When training camp first started 32 days ago, the smart money was on Miami Dolphins rookie defensive tackle Davon Godchaux being let go in the final roster cuts.
It certainly wasn’t on the undersized fifth-round pick out of LSU playing regularly alongside Ndamukong Suh in the Dolphins starting lineup. That’s where the smart money is now, though.
With one preseason game left to be played, Godchaux is on the verge of finishing off a stunning upset in his battle with 2015 second-round draft pick Jordan Phillips for that starter’s spot.
That may say as much about the seemingly ever-inconsistent Phillips as anything, but it’s not like Phillips lost the job. For the most part, Godchaux has just been the better player this preseason.
The only exception may have been a week ago at Philadelphia when Phillips came up with an interception of a Carson Wentz pass and nearly ran the ball back for a touchdown, but Godchaux held his own there, too.
He had two tackles to bring his preseason total to six, five more than Phillips, and is still seen as the favorite to win the job even though Phillips has seemingly closed the gap a bit.
Though Godchaux got most of the first-team reps through the first three weeks of the preseason he has been splitting them with Phillips since Phillips’ impressive outing against the Eagles last week.
There’s a chance now that Godchaux will start the season in a platoon with Phillips, but that’s not a bad consolation prize when you consider the early expectations the team had for him.
Godchaux came to the Dolphins a little soft (he measured 27-percent body fat at the combine) and needing to add a lot of strength after he bench-pressed 225 pounds just 18 times while he was there as well.
Godchaux came to the Dolphins then as a developmental prospect and a potential practice-squad candidate, but just as he did at LSU, he has shown the Dolphins an ability to develop quickly.
Whether he’s develop quickly enough to start may be determined by how well he plays Thursday night, but even if he and Phillips end up tied and the bet becomes a push, Godchaux will still look like a winner.
Same goes for the Dolphins. After all, in a short period of time, Godchaux has proved to be a better player than anyone thought he’d be and so the Dolphins stand to benefit sooner than expected from the fifth-round bet they made as well.
“The biggest thing is those guys getting reps and playing as good as they can,’’ Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of Godchaux and Phillips earlier this week. “They’re all going to play.
“We know we’re going to play more than one guy, but those guys are competing as hard as they can and they’ve got their little battle going on and at the end of the day it’s only it’s only making all of us better.’’