Chad Johnson must fight for Miami Dolphins spot


Training camp finally is here. They allow tackling there and everything. Around the League will count down the top 30 position battles to watch throughout the preseason.

No. 5: Dolphins WR Chad Johnson vs. a whole lot of guys

Top 30 training camp position battles

No. 30: Seahawks running backs
No. 29: Packers No. 3 receiver
No. 28: Broncos backup running back
No. 27: Bengals cornerbacks
No. 26: Raiders backup quarterback
No. 25: Cardinals receiver
No. 24: Jets right tackle
No. 23: Jets linebacker
No. 22: Redskins running back
No. 21: Giants No. 3 receiver
No. 20: Patriots receiver
No. 19: Colts tight end
No. 18: Rams receivers
No. 17: Jaguars quarterbacks
No. 16: Bears wide receivers
No. 15: NFL safety battles
No. 14: Jaguars No. 2 receiver
No. 13: Bears left tackle
No. 12: Randy Moss vs. Father time
No. 11: Lions receivers
No. 10: Cardinals running back
No. 9: Ravens pass rusher
No. 8: Dolphins quarterback
No. 7: Buccaneers running back
No. 6: Steelers defensive end
No. 5: Dolphins wide receiver
No. 4: Cardinals quarterback
No. 3: The Oakland Raiders
No. 2: Titans quarterback
No. 1: Seahawks quarterback

• New coaching staffs bring change. The entire Miami Dolphins wide receiver depth chart is up for grabs because the group isn't overly talented.

• Look for Davone Bess to have a big role as a slot receiver. He's got the best hands and the most defined skill set on the team. After that, it's wide open. Brian Hartline is a favorite to start, but he's been hurt all offseason. (And he isn't overly consistent when healthy.)

• If Hartline starts, that leaves one more key spot open for Chad Johnson, Legedu Naanee, Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Julius Pruitt, and a few other names we can't think of. Johnson beats the rest of the group combined in any stat you could think of: yards, touchdowns, Twitter followers, and name changes. That doesn't mean this will be easy.

• Johnson can talk all he want about being held back in by the New England Patriots, but the reality is he couldn't make it work with one of the greatest quarterbacks and coaches of all time. He couldn't learn the Patriots system, and he's playing catch up with the system in Miami.

• Johnson can't help on special teams, unlike the rest of the wideouts. So it's probably all or nothing for him over the next month. He'll either be a starter or he'll likely get released. The Dolphins haven't invested much in him yet and can cut him easily.

Projected winner: Johnson may not have much left in the tank, but he has more than the guys around him. He should win the job.