Every year, the NFL's players get together and vote for who they feel are the top 100 players in the NFL. Usually the fight for the top position is between QBs such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and any Dolphins players on the list are relegated to the bottom areas, as even Wake himself was only ranked 66th on 2013's list.
As the list continued to be revealed for the 2014 season, it was beginning to look like the Dolphins weren't going to have any representatives, as their usual ranking areas had already been revealed with no Dolphins in sight. Then, to the shock of perhaps the entire fanbase, NFL Network revealed that defensive end Cameron Wake and cornerback Brent Grimes had gone back to back in the rankings.
Last season, Wake had been ranked 66th overall, which raises him 27 slots for this season as hes been ranked 39th by his fellow NFL players.
"He's one of those guys that just walks onto the field and you're like, 'My goodness.'" said Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who was lucky enough to not get sacked by Wake when the Dolphins played against them, although he did get hit once and hurried three times.
The praise that has come Wake's way has come from various sources from various positions. The segment for his reveal included quotes from Carr, Raiders tight end Lee Smith, former Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo, and St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long.
"Cameron Wake, he's got this move that he'll bull (rush) you and then pull you by and get the edge." Long said, "As much as anybody tries to replicate that move, nobody does it like him."
Even now at age 33, Wake is projected to be one of the NFL's top pass-rushers, and now paired with Ndamukong Suh - who has yet to be revealed on the Top 100 list - Wake stands to have potentially his best year ever attacking quarterbacks.
Just one slot higher than Wake is Brent Grimes, who is now best known for his leaping one-handed interception against the Detroit Lions last season, where he was covering arguably the greatest wide receiver in the NFL, Calvin Johnson, otherwise known as "Megatron".
"Calvin and I spoke about it, and Calv thought it was going to be an easy touchdown because he thought (Grimes) mistimed the jump." said Lions wide receiver Golden Tate, "I mean, that guy jumped 35-40 inches and then one-hand snagged it."
All throughout the segment, Johnson is shown shaking his head in utter disbelief and talking about the interception with his teammates. Used to pushing around smaller corners with his size and physicality, Grimes appeared to completely blow his mind with how well he blanketed him all game long.
"That's a highlight play for all highlight plays." said Green Bay Packers fullback John Kuhn. "The guy's off the ground probably higher than he is tall. The guy is a blanket."
After keeping Megatron relatively quiet all game long, it seems that the corner has earned the nickname "Optimus Grimes", and that earned him a lot more respect around the NFL, giving him a leap up the Top 100 list higher than his leap against Johnson, as he went from 95 in 2013 to 37 in 2014. That's 57 slots.
As incredible as it seems, this newfound respect comes on a season considered by many to be a down year by Grimes, as he didn't seem quite as smooth as the previous season. However, once again, with the addition of Suh and an upgraded defensive line overall, Grimes stands to look even better in 2015.
Wake, Grimes, and now Suh - who may potentially be in the top ten - are the cornerstones of the Dolphins defense, and although Wake and Grimes are getting older, they are still near the top of their game, and the defense looks to be extremely formidable on paper. There are high hopes for this Dolphins team in 2015, and who knows who'll crack the Top 100 next year.
> Click here to watch the Cameron Wake segment!
> Click here to watch the Brent Grimes segment!
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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