5 Miami Dolphins Bound to Breakout in 2014
In 2012, Reshad Jones proved that he has the talent to be one of the best safeties in the league with a dominant season.
Meanwhile, 2013 saw Charles Clay go from a backup tight end to one of Ryan Tannehill's most reliable and explosive weapons.
So now the question looms as to who will be the next breakout player for the Dolphins in 2014?
There are certainly many options, as the team is filled with young talent.
However, it takes more than just talent to be able to put together a breakout season—it also takes the opportunity.
Here are five players that are in position to put together a big year in 2014 and could become the Dolphins' next breakout star.
Jamar Taylor, CB
It's safe to say that Jamar Taylor's 2013 season didn't go as planned.
The Dolphins' second-round pick was virtually a non-factor all year, largely limited by a hernia surgery he had in May that impacted him most of the season.
Taylor missed a total of seven games throughout the year and was on the field for just a grand total of 45 snaps.
So it's not surprising that the Dolphins are expecting much bigger things from Taylor in 2014, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
The 5'10", 210-pound corner out of Boise State was drafted early on thanks to his developed game that was expected to transition very well to the NFL level.
He is a solid cover cornerback and has good ball skills but never had a legitimate chance to show it in 2013.
With a full year under his belt to recover from his nagging injuries, Taylor should see a lot more playing time in 2014.
If he can play up to his potential, he may prove to be a dangerous combination along with Brent Grimes in the Dolphins' starting secondary.
Jimmy Wilson, DB
Unlike Taylor, Jimmy Wilson wasn't ever expected to be much more than a backup at the NFL level.
But after getting drafted in the seventh-round in 2011, Wilson has continued to get better with each passing year.
In 2013, Wilson played in every game, doing most of his work as the nickel defensive back covering the slot receiver.
After struggling in the same role in 2012, Wilson took a big step forward in 2013.
When targeting Wilson, opposing quarterbacks completed 60 percent of their passes with one touchdown, two interceptions and just a 75.7 QB rating, via Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
It's obvious to anyone watching him play that Wilson is on the rise and he is capable of taking that major leap forward in 2014.
The question for him is the playing time. If Chris Clemons doesn't return, Wilson can become the team's new starting safety and his breakout potential is off the charts.
However, if Clemons does return then Wilson will be stuck fighting for playing time at cornerback with second-year players Jamar Taylor and Will Davis.
With that said, over his short time with the Dolphins, Wilson has shown very good playmaking ability and seemingly is only going to get better.
If given the opportunity, Wilson has a very good chance of putting together a breakout season in 2014.
Rishard Matthews, WR
In front of a nationally televised audience on Monday Night Football in Week 10, Rishard Matthews showed exactly the type of breakout potential he has.
In that game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former seventh-round pick caught 11-of-14 passes thrown his way for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
The problem for the second-year player was that this monster performance was his only good game of the season.
But at 6'0" and 212 pounds with great hands, the potential for greatness clearly is there.
With Brandon Gibson likely back before the season, Matthews is almost guaranteed to enter training camp as the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart.
However, he has both the size and ability to surpass Gibson and even eventually Hartline if he can become more consistent with his game.
If he can do this, Matthews can become a very dangerous weapon for Ryan Tannehill and has the potential to take the Dolphins offense to another level.
Dion Jordan, DE
Heading into his rookie season, the bar was high for Dion Jordan after the team traded up to the No. 3 overall pick to draft him.
However, the year got off to a slow start thanks to having shoulder surgery in the offseason and really never got going.
For whatever reason, Jordan didn't see much of the field in his first year, playing on just 29 percent of the defensive snaps.
Playing the role of a pass-rushing specialist, Jordan did very well.
On the season he recorded a pair of sacks along with four quarterback hits and 18 hurries. He also put pressure on the opposing QB once every 8.5 pass plays according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Despite the fact that he will likely enter the 2014 season as a backup to Olivier Vernon, Jordan still should make a big impact when he does step onto the field.
If he can show his worth to the coaches in training camp and earn more playing time, he has all the tools necessary to become an absolute force on the defensive end.
Ryan Tannehill, QB
For the sake of the entire Miami Dolphins franchise, Ryan Tannehill must take that next step in 2014 and become a breakout star.
The sophomore quarterback had an up-and-down season in 2013, but he improved in nearly every statistical category from where he was in 2012.
When breaking down Tannehill's 2013 season, the major thing that stood out was his flashes of greatness. His 312-yard, three touchdown performance against the Patriots in Week 15 particularly comes to mind.
It was the best game of his young career and could have been looked back upon as his breakout game.
The problem is that he finished the season completing a combined 30-of-67 passes for 286 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in the last two games as the Dolphins choked away a playoff spot.
Tannehill has all the tools needed to succeed in the NFL and it's just a matter of putting it all together on a more consistent basis.
With the Dolphins looking to rebuild the entire offensive line, it's very likely that he will have much more time to throw next season than he did in 2013.
With a likely improved offensive line, a new offensive coordinator and another year of experience, Tannehill should be in store for a huge year in 2014.
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