Let's continue on with our camp preview with a look at the fullback position.
Cory Schlesinger: 6'1, 246, 13th year
Schlesinger signed a 2 year contract on March 15 with the Dolphins and is going to be the starting fullback for this team. He's a guy who is big and strong and really knows how to clear the way for the halfback. He's got great awareness both in pass protection and lead blocking. He always seems to recognize where the blitz is coming from when protecting the QB. And when he gets a full head of steam, he can completely destroy defenders in his way. If there's any downside to his signing, it would be his age. But even that isn't really a huge concern, in my opinion.
Many people believe that the signing of Cory was the best offseason move the Dolphins made. Before you think these people are totally crazy, consider this: in San Diego, Cam Cameron had a great blocking FB in Lorenzo Neal and he really understood how to effectively use Neal to benefit the offense. In Schlesinger, Cameron has the same type of hard-nosed, unselfish FB who will be a key member of this offense.
Kyle Eckel: 5'11, 231, 2nd year
Eckel came to the Dolphins in September of 2005 off of waivers from New England. His career started as an undrafted free agent who signed with the Pats in April of 2005. In the preseason, he carried 20 times for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Prior to the 2005 season, like I said, the Dolphins claimed him off waivers. Three days later, he was placed on the Reserve/Military List and spend all of 2005 and part of 2006 serving in the Navy. Then in November of 2006, upon completion of his military service, he was reinstated to the league and spent the remainder of the season on the Commissioner's Exempt Permission list.
As for his play, not much us known due to his lack of experience. He seems to be a solid blocker who can also catch the ball out of the backfield fairly well. However, he lacks experience and may be an off-the-field issue guy, as he had some issues while in the Navy.
Reagan Mauia: 6'0, 270, rookie
Mauia, a converted defensive lineman, was drafted by the Dolphins in the 6th round out of Hawaii. He's a massive man who runs very well for his size. In fact, he averaged 4.9 yards per carry in his senior season. He also has surprisingly reliable hands for a man of his size, catching 10 passes his final season for over 100 yards, including a 22 yard reception. But what he does best is simply destroy anyone that gets in his way. Don't believe me...ask this wall.
Of course, he only has 2 years of experience playing the fullback position and is very raw. But if he progesses the way scouts think he might, he could turn into a very good player at the next level.
It's basically set in stone that Schlesinger will be the team's starting fullback. The real question throughout camp will be if the Dolphins will keep 2 fullbacks on their roster. And if so, which one will it be. In my opinion, Mauia's huge (no pun intended) upside should give him the edge over Eckel should Cameron choose to keep 2 FBs.
Predicted Depth Chart
|1st Team||2nd Team|
|Cory Schlesinger||Reagan Mauia|