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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Omar Kelly: Don’t ignore the dolphins’ unfinished rooks because history is on their side

When you were 6-foot-7 as a kid, it’s quite common for people to mention if not admire your size, especially in the sports world.

But for the offensive lineman, height isn’t everything. A player’s reach and arm length often determine their level of proficiency due to the requirements of the job.

This is why there are instances where the arm’s length of a potential penalizes him in the drafting process. Such was the case with Kellen Dish, who was pitched by some draft analysts as an early third-day pick in the draft, but ended up as one of 14 untrained rookies signed by the Miami Dolphins on Friday.

“I knew it in high school,” said Diesh, who measures 32 1/4 inches, in the eighth percentile for offensive tackle when asked about his arm’s length during rookie camp this weekend. Is. “I will ask my mother to measure my arms. , , I’m 6 foot-7 so it compensates for that. ,

The Dolphins are at least hoping after paying the former Arizona State standout a $20,000 signing bonus and guaranteeing $140,000 of his rookie contract to make sure he picks the Dolphins over other teams that won him an undraft. Chasing as a free agent.

Diess played left-handed during rookie camp and admitted that he was probably too tall to play guard. But he has the athleticism (ran 4.89 in the 40-yard dash) and strength (24 reps of 225 in his pro day) to succeed in Miami’s wide-zone running scheme.

“I don’t know what people see in the draft room,” Dish said. “I’m 24. I have some idea what’s going on. I’m just excited to be here.”

Ignoring players without drafts is dangerous because history proves that NFL teams routinely miss out on evaluating players.

Two incomplete players – pass rusher Cameron Wake and cornerback Brent Grimes – were the best performers on the Dolphins roster, so it is unfair to assume that all undrafted players will be roster fillers.

Since the Dolphins only had four draft picks last month, it was time to earn a spot on Miami’s 53-man roster with rookies like Dish, Ole Miss receiver Breylon Sanders, South Carolina tailback Jacquandre White and offensive linemen Blaise Andries and Ty Cleary. The door is open for ,

Dolphins have a strong history of finding and developing unfinished rookies such as Devon Bess, AJ Francis, Chris McCain, Neville Hewitt, Robert Wallace, Marlon Moore, and Patrick Laird.

Cornerback Trill Williams and offensive lineman Robert Jones formed the team last year as unfinished rookies. Miami made a significant financial commitment to Jones, guaranteeing him $100,000 of his $660,000 rookie salary to take down the Middle Tennessee State offensive guard.

He debuted the season finale, but is seen as a developmental project.

Williams, whom Miami snapped a waiver of after being cut by the Saints before training camp, impressed Miami coaches with his size, athleticism, and physicality. The former Syracuse standout played four defensive snaps in a game last year.

History says that one of these unfinished rookies will make up the Dolphins’ 53-man roster as has been the case every season since 2008, when an unreleased receiver from Hawaii was a member of Tony Sparano’s team.

Bess started six games as a rookie and served as Miami’s slot receiver for five seasons, catching 321 passes for 3,447 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns during his stint with the Dolphins.

Nick Needham and Preston Williams, the two undrafted players who made the team in 2019 as no-draft rookies, had better rookie seasons than Miami’s draft picks that year.

Needham did not make it to Miami’s initial 53-man roster. He began his Dolphins stint in the practice team and was called up for a month into the season, and later started 22 of the 45 games he had played in the previous three years.

The Dolphins recently substituted Needham as a banned free agent, agreeing to play him $3.98 million this season.

Needham’s success as an unfinished player will undoubtedly inspire the Dolphins’ unfinished players.

“To live in these colors, to be in this locker room after growing up right down the street, is what I am blessed to have,” said Miami Southridge product linebacker Deandre Johnson, who moved to the University of Miami last season . “It’s an opportunity I’m grateful for and something I’m striving to make a reality.”


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