Counting down the top 25 players in the AFC East, one player at a time, one day at a time.
Why Randy Starks?
Starks' ability to get pressure up the middle has allowed him to be a key component in the Dolphins defense despite several scheme changes. He has lined up as a 3- or 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 front, and as a defensive tackle in a 4-3.
The Dolphins had a stingy run defense last year, ranking 10th in giving up just a hair over four yards per carry, but Starks' main contributions came as a pass-rusher. He has nine sacks from the defensive tackle position over the past two years, which puts him eighth in the NFL. His 21 quarterback hurries ranked him among the top 10 defensive tackles in the NFL, and his 11 quarterback hits ranked him in the top five according to Pro Football Focus. He also showed great discipline, and was flagged for just one penalty in 2012.
He is seen as less stout against the run (six missed tackles in 2012), and if he were better in that area, he might rank higher here. He still remains one of the more productive pass-rushing defensive tackles in the game.
Did you know?
Starks tied the Titans rookie record for sacks from the defensive tackle position with 4.5 sacks in 2004. The record was broken by Jason Jones in 2008 (five sacks).
Check back every morning as we reveal one player a day on our way to No. 1 in the top 25.
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