After selecting just six players in this year’s draft and trading for potential franchise quarterback Josh Rosen, the Dolphins had a great deal of open spots to fill on the roster, meaning general manager Chris Grier had the opportunity to dip deep into the undrafted free agent pool. As Dolphins fans know, some of the league’s brightest gems can be overlooked in the draft, such as franchise legend Cameron Wake, who worked his way from undrafted free agent out of Penn State, to CFL star, to fan favorite Miami Dolphin. As of the publishing of this article, the team has signed a whopping 18 undrafted free agents. An official list was released on Thursday.
According the Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, that list includes:
Ryan Anderson, C, Wake Forrest
Shaq Calhoun, G, Mississippi State
Wesley Farnsworth, LS, Nevada
Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State
Montre Hartage, DB, Northwestern
Dewayne Hendrix, DE, Pittsburgh
Tyler Horton, CB, Boise State
Trenton Irwin, WR, Stanford
Patrick Laird, RB, California
Jonathan Ledbetter, DE, Georgia
Aaron Monterio, OT, Boston College
Chris Myarick, TE, Temple
Nik Needham, CB, UTEP
Rob Rolle, S, Villanova
Cory Thomas, DT, Mississippi State
Tre’ Watson, LB, Maryland
Preston Williams, WR, Colorado Sate
Stone Wilson, P, FIU
Of those listed above, Hanks was the highest touted player among college scouts and many were surprised that he went undrafted. He was a highly productive player for New Mexico State, accumulating over 100 tackles in each of his final three seasons, as well as 37 tackles for loss over that same span. He has a good shot to make the roster as a special teams contributor and will have the opportunity to be a rotational depth player on defense if he sticks around moving forward.
Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams has also gained some love from the media given his evident talent level. Unfortunately, a domestic violence scandal marred his college career and is one of the reasons NFL teams strayed away from him during the draft process. If he’s cleaned up his personal life and the team concludes that he isn’t a risk off of the field, there’s chance he sticks to the back end of the wide receiver depth chart.
I’d also recommend you watch out for Georgia’s Jonathan Ledbetter. According to Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post, the former Bulldog was the third-rated run-stopping edge defender in this year’s draft class, per Pro Football Focus. After working his way back from several alcohol related incidents early in his college career, Ledbetter was selected as a team captain and went on to play well at the Senior Bowl before this year’s draft. His “tweener” size is one aspect that had scouts worried about his ability to translate into a productive NFL player, as his 6’4”, 280 pound stature leaves him lacking the ideal size to play inside, yet he also doesn’t have exceptional quickness off the edge. That being said, Miami needs some depth on the defensive line, and head coach Brian Flores could end up falling in love with Ledbetter’s versatility and experience at multiple positions, as the rookie has played both defensive tackle and defensive end.