The Miami Dolphins yesterday signed one of their 5th round picks when they inked LB Jordan Tripp. Tripp should have no problem making this years roster if he can perform on special teams the way most believe he can and will. Until of course he is ready to challenge for a starting job in the LB corp. The same can not be said definitively about TE Arthur Lynch who is expected to sign his contract sometime today.
Lynch is a mid-range pass catcher and not a legit seam threat but he can block and he can block well. The problem in Miami is that Lynch will be met with a crowded group of TE’s who all can block but are not staples of a passing game. Dion Sims was last years 4th round TE selection and while he should some flashes he too is not a true seam threat TE. Nor is Michael Egnew the teams 3rd round drafted TE the year before Sims.
Seems to be a trend.
The Dolphins obviously keep looking for a solution at the position as they have spent mid-round picks on one the last three drafts. In fact, Miami drafted Charles Clay four drafts ago in round 6 and John Nalbone in the 5th round six drafts ago. By far Clay has been the better of all the TE’s thus far but even Clay isn’t suited to that elusive seam route TE. That go to TE. He is an H-back/TE hybrid and it serves him well but he is far less effective off the line when he get’s jammed and is expected to get up the middle.
The Dolphins will have an interesting camp battle this year. Clay is a foregone conclusion to make the roster as he is by far the most productive TE but he would do far more damage with another top TE opposite his lineup. The odd man out could be Michael Egnew. Egnew has played sparingly in his two NFL seasons including year one where he didn’t play at all, at least not enough to warrant mention. Last year Egnew showed signs of improving but he was lost in a game plan that simply couldn’t overcome the offensive line woes. To his credit however, Egnew did very well blocking last season.
Is that enough to keep him around?
Hard to say given that last years TE Dion Sims is supposed to be a better blocker and a better pass catcher. We saw neither out of him last season sans one or two plays. He was however a rookie and was supposed to be a project. The reality here is that neither Sims or Egnew are Dennis Hickey players and some might argue that they were not Joe Philbin players either. Then there is Kyle Miller who could be seeing his final season with the team. Miller needs to have a stellar camp but the issue for him is that finding playing time could be a problem.
Adding Lynch to the mix gives the Dolphins four TE’s drafted in the last four years between round three and six. It’s possible that they are the four that make the opening day roster. Lynch however could prove to be an important key. He has the same make-up and athleticism as former Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano. Same traits as well…a mid-range pass catching threat and a solid blocker.