fuller take advantage of the extra playing time against the Jaguars.

3) Nolan Carroll, CB

Carroll is in an interesting position as he has made the Dolphins roster the past three seasons but as one of the final players. That could change this year considering that Miami invested two high picks on cornerbacks in the 2013 draft; Jamar Taylor and Will Davis. Despite Carroll's experience, he hasn't made much of an impact in the league as he has recorded two interceptions in three seasons and none a year ago. He will have the opportunity in the preseason to prove himself but his best chance at making the roster is if one of the five cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart misses time with an injury.

4) Dion Sims, TE

Sims didn't produce a reception in the 22 snaps he took on Sunday but his performance as a blocker was solid. He did receive a negative grade from Pro Football Focus but that was due to the holding penalty he took. Still, Sims has looked impressive in practices and has emerged as the favorite to earn the backup tight end spot. If the rookie can make an impact in the passing game during the preseason it could mean the end for Michael Egnew in a Dolphins jersey.

5) Jorvorskie Lane, FB

Lane caught people's attention last year with punishing hits and success as a blocker, however, his play trailed off as the season progressed and he continued to make less of an impact with each passing week. He is limited as a pass catcher which doesn't bode well for him considering that the Dolphins have two much more versatile options at fullback in Charles Clay and Evan Rodriguez. Lane will need to step up in the preseason to hold onto his roster spot.

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