Cornerback Kader Kohou was thrown into the fire as an undrafted rookie last season by playing a third of Miami’s defensive snaps in a Week 1 win over the New England Patriots — we can’t say the same about the 2023 rookies.
The newcomers watched opening day from the sideline as the Miami Dolphins escaped with a 36-34 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Brandon Pili, an undrafted rookie tackle from USC, was the only newbie to see time on the field, playing nine of Miami’s 81 defensive snaps, according to footballguys.com.
Speaking of undrafted rookies, running back Chris Brooks didn’t see playing time despite being active, and tight end Julian Hill was inactive.
Third-round rookie running back De’Von Achane was also inactive, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero noted that he’s shaking off rust following a preseason shoulder injury. Second-round cornerback Cam Smith was active but didn’t see the field. Kohou and Xavien Howard served as Miami’s starters while nickel cornerback Eli Apple played 60 snaps.
The Dolphins didn’t ask much of their rookies, and it’s hard to imagine much changing anytime soon. Looking ahead, Miami travels to New England on Sunday for a primetime bout with the Patriots. Achane seems most likely to carve out playing time as an above-average receiver out of the backfield, while Smith and Pili serve as backups early in the year.