The NFL like other sports is measured by tons of different numbers. Stats, percentages, numbers on the uniforms, dollar amounts, all are followed daily by a people across the globe. With the 2012 season now over and the Dolphins looking ahead to the draft in April, here is a look back at some of the numbers that stand out for the 2012 Miami Dolphins.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
The number of starts by Ryan Tannehill in his college career at Texas A&M and equaled this season with 16 regular season starts and 3 preseason starts. Tannehill did not have a full 3-4 years of playing QB in college so he is still very young in terms of playing time and experience at the position. For him to get 19 full NFL games under his belt his rookie year should do well for the Dolphins as they move forward and surround him with more weapons.
The number of draft picks the Dolphins made in 2012, and have at their disposal for the 2013 draft as well. Earlier in the decade the Dolphins traded too many picks leaving a large lack of depth as the years passed. Recently the Dolphins have begun to reverse that with the possibility to have 18 selections the past two drafts rather than the assigned minimum of 14. Those four extra picks are how teams are able to absorb misses on draft day, as well as fill in holes on the roster. If Miami can somehow land an extra pick or two for next season, the results could be extremely positive provided they don’t miss on too many selections.
Wins in the 2012 campaign, one more than 2011. Coming in with a rookie head coach, a rookie starting quarterback, winning one more game than the previous year should be looked at as a win. Were it not for a couple of missed field goals early in the year, the Dolphins could have added an extra win or two to their resume. Regardless, playing for a shot at the postseason all the way into week 16 of the NFL season after starting the previous year 0-7 is quite a turnaround, albeit still a bit disappointing for a fan base clamoring to make the playoffs.
The amount of rookies who saw a decent amount of playing time this season for Miami signifying a shift into a youth movement to build around franchise QB Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill, RB Lamar Miller, OT Jonathan Martin, WR Rishard Mathews, FB Jorvorskie Lane, and DE Olivier Vernon all saw significant playing time this season, possibly giving them a jump on their second seasons in terms of experience. Other rookies also saw time on the field for Miami but not enough to be considered part of the Dolphins future outside of specified roles. Kick returner Marcus Thigpen, DT Kheeston Randall, and OLB Josh Kaddu all saw limited snaps mostly on special teams and hope to gain larger roles on the team going into next season. None of the three are guaranteed that chance however as they could be caught up in the numbers game if the Dolphins are able to make significant impacts on the roster during free agency and the draft.
Production from third round draft choice Michael Egnew whom the Dolphins had high hopes would be a safety valve for Tannehill in their rookie years. In a season that saw Miami use a double digit amount of rookies, it was very disheartening to get zero production out of Egnew. The Dolphins must get some value out of Egnew going forward and there is at least some hope that he can start to contribute as former draft picks Paul Soliai and Reshad Jones were also unproductive players early in their careers and now are Pro Bowl caliber starters on the Dolphin defense. Egnew needs to try and earn some playing time in 2013 and possibly be a valuable player for the team in 2014 and beyond.