Last year, the Miami Dolphins‘ fifth round pick in the NFL Draft was used on an Outside Linebacker from Oregon named Josh Kaddu.
Kaddu played in 40 games at Oregon, starting 28 and finishing his career with 108 tackles, 20 for loss, and 10 sacks.
Coming to a team with an established group of starting Linebackers in Koa Misi, Karlos Dabsby, and Kevin Burnett, Kaddu figured to come to camp and compete for a top back up position with the likes of Jason Trusnik, Jonathan Freeny and Austin Splitter.
As an undersized 3-4 rush Linebacker, he was already in a position of adapting to new surroundings, but due to NCAA graduation regulations, Kaddu was forced to miss the beginning of camp.
This late start impacted his progress and led to an unimpressive pre season that led to his eventual release. Luckily for him his raw talent landed him a spot on the practice squad. His time on the practice squad would be well spent, as he would eventually work his way onto the active roster by earning himself a spot on Darren Rizzi’s special teams units. In Joe Philbin’s season concluding press conference he was asked which rookie impressed him and was expecting big things from the next year. And to everyone’s surprise the name he mentioned wasn’t the ones that headlined this year’s rookie class like Ryan Tannehill, Olivier Vernon and Lamar Miller, it was the unassuming fifth round pick from Oregon who experienced the harshness and rewards the NFL has to offer. With little Linebacking depth on the roster and starters Burnett and Dansby getting up there in age, Kaddu has a great opportunity to carve out a niche and establish himself as a trusted contributor to the team’s future success.