Hey guys...while attending the 3 days of Dolphins rookie camps this past weekend I jotted down some notes so I could post them here on ThePhinsider for you. Keep in mind that I am not a professional football writer so take my thoughts with a grain of salt, but for those of you who are fans like I am, you'll just be happy to read more info about our favorite team. I'll do my best to keep this ‘neat and tidy' but if you could see my notes you'd understand if things seem a little jumbled.
It was just nice to be back at the practice facility, around all those familiar faces and orange seats with airplanes flying over our heads every minute or so. I hadn't been back there since last season and the excitement inside me was pretty intense, especially when I thought how in the next couple of months I'd be back there over and over to see my favorite team getting geared up for what hopefully will be a very special season. Now, to my notes/observations...
1st round pick Jared Odrick- Looked good playing the right side, showed very quick hands and footwork. During 11x11's on Day 2, he showed a good ability getting at the quarterback as well as chasing guys down in pursuit. He seemed very poised and well grounded when speaking to him after the practices. Bill Parcells drove his golf cart right up to Odrick doing 5x5's a couple of times during the weekend.
There was a GIANT guy playing right tackle. Dan Ryan is a 6'8" rookie out of Connecticut that didn't look bad, but a guy that size you can only hope will pick things up quickly. It's amazing how somebody that big doesn't have a better shot at a job, but at least the coaches can work with him for the time being, and then who knows.
Reshad Jones played the whole weekend at free safety and definitely looked better as time went by. At times I thought he looked a little lost in coverage but by Sunday he looked much more comfortable and fluid in coverage.
Ryan-Grice Mullen is a name I think you'll be hearing a lot as the spring and summer workouts continue. He was signed as an undrafted rookie who played last year in the CFL and is a former teammate and very good friend of Davone Bess from their days at the University of Hawaii.
He was definitely the best WR at the camp, popping right out at me from Day 1 when he caught a long pass beating Nate Ness over the top. By Sunday I was looking out for him in particular and continuously was impressed by his work ethic. He did all those little things you like to see; for example, on a drill where the receivers had to run up to and hit a bag then run their route, he was the guy who hit the bag the hardest to simulate as close to what the coaches wanted.
On Day 3 we got to see him in some kick return drills and again he stood out as the best guy on the field. He did a great job of getting under the ball, setting his feet and taking off at the instant he caught the ball. All his catches were clean, even ones he had to make on the run...I think the only one he dropped was his first kickoff attempt.
A guy who had some serious problems with the kick/punt return drills was Marlon Moore. At one point he dropped three consecutive punts, and while they were all on the run and not easy catches, it still caused coach Karl Dorrell to yell "You don't want to make this team" loud enough that I could hear it from where I was sitting.
3rd round pick John Jerry played the first two practices on the left side of the O-line and the last two practices on the right side. Coach Sparano was pleased with what he saw and I think they are, for the time being, going to see how versatile Jerry can be until deciding if he'll stay exclusively on one side or if they can use him on either side of the center.
The Kicker and Punter both looked pretty solid even though the Dolphins are set at both positions. Punter Parker Douglass looked good at aiming his punts though there were a few that got away from him. For the most part they were between 50-60 yards with decent hang time.
Kicker Aaron Perez must have lost a bet or something because all weekend I saw him carrying a big bag of footballs around to wherever he and Douglass went to practice. Perez' kickoffs reached around the goal line but he did drill 3 straight 55-yard FG's early on Day 3, and each one looked like it would've been good from another 10 yards away.
A couple of guys who I thought had very rough camps: FB Mick Turner, who was constantly being corrected and having to do over drills on blocking. TE Dan Beaudin looked a step behind, went offside during 11x11's at least once and also had to be pulled aside a couple of times. I also believe he had a couple of drops, but I cant find it written down in my notes so I won't say that is a definite. WR Taurus Johnson probably had more drops during passing drills then any other wideout.
After the final practice on Sunday, Jared Odrick and Koa Misi hung around outside to do a quick photo shoot. They were both brought out game jerseys with their numbers on them (Ordick #98 and Misi #55). Unfortunately the one they brought for Odrick was way too small, so he had to wear an old Matt Roth jersey for the shoot. After they were done I was standing right by Misi and I said something like ‘in a few months you'll be wearing a real one of those' and he laughed and said ‘hell yeah'. We can only hope, right?