When the lockout is finally over, the first order of business for Jeff Ireland and the Miami Dolphins will be fill out their roster with Undrafted Free Agents (UFAs). These are players who did not get drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft and, in a normal year, some would have been picked up by NFL teams in the hours following the draft. I suggest that you should not ignore the significance of these pick-ups — please remember Dan Carpenter and Devone Bess were both UFAs.
In my previous articles about UFAs, I took a look at Pat Devlin, (QB out of Delaware) and Derrick Locke (RB out of Kentucky). So, who are some of the other UFAs the Dolphins should be looking at? What about Justin Boren? Boren is an offensive left guard (LG) out of the Ohio State University. He has average size of 6’3″ and 309 pounds with below average arm length of 32″ — take note for comparison that Mike Pouncey is 6’5″ and 303 pounds with 32.25″ arm length. At the Combine, Boren showed above average upper body strength (28 reps in the bench press) and average lower body strength (96″ in the broad jump) along with good quickness (7.57 seconds in the three cone drill).
Let’s take a look at Justin Boren in comparison to other guards in the 2011 NFL Draft. In the table below, I have compared Boren’s 2010 stats with six top guards selected. Boren was projected to be a 6-7 round draft pick.
Justin Boren was a 2nd Team AP All-American in 2010 and was 1st Team All-Big Ten in both 2010 & 2009. He had 39 college career starts both at Ohio State in 2010 & 2009 and at Michigan in 2007 (playing next to Jake Long) & 2006 — he sat out 2008 due to the college transfer. Boren made all his starts at LG — a specific offensive line position of need for the Dolphins. At Ohio State in 2010, the team rushed for a total 2,636 yards with an average 5.25 YPA. Boren uses his hands well in pass protection and is a stout against the bull rush. He is a productive run blocker who plays tough and can move defenders off the ball, but is only adequate in space and needs to refine his footwork.
The Dolphins currently have Richie Incognito and John Jerry slotted to start at the guard positions along with Pouncey at center. However, both Incognito and Jerry are natural right guards. The Dolphins also have Ray Feinga, Joe Berger, Pat McQuistan and Matt Kopa as back-ups. Guard postion was and still is one of the weakest offensive positions on the Dolphins. There are rumors flying around that they may bring in a veteran to help bulster the position.
Do you think the Dolphins should sign Justin Boren to a short term contract bringing him into camp to compete for a spot on the roster? What other UFA guards are on your list that the Dolphins should be looking at?