Dolphins Rookie Minicamp Report

Joel Auerbach

The Miami Dolphins conclude their rookie minicamp today. Here's a look at the reports from the media from the early performances of the Dolphins' newest members.

The Miami Dolphins conclude their three day rookie minicamp today, with the team's nine draft picks, 19 undrafted free agent, 18 try out players, and a few second year players who have yet to appear on a game day roster all getting in some work. The team does not open the rookie minicamp to the public, and they only allow the media to watch a couple of hours on Friday.

Despite the limited access, some players were able to make an impression on those in attendance.

I noticed Kovacs has a knack for being around the ball. -Omar Kelly on Dolphins UDFA Jordan Kovacs

First round pick Dion Jordan was limited throughout the weekend, due to his shoulder surgery. He worked out on the sidelines, doing drills and conditioning work. Jordan will not be able to participate in the remainder of the offseason training program with the Dolphins because Oregon's academic calendar does not end until June 7. Under NFL rules, a rookie may not take part in any training with the team, other than the rookie minicamp, until the current academic term ends.

Jordan will spend the time between now and being able to return to the team June 11 for the mandatory minicamp working on his shoulder and trying to get ready for training camp.

Fifth round pick, running back Mike Gillislee impressed during the day. Miami Herald reporter Armando Salguero described Gillislee as "good in his first practice of rookie camp. He ran with authority. He hit the crease hard. No shuffling of his feet. No chopping. I like that. Will that translate to anything once hitting starts? No idea. But good start."

Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly mentioned Dolphins' third round pick, Dallas Thomas, who also spent time working out with Jordan on the sidelines due to having to have the same surgery. "Dallas Thomas' only snaps during rookie camp were taken at left tackle, which makes me conclude he's going to be Jonathan Martin's competition as the blindside protector for Ryan Tannehill. Thomas, who is rehabbing the same shoulder injury that will keep Jordan from participating in the offseason work, has plenty of work to do physically to get on the level of his NFL counterparts."

Kelly also took a look at fourth round pick, tight end Dion Sims. "Dion Sims, the Michigan State tight end Miami selected in the fourth round, appears to be in good shape," Kelly wrote. "Sims, who played at 280 pounds at Michigan State and carried 17.1 percent body fat, has been busy sculpted his body since January. He's presently listed at 262 pounds and looks lean."

Kicker Caleb Sturgis made sure everyone knew the competition between him and incumbent kicker Dan Carpenter is real, and something to watch this preseason. The fifth round draft pick kicked multiple field goals from over 40-yards, including two from 50-yards. Of Sturgis, Salguero wrote, "No, he's still not been in the fire of a pressure kick with his job on the line. But the kid kicked in The Swamp for the Gators. He's played in front of crowds much bigger than what the Dolphins will see in the preseason. I don't get the vibe that he'll be nervous."

He ran with authority. He hit the crease hard. No shuffling of his feet. No chopping. I like that. -Armando Salguero on Dolphins running back Mike Gillislee

Another player who impressed Salguero was Miami's second round pick, cornerback Jamar Taylor. "Jamar Taylor seems better suited for the off-man scheme the Dolphins use [than previous Miami corner Sean Smith]. And he said what he's seeing from coaches is similar to what he saw at Boise State.

"Most of it is similar, just different terminology you've got to get used to," Taylor said after the practice. "But most of the plays are kind of similar."

Along with Taylor, Miami also selected cornerback Will Davis in the third round. Davis had a strong showing as well during the day, intercepting a pass and showing a natural ability as a cornerback.

Undrafted free agent safety Jordan Kovacs was another impressive member of the camp. Kelly described Kovacs performance in his review of the day. "Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs was the main guy who caught my attention. At first I noticed he's the runt of the litter, standing all of 5-foot-10, 205 pounds. Most NFL safeties are three inches taller, and maybe 10 pounds heavier.

"Then I noticed Kovacs has a knack for being around the ball," Kelly continued, "and plays with a feisty spirit. He pulled down one of the Friday session's two interceptions and was consistently around the ball. What does that mean? No clue at this point, but flashing is a good thing."

Salguero also took note of Kovacs, writing, "Former Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs, an undrafted rookie free agent signee, knows how to make an impression. He was a walk-on at Michigan and rose to prominence and had something of a cult following in Ann Arbor. He knows the way to draw attention and that's hit. He did plenty of that, taking some liberties at times in the defensive backfield. He also had an interception. So he's got my attention, at least."

With minicamp ending today, the Dolphins will now turn their attention back to the veterans, along with any rookies who have completed their current academic term. The offseason training program will continue this week, with the next "organized team activity" (OTA) scheduled for May 14-16. The team will also hold OTAs on May 21-23 and May 28-31.

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