Week 3 College Football Preview

Week 3 of College Football is finally here! Hussam Patel gives his top three week 3 college football preview and games that you need to watch.

Photo Credit: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 3 of the 2022 college football season is finally here. Here are the top three college football previews and games from week 3 that you need to watch.

Penn St. vs. Auburn preview

#22 Penn State Nittany Lions v Auburn Tigers. 3:30 P.M. EST, CBS

  • Line: Auburn -3, o/u: 46

Penn State week 3 college football preview

Sean Clifford is the most important player on Penn State’s roster, and the team’s success will heavily rely on what he does leading the offense. Clifford does have some help, though, as last week saw the arrival of one of the top players for the future, freshman running back Nick Singleton.

There were problems against Aidan O’Connell and the Purdue passing game, but the secondary held its own. Between that game and the Ohio win, Penn State has allowed just 48% of all passes to be completed.

Penn State’s offensive line is still looking to show some solid improvement. Through two games, this group has given up a big play to the opposing defense just when you think things are improving.

The Nittany Lions have an advantage at quarterback and feature multiple wide receivers to spread the ball around against the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn week 3 college football preview

For all of the problems the Tigers had least season, run defense wasn’t one of them. They held Penn State to 90 yards and just 2.7 yards per carry in the 28-20 game last year.

TJ Finley has thrown three more interceptions than touchdowns this season, and he will be going up against a solid defensive secondary led by cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

Running back Tank Bigsby should be a featured player, just as he was last year in this game when he ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He should get his work in this week. It’s a small sample size, but Penn State has surrendered 161 total rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground in its first two games.

Clifford and Singleton may have a tough time establishing much rhythm against Derick Hall and the Auburn defense. Can TJ Finley rise up and get the O moving? 

Miami vs. Texas A&M preview

#13 Miami Hurricanes v #24 Texas A&M Aggies. 9 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Texas A&M -5, o/u: 45

Miami week 3 college football preview

Miami’s defense isn’t quite there yet, but it showed off the offensive talent in layups against Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss, with 100 points and well over 1,000 yards in the two games.

So far, the early returns on Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke are as advertised. Working in new OC Josh Gattis’ system, Van Dyke has hit on 73% of his passes, connected with 12 receivers, and heads an offense that averages 9.0 yards per play, can spread things out, and works well in space.

Miami’s defense struggled last year (28.4 points a game allowed) and had issues with tackling and inconsistent play at linebacker. They still struggled early against Southern Miss and Bethune-Cookman.

The Hurricanes’ back seven is untested so far in two games, and had its weaknesses a year ago. They haven’t faced anything like Ainias Smith or Evan Stewart yet, either.

Texas A&M week 3 college football preview

For all of the team’s problems, the offensive line has been good in pass protection so far, the secondary hasn’t allowed much of anything, and there’s too much talent overall to be this mediocre.

The Aggies need to control the tempo and establish the run behind Devon Achane. Miami is 8th nationally allowing 58.5 yards per game on the ground, but hasn’t faced a back of Achane’s quality yet.

LSU transfer Max Johnson gets the start this game. Playing mistake-free ball and getting the ball in space to receivers Ainias Smith, Evan Stewart, Chris Marshall, and Yulkeith Brown has to be the priority.

The Aggies had aspirations of contending for a playoff spot, but now face major questions before the SEC opener.

BYU vs. Oregon preview

#12 BYU Cougars at #25 Oregon Ducks. 7:30 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Oregon -3.5, o/u: 58

BYU week 3 college football preview

Jaren Hall finds ways to guide BYU to victories when facing Power 5 opponents. Hall improved to 7-1 all-time as a starter against P5 foes following last week’s win over Baylor.

The Cougars are legitimately punishing on defense and still relatively healthy on that side of the ball. Offensively, BYU doesn’t usually do anything to beat itself. 

BYU will need more production from the backfield this week to have success against Oregon in their week 3 matchup.

Oregon Ducks week 3 college football preview

A matchup with a talented and physical BYU team will be a good indicator of where Dan Lanning can take his team in year one

Containing Jaren Hall and keeping him from escaping the pocket will be a big task for a defensive front that hasn’t consistently collapsed the pocket.

Oregon was unstoppable in the run game last week after struggling to move the chains against Georgia. The Ducks collectively averaged 5.5 yards per carry while totaling 263 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

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2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Wide Receivers

Summer scouting season is underway and continues with the wide receiver class. Here’s Hussam Patels’ 2023 NFL Draft wide receiver watchlist.

Summer scouting season is underway and continues with the wide receiver class. Here is my 2023 NFL draft wide receivers watch list.

LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte tops Hussam Patel's 2023 NFL Draft watch list at the position.
Photo Credit: MG Miller, USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 2023 NFL draft wide receivers watch list

Kayshon Boutte

The top wide receiver of the 2023 class had a very productive freshman 2021 season and sadly dropped off a little bit due to injuries in 2022. Boutte is an extremely well-rounded receiver. He flashes the foot quickness and toughness to handle slot duties at the next level and lines up all over the field. Boutte is dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Speaking of, the Tigers product hands’ accepts the ball fluidly on most throws and is ready to make a play afterward. He makes catches in traffic, even going up over taller defenders with vertical and toughness.

Kayson Boutte is one of the most athletically gifted players in the 2023 class, who possess great speed, acceleration, and size, and combines these traits with decent hands and outstanding route running. 

The only reservation I have of Boutte is his medical issue. If he has a quality year in 2022, Boutte could easily become the top-rated receiver come the 2023 NFL Draft. Still, Boutte is the top prospect on the 2023 NFL draft wide receivers watch list.

Jaxson Smith-Njigba

At the age of 20, Jaxson Smith-Njigba has fine-tuned his route running and has a great understanding of how to dissect different zones and attack the leverage on defensive backs.

As a sophomore in 2021 he played in 13 games and had 95 catches for 1595 yards for an average of 16.8 yards per catch, with 9 TDs, and a QB rating when targeted of 141.8

The Buckeyes standout has the strongest hands any NFL wide receiver coach and quarterback would covet. He tracks the deep ball over either shoulder and brings in passes fluidly without breaking stride downfield

Expect 2022 to be even better than 2021, as Smith-Njigba will be gifted the number one receiving spot on the Buckeye’s offense. I have him slated as the number two prospect to watch on this 2023 NFL draft wide receivers watch list.

Jordan Addison

The third pass-catcher in this 2023 NFL draft wide receivers watch list is USC’s Jordan Addison. Addison had a very productive season last year winning the Biletnikoff trophy at Pittsburgh.

This off-season he transferred to USC and will play for offensive mastermind Lincoln Riley. Addison is looking to replicate his 2021 season with Caleb Williams as his quarterback.

The Trojan playmaker has amazing flexibility and can pretty much make any catch you ask him to.

The speed element of his game is evident, along with the ability to break the ankles of defenders in the open field. A slippery athlete, Addison is a headache to deal with when he has the football in his hands

Addison’s catch comfortability does not instill much confidence, as he does tend to bring passes into his frame rather than working with his hands away from his chest. The further outside of his frame he has to work, the less dependable his hands become.

He has a chance this year to become to establish himself as a top-ten pick if he continues to play at the level he displayed as a sophomore at Pittsburgh.

Parker Washington

Nittany Lions’ receiver Parker Washington had an 800 yard season sitting behind Jahan Dotson as the number two option. With a prime role coming this season, he’s looking to absolutely breakout and torch Big Ten defensive backs.

Washington saw the bulk of his snaps from the slot last year, and got a lot of free releases. I expect to see him on the outside a little more, and how he handles contact at the line of scrimmage will be crucial.

He is very good at tracking the ball in the air and, for his size, does a great job timing jumps to beat defenders for contested catches. So far in his career, he has brought in 11 out of 23 attempts on contested balls. A big reason as to why is due to his strong hands.

When Washington gets in the open field, he can take it the distance. He snags the ball well and is able to fully extend on off-target passes by extending his arms rather than with pure speed.

Marvin Mims

Marvin Mims has the versatility to line up at all three receiving positions (X, Flanker, and Slot), and is able to execute at all three levels of the field. 

A savvy, natural pass-catcher with reliable hands and very good focus. He routinely looks the ball into his hands and can maintain concentration to haul in circus catches way outside of his framework.

Despite being a smaller receiver, Mims competes well above his weight class and his competitive toughness shines as a blocker. Mims is one of the few receivers in this draft class who blocks well, which catapults him to the fifth spot in the 2023 NFL Draft wide receivers watch list.

In 2023, Mims could solidify himself as a first-round talent if Oklahoma builds on his route tree. He runs the routes in his package well, but a more diverse route tree will allow him to produce more and more quickly at the NFL level.

Honorable Mentions: 

Josh Downs-UNC, Dontay Demus-Maryland, Zay Flowers-BC, Quentin Johnson-TCU, Xavier Hutchinson-Iowa State.

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Jahan Dotson Scouting Report

Penn State, WR, Jahan Dotson (Photo via USA Today)
Penn State, WR, Jahan Dotson (Photo via USA Today)

Penn State’s Jahan Dotson presents an intriguing blend of traits, but with his Senior Bowl status in doubt, his collegiate film has become a slightly bigger piece of his scouting report.

Dotson is one of several Nittany Lions to be projected as a top-100 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, his exceptional athleticism may render him the earliest selection of the bunch. Expect a pass-happy league to value his services with a top-50 selection.

The Penn State product’s game is headlined by truly impressive body control. That ability could see him thrive over the middle of the field, where he draws his most favorable comparisons.

Additionally, Dotson’s athleticism can lend itself to manufactured touches at or behind the line of scrimmage, paving the way for early production.

Jahan Dotson Scouting Report

Explaining the Grade

An 8/10 on the Around The Block scale represents a prospect who could start from the jump if necessary. They should not be relied upon heavily, though.

Given his ability to separate and make plays at the catch point, it is likely Dotson starts fairly early on. If he manages to play bigger than his size, it could be smooth sailing from there.

However, his size and lack of elite production may be signs of a difficult transition. Cleaning up the occasional body catch will be vital. Retaining his ability to block could be key in earning reps. The nuance is already there for Dotson. He just needs to stay afloat long enough to see it come to fruition.

Moreover, it seems my Jahan Dotson scouting report will fall below the consensus. The limitations in his profile garner a third-round grade on my personal board. Yet, the path to becoming an effective starter persists.

Elsewhere, though, he’s seen his stock balloon into the draft’s first night. With a strong pre-draft circuit, that shouldn’t be ruled out.

Falcons Dueling Mocks

Will Stevie start a win streak? Or will his competitors dethrone him?

Falcons Dueling Mock
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Welcome back to another Falcons Dueling Mocks article brought to you by the Falcons ATB team. Stephen won last week after Adam’s dominant run as the title holder. Will Adam regain his crown? Will Hunter finally taste success? Read the mocks and vote on the Falcons ATB Twitter page.

Hunter’s Falcons Mock (@hthompsonNFL)

Decided to go with this route of “my guys” for most of my picks this week, I had to have confidence in my players and myself to pick these guys because I’m getting desperate for a dub. So if you’ve seen them before, it’s because these are guys I’d be pounding the table for.

Round 1 Pick 12: Jordan Davis, NT, Georgia

  • Dear God watching Carolina run all over us was brutal. So here we have Jordan Davis being the first pick of my mock for the first time this season. He is a mountain in the middle of the field who can do it all for the Falcons. He has absoluetly dominated at the point of attack all season for UGA and would help free up Grady Jarrett and other pass rushers, and Davis would help create holes for our undersized LB group to go make plays.

Round 2 Pick 47: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

  • So full transparency, Derion Kendrick is the only guy on this mock that isn’t one of “my guys” but he is still a great talent. Kendrick has dominated in college ball for years now. He is a high ceiling CB who is still learning the position after switching over from WR while at Clemson. Kendrick works well in both man and zone and really gives Arthur Smith and Dean Pees the ability to trust him against opposing WR’s like they do with AJ Terrell.

Round 2 Pick 63: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA

  • Tweeted out the other day that Zach Charbonnet has a very real chance to become my highest rated RB this draft cycle. He has carried UCLA this season and has shot up draft boards each week. He displays good vision, hits the hole hard, and has great size at 6’1″ 220lbs to be a bell-cow in the Arthur Smith offense. If Atlanta lands Charbonnet, the running game will immediately improve and help the team get back on track.

Round 3 Pick 78: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

  • I absolutely have loved Jalen Tolbert ever since Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson on Twitter) put him on my radar. You’ve seen me draft him before, but the 6’3″ vertical threat has sticky hands and is a great contested catch player. Tolbert is explosive with the ball in hand and could thrive as a YAC Daddy in the Arthur Smith offense. He needs some work in the route running department, but would still be a welcome addition to our weak WR Room.

Round 4 Pick 115: Cade Otton, TE, Washington

  • In this mock, I pick Cade Otton the 6’5″ 250lb TE from Washington. Otton lets us move on from Hayden Hurst without a massive dropoff. Otton is just a very solid player who does everything. He’s a solid pass catcher, solid size, and a solid athlete. He’s just solid. He does need to work on his blocking a bit, but other than that, feels like grabbing a guy who will let Arthur Smith keep running the two and three TE sets here is good value.

Adam’s Falcons Mock (@Damski32)

Round 1 Pick 12: DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M:

  • DeMarvin Leal makes his way back here. Other than Jordan Davis I’m still convinced Leal is one of the more logical fits for this defensive fronts. A&M uses a ton of over/under fronts and Leal lines up everyone and gives you juice. Coming off the EDGE is ideal in my opinion, but I don’t hate trying to work him inside along with Grady on twists and stunts. Brings some much needed size/nastiness to this front that’s been needed for a long, long time.

Round 2 Pick 47: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

  • Jermaine Johnson makes his first of what I’m sure is many visits to a mock draft for me. Johnson is a perfect fit for Pees scheme as an OLB or can stick his hand in the dirt and rush out of a 3-point stance. Johnson shows great length in his rushes but also shows incredible power while destroying gaps in the run game, he really could find himself in the first round come next years draft.

Round 2 Pick 63: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

  • Brandon Smith is a BIG physical LB that shows fantastic range and can be a really good asset for ATL in terms of having a guy that can play man-up on TEs. Pees has shown that he wants to play a bunch of man, but doesn’t yet have that TE eraser. Combine that with the fact that ATL might lose one of their star ILBs this coming off-season due to the salary cap, Smith makes a ton of sense as a tone setter and just giving some really good talent on the defensive side of the ball.

Round 3 Pick 78: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

  • Jameson Williams is a walking home run threat for Alabama, it’s something ATLs offense sorely needs as the group here is really missing some real big time talent. Williams gives ATL something they don’t have in a big play WR that can also be a machine in getting YAC. Jameson is still a smaller WR, but he shows ability to go over the middle and play the ball well while maintaining explosive speed.

Round 4 Pick 115: Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech

  • Amare Barno is another EDGE (yes, that’s four total trench picks) and I’m well aware of what I’m doing. Arthur Smith came out after the Carolina game and you could tell he was upset at the trench play, so I really made a focus to attack the front in a big pay and Barno is that next guy. He shows surprising strength for his size, but also is able to bend the corner. A bit of a liability in the run game, but I want him to be a dominate pass defender/rusher.

Stephen’s Falcons Mock Draft (@stevieraylee)

*Cues the Ric Flair intro music* You’re mock draft heavyweight champion is back with another banger! I ruffled enough feathers with my shameless (but successful) fan service mock draft last week, so this week I’m going back to something a little less tongue in cheek. The battering Atlanta took against the Panthers showed precisely how ineffective this team is in the trenches. 2022 is the year we try to turn that around.

Round 1 Pick 12: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Y’all will get sick of seeing Davis’ name in these mocks by the time we get to the draft. I’ve said that already, and I’ll keep saying it. It’s not the most entertaining start to a mock draft, but watching Ameer Abdullah and Chuba Hubbard post a 70%+ rushing success rate isn’t fun either. Atlanta’s defensive front is broken beyond the point of scheming around weaknesses. This Atlanta defense will never be effective if they can’t win at the line, and Davis is a one-man wrecking crew at nose tackle. Plug him in and watch everyone around him get better. My only concern is he’ll be gone before we get a chance to pick him.

Round 2 Pick 47: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

  • It’s a challenge to present new names in these mock drafts, of course. That said, I was happy to see that no one’s brought up the massive offensive tackle from UNI. Penning has an outstanding combination of size and athleticism, landing him on Bruce Feldman’s Freaks list for 2021. At 6’7 with 35″ arms, he has elite length and reportedly runs a 5.0 forty at 340lbs. Penning’s tantalizingly rare mix of size, strength, and athleticism will shoot him up draft boards this spring. Technically he’s more advanced than you’d expect from a small school prospect, but there is still work to be done there. Still, I’d much rather take a player that can do things you can’t coach and teach him the rest. Atlanta needs another option at tackle, a fact that is torturously apparent after watching Brian Burns and Haason Reddick assault Matt Ryan for 60 minutes on Sunday.

Round 2 Pick 63: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, FSU

  • I’m going to enjoy taking Johnson here for as long as I can, but I suspect he’ll move into the first round in most projections before too long. It would be easy to phone it in playing for a Florida St. team that is dreadful, but Johnson is playing like his hair is on fire. He’s piled up 7.5 sacks and routinely finds himself in opposing backfields. He has the size and frame to play with his hand in the dirt and the athleticism to handle the coverage responsibility Dean Pees doles out to his outside linebackers. The defensive front is far and away Atlanta’s biggest weakness, and Johnson, especially paired with Jordan Davis, is a huge step towards solving this perineal problem.

Round 3 Pick 78: Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Edge, Washington

  • Making his second appearance in my mock, ZTF completes my phase one rebuild of the defensive front. Atlanta has been bullied at the point of attack because they lack size and power. Tupuola-Fetui is a multiple tool pass rusher with the size and power to set the edge in the run game. After largely ignoring the defensive front, adding a mammoth NT and two 260+lbs edge rushers in the first three rounds is the type of heavy investment that should pay immediate dividends for the Falcons.

Round 4 Pick 115: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan St.

  • Walker is another example of a player that won’t be available in the middle rounds for much longer. He’s here now, though, and I’ll happily sprint to the podium to get him with the 115th pick. Walker is the new favorite to win the Heisman after posting a five-touchdown performance this week. Walker’s contact balance and burst are exceptional. Pair that with his NFL-ready size, and he’s got the makings of a standout lead back.

Come vote on who’s mock was best over @falcons_atb on Twitter.

Cam to Canton?

While a lot may be said about Jeff Ireland’s capabilities as a general manager, he did provide the Miami Dolphins with one of their greatest ever players, Cameron Wake. Throughout his career in the NFL, Wake amounted 364 tackles, 100.5 sacks, 99 TFL, 22 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 interception. Palm Beach Post has since ranked Wake as the third greatest Dolphins player over the past 20 years behind only Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. With JT already in the Hall of Fame, and Zach Thomas a finalist this year before being snubbed again, is Cameron Wake Hall of Fame worthy?

Courtesy of Miami Dolphins

While a lot may be said about Jeff Ireland’s capabilities as a general manager, he did provide the Miami Dolphins with one of their greatest ever players, Cameron Wake.

Throughout his career in the NFL, Wake amounted 364 tackles, 100.5 sacks, 99 TFL, 22 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 interception. Palm Beach Post has since ranked Wake as the third greatest Dolphins player over the past 20 years behind only Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. With JT already in the Hall of Fame, and Zach Thomas a finalist this year before being snubbed again, is Cameron Wake Hall of Fame worthy?

Early Career

Derek Cameron Wake from Beltsville, Maryland, played his college ball for Penn State after enrolling in 2000. The 6-3, 236-pound linebacker/defensive end had a productive college career amounting 191 tackles, including 24 tackles for loss with 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries and an interception. Wake was also the team’s top special team player after blocking seven kicks during his career with the Nittany Lions.

Prior to the 2005 NFL Draft, at Penn State’s Pro Day Wake ran a 4.55 40-yard dash. In comparison, rookie defensive end Jaelan Phillips ran a 4.56. It is therefore very surprising looking back, as to how on earth Wake went undrafted. While he may not have been as dominant in college as what he was in the NFL, the fact that Wake was repeatedly passed on by so many is puzzling to say the least.

Having gone undrafted, Wake thought he had his shot when he was picked up by the New York Giants in 2005, however he was subsequently cut before the regular season began. Just imagine a defense featuring both Wake and Jason Pierre-Paul is frightening.

With his hopes and dreams of becoming an NFL star in tatters, Wake eventually took a job as a mortgage broker in 2006, watching his peers compete in the NFL with vengeance. Had it not been for his mother’s determination to see her son’s dream a reality, encouraging him to quit his job and focus all of his efforts on the NFL, his career would have been very different.

Having quit his short career as a mortgage broker, he eventually got his shot in the Canadian Football League with British Columbia, yet Wake remained skeptical.

“I had never even watched a CFL game in my life. I’d never heard of a team. I didn’t know a single person in Canada. I was completely oblivious to the whole league.”

Cameron Wake speaking to ESPN in 2013

While Wake only earned $48,000 per season playing for BC, his production levels were off the charts. In 36 games Wake totaled: 137 total tackles, 39 sacks (season high of 23 in 2008) , 6 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries and 1 TD. In his two seasons in the CFL he was twice named a CFL All-Star, and twice named the “Most Outstanding Defensive Player”, eventually being named to the CFL all decade team. Teams were certainly interested now. As such, he managed to transform his fortunes from $48,000 salary to career earnings of over $60,000,000.

Miami Dolphins

After every team had passed on Wake during the 2005 draft, they were not about to do it again. Following his stint in the CFL, Wake now attracted interest from over 17 NFL teams and working out for 8. Not everybody in the Dolphins organisation was sold on the prospect of giving Wake the 4 year contract worth $2.6 million with $650,000 guaranteed, as he was unproven in the league aged 27. Nevertheless, it was Bill Parcels who ultimately was the calming figure in the Dolphins front office imploring Jeff Ireland to take the gamble and to get the deal done. The rest is history.

To make it easier you:

NFL Honors:

  • First Team All Pro Honors- 2012
  • 3x Second Team All Pro Honors- 2010, 2014, 2016
  • 5x Pro Bowler- 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
  • PFF’s 2010s All Decade Team (2nd)
  • 100 Sacks Club
  • 6x NFL Top 100

Dolphins Honors:

  • Miami Dolphins 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • Second highest sacks in Miami Dolphins history
  • 4x Don Shula Leadership Award- 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • Dan Marino Most Valuable Player – 2013

Wake burst on to the scene in his first start of his NFL career against the Bills in 2009, he recorded two sacks, four TFL and a forced fumble. He had arrived in the NFL with a chip on his shoulder, determined to make up for lost time. His explosiveness and killer first step caused even the best of offensive tackles nightmares week in week out. From 2009-2018 Wake totaled a franchise leading 604 pressures. Furthermore, in the period from 2010- 2016, Wake earned a top 5 pass rushing grade among edge rushers every season bar one (2011), while leading the NFL in 2014 and 2015.

With the introduction of Ndamukong Suh on the defensive line in 2015, Wake began to exploit every opportunity that fell his way, with Suh’s power demanding doubling. Unfortunately however, Wake’s season was cut short after tearing his achilles in late October; prior to his injury he was the most dominant defensive player in the league. Having overcame adversity throughout his whole career, in typical Wake fashion he came back stronger than ever in 2016 collecting 11.5 sacks, earning Pro-Bowl and Second Team All-Pro honors while only starting 11 out of 16 games. The following season he added another 10.5 sacks and 12 TFL. In total Wake recorded double digit sacks in 5 of his 11 seasons. He averaged 9.8 sacks per season, in comparison Taylor averaged 9.3. In other words, he dominated.

With the dawn of a new era in Miami, it was clear once again that the Dolphins were in rebuild mode, needing to get younger and cheaper, thinking more about the long term vision, rather than attempts to plaster over the cracks like they had done for so many years. Wake then signed for the Tennessee Titans in 2019. In the season following his departure his value could not have been any clearer, the Dolphins pass rush was none existent with Taco Charlton leading the way in sacks. Wake is dearly missed among Dolphins fans.

Hall of Fame Worthy?

According to Armando Salguero, a selector on the Hall of Fame committee, ” A Pro Football Hall of Famer answers three basic questions in the affirmative.

  1. Did he dominate his era?
  2. Did he do anything to change games and more importantly to change the game?
  3. Do the greatest of his peers think he’s a Hall of Famer?

With regards to the first question, if you have made it this far in this article, the answer is clear. It is somewhat intriguing to just pause for a moment and consider what Wakes numbers would have been had he been drafted in 2005. Again it is important to highlight that Wake was 27 when he entered the league, what followed in his career is nothing short of remarkable.

As to the second question, I will just leave this here:

The infamous play that has highlighted Wake’s career. Wakes presence was always felt throughout games and certainly helped to change the games. It is no coincidence that his comeback season in 2016 also marked the Dolphins first post-season appearance since 2008. Nevertheless, the biggest hindrance on Wake’s chances of being enshrined in Ohio is that unfortunately for him and the fans, he played on a team that was never any good, with a defense that wasn’t very good either.

Wake has more career sacks than Hall of Famers Andre Tippett, Howie Long and Warren Sapp and more forced fumbles than Ray Lewis, yet no rings to show for it. Where Wake was an elite edge rusher in the league he played on a team that was bang average at best, never looking like a legitimate contender. Wake did as much as he could to provide a spark within the Dolphins organisation and although it should not be held against him, it might.

Finally in regard to the third question:

“I’ve been around a long time, and he does things that amaze me. It’s those young fresh legs, good cartilage in his knees. I always joke watching tape, seeing Cameron dip underneath somebody, kind of getting pushed around, then he’ll spin around and pop off the ground. He easily does things that older guys can’t do anymore.”

Jason Taylor speaking about Wake in 2011.

“He’s an animal hes a freak of nature. The guy is 36 years old and he’s playing like he’s 22.”

Reshad Jones speaking about Wake in Top 100 in 2018

“Wake has got this move that he’ll bull you and then pull you by and then get the edge, as much as anybody tries to replicate that move, nobody does it like him. For me he’s the most complete 4-3 defensive end in the game right now.”

DE Chris Long speaking about Wake in Top 100 in 2015

Cameron Wake is worthy of being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The story of his career is an extraordinary one. Through all the challenges and setbacks he had, he is the prime example of never giving up. Wake dominated in the league for over a decade and brought a bright spark to an otherwise dull and grey era in Miami. While he may not be a first or even a second ballot, at some point in the future Wake has earned his place in Canton when he becomes eligible 5 years after his retirement. But first we focus on No.54. In the near future though, I fully expect Wake to be placed in the Dolphins ring of honor at the very least. Who knows what the future holds for Wake and his retirement plans, one thing is for sure, his future as a Miami Dolphins legend is set in stone. Fins Up!

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