Mike Pouncey was one of Jeff Ireland's better draft picks. Daniel Thomas was one of his worst.
Accordingly, Thomas is now gone. And Pouncey is back--at least on the active roster.
The Dolphins removed Pouncey from the physically unable to perform list Saturday, indicating they expect him back some time in the next six weeks. It's good news for an offensive line that enters the regular season with uncertainty in its interior.
There's no ambiguity about Dennis Hickey's thoughts on Thomas, however. The general manager was ready to move on from the team's second-round draft pick in 2011. Thomas was beaten out by not one, but two undrafted rookies: Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa both made the team.
It closed the book on a Dolphins career of unfulfilled promise. Ireland, fired this offseason, moved up 17 spots to take Thomas in 2011. Coveted for his size, Thomas never became a bruiser. His final rushing numbers in three years for Miami: 1,312 yards, 3.6 per carry, eight touchdowns.
A hamstring injury kept Thomas out of the first three preseason games, and Williams clearly outplayed him when he was healthy. Thomas' best hope was that the Dolphins would keep four running backs -- and they did. But in perhaps the biggest surprise of the day, Miami kept Darkwa, the Tulane talent who led the Dolphins with 112 rushing yards this preseason, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Should they survive the roster churning that will occur in the next few days, Williams and Darkwa would join Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller in the team's backfield.
Miami Herald sports writer Barry Jackson contributed to this report.
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