Continuing to rank the Miami Dolphins' top 40 players.
Next up we have Nos. 5-8.
No. 8: Mike Pouncey
2014 stats: 12 starts
Analysis: Do not be fooled by the Pro Bowl nod. Pouncey is coming off arguably his most inconsistent season in Miami, mostly due to the fact he played out of position. Pouncey had major hip surgery over the summer that caused him to miss four games. The Dolphins signed center Samson Satele and Pouncey played guard -- with mixed results -- in the regular season once he returned. Pouncey is only an average or slightly above average guard. But he remains one of the top centers in the NFL. The Dolphins are expected to move Pouncey back to his natural position next season.
No. 7: Brandon Fields
2014 stats: 58 punts, 46.3-yard average
Analysis: Fields didn't have his usual Pro Bowl-caliber year in 2014. But he remains one of Miami's most consistent players. Fields' biggest strength is ball placement. He placed 21 punts last season inside the 20-yard line and had just three touchbacks. The Dolphins can rest easy knowing punting is not one of the team's issues.
No. 6: Reshad Jones
2014 stats: 80 tackles, one sack, three interceptions
Analysis: Jones missed a quarter of the season due to a suspension and still turned out to be one of Miami's top defensive players. He was third on the team in tackles and was the Dolphins' enforcer on the back end. Pro Football Focus labeled Jones one of Miami's two “elite” players this season. I wouldn't go that far. But Jones was very good in 2014.
No. 5: Ryan Tannehill
2014 stats: 4,045 yards, 27 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Analysis: The Dolphins could not have asked of more from Tannehill, who earned team MVP honors in his third season. While learning a new offense under assistant Bill Lazor, Tannehill set new career highs for passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating (92.8). Tannehill solidified his place as Miami's quarterback of the present and will go into next season as the unquestioned starter. There are still a few holes in his game, such as the lack of the deep ball. But the Dolphins could do much worse at the quarterback position.