Last offseason, after working with Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah at his popular local training facilities, Pete Bommarito offered a prediction:
“You will see the real Emmanuel Ogbah this year. He’s a 280-pound guy who can run a 4.5.”
That proved prescient; Ogbah produced a career-high nine sacks, along with three forced fumbles.
This offseason, Ogbah was among more than a dozen Dolphins who worked at Bommarito Performance Systems (BPS), often under the tutelage of Brett Carroll, director of NFL Performance at their Davie facility.
Here’s how Carroll sized up several Dolphins who worked with BPS in recent weeks, heading into the start of Dolphins’ training camp this week, with players set to report on Tuesday and begin practicing on Wednesday:
▪ Ogbah: He wants an extension on his contract, which will pay him $7.5 million this season, the final year of a two-year deal. And though he skipped most of the offseason program before attending mandatory minicamp, he wasn’t slacking.
“He’s one of the most athletic people I’ve ever worked with, and he’s been here all offseason,” Carroll said. “He’s really dedicated to his craft. We’re trying to keep his speed and strength [high] and develop that” further.
With the jettisoning of linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Shaq Lawson, the Dolphins have the option of moving Ogbah from defensive end to a standup linebacker. But that’s not something that Ogbah has apparently worked on, or necessarily something the Dolphins plan to do.
“We’ve worked with his hand on the ground [at defensive end],” Carroll said. “When it comes to speed and agility, I have no doubt he could play standup if asked to. For his size, he’s one of the quickest I’ve worked with. He has great mobility.”
▪ Receiver Albert Wilson: He looked good in minicamp, flashing bursts of the speed and mobility on display before his 2018 hip injury and 2019 hamstring issues early in the season.
“I’ve worked with Albert for a couple years before the hip injury, and after the injury, and he looks just as explosive if not more explosive than before,” Carroll said. “Every day, I’m more impressed with his quickness, agility and speed coming out of breaks. I fully expect big things from him this season.”
The wide receiver room is the Dolphins’ most competitive, with Wilson, Lynn Bowden Jr., Allen Hurns, Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins, Isaiah Ford and Robert Foster potentially competing for two roster spots.
▪ Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins: He has developed into a capable starting defensive tackle but isn’t — at least yet — at the Pro Bowl level the Dolphins are hoping to see.
“I think he can definitely do a lot more,” defensive line coach Austin Clark recently told reporters, echoing thoughts he has already expressed to Wilkins.
Carroll said the objective with Wilkins this summer has been “developing the strength base and wanting it to translate to power, make sure that translates to burst on the field, which has been on [display] this offseason.”
Carroll said “we have seen his speed increase. No doubt he’s becoming more powerful and stronger. We’re working on his explosiveness off the line.”
All of that is important, because even though the Dolphins want Wilkins primarily to be stout against the run, they would welcome more consistent pass rush from a player who has 2.0 and 1.5 sacks in his first two pro seasons.
Consider this: There were 134 defensive linemen who had at least 100 pass-rushing chances last season. Pro Football Focus rated Wilkins 86th of that group in pass rush efficiency, with the 1.5 sacks and 18 pressures in 345 chances.
But among players who appeared in at least eight games, Wilkins was 10th best in PFF’s run stop metric, which measures what would be considered a “loss” for the offense on specific downs — such as picking up 1 yard on 3rd-and-2. Wilkins made such plays 11.3 percent of the time, which is good.
▪ Hurns: The former UM receiver returns after opting out of last season.
“We’ve been able to attack his training very aggressively,” Carroll said. “And make sure his body is healthy to build on his speed and agility. I don’t think the year off will be any setback.”
But because of the depth at receiver, Hurns might have a difficult time making the 53.
▪ Running back Myles Gaskin: He enters camp as the front-runner to start after finishing 10th in the league in average yards from scrimmage per game. “His speed and explosiveness stood out [this offseason],” Carroll said. “His quickness off the line is impressive.”
▪ Running back Salvon Ahmed: He’ll likely end up battling former Rams back Malcolm Brown for the No. 2 job behind Gaskin.
“With Salvon, we focused on strength building, making sure he’s able to maintain power output in the weight room while maintaining his speed,” Carroll said. “He has very good quickness and his worth ethic stands out. It’s cool to see Salvon and Myles pushing each other.”
▪ Defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter: The undrafted player from Georgia started the Dolphins’ opener in 2019 but sustained a season-ending foot injury in that game, then tore knee ligaments and simultaneously sustained a hamstring injury during workouts away from the team facility last April.
He’s now back, fully healthy and “looks explosive,” Carroll said. “Definitely stronger than Pete was expecting. He should come back strong. The injuries don’t seem like it has slowed him down.”
He will be competing with John Jenkins, Tyshun Render and others for possibly one roster spot.
▪ Guard Robert Hunt: The Dolphins are excited about his move from right tackle to right guard.
“I don’t see why he couldn’t be a top-tier guard,” Carroll said. “He’s got all the traits you’re looking for. He stands out with his height and size in general and his power numbers are there too. And he moves well. This summer, we were trying to make sure while gaining strength that he could maintain his mobility.”
▪ Guard Durval-Queiroz Neto: This is Year 3 for Neto, who was signed to the practice squad three years ago — initially as a defensive tackle — but has yet to appear in a game.
Carroll said there are “athletic things he does” that leave everyone intrigued. Such as?
“He does soccer tricks with a 10 pound medicine ball; the ball is between is legs, he picks it up and throws it over his shoulders as if it was an 8-pound medicine call. He does these gymnastic movements; he lies on his back and rocks back and forth and throws his feet in the air to stand up. Seeing a  pound guy do that was impressive. After seeing him do that and offensive line drills, I couldn’t see why he couldn’t be successful.”
This appears to be a make-or-break year for Neto.
Here’s my Monday Dolphins piece, with Armando Salguero, with updates on Deshaun Watson and Xavien Howard and a rookie signing.
Here’s my Monday Heat piece, with Anthony Chiang, with updates on Kyle Lowry, Bradley Beal, Goran Dragic and more.