With some time to digest the Miami Dolphins’ haul in the NFL Draft and Undrafted Free Agency, I went back to reference my article from before the draft to see which players I included on my list of 25, the Miami Dolphins picked up.
Not to my surprise, some of the players from my list are now Dolphins rookies; 1st Round Pick Ja’Wuan James, 5th Round Pick Jordan Tripp, and Undrafted Free Agent Gator Hoskins. I will reference my evaluations of these 3 players, review the pick up, and what to expect from them moving forward on their path to the final 53.
"OT- Ja’Wuan James – Tennessee – RT in college has all the tools to be a plug in and play type of player in the Pros at RT, has the tools you need to succeed including the mean streak."
Ja’Wuan James at the time was a 2nd Round type of player in my eyes, but with the way the draft was falling, it made perfect sense to me for the Dolphins to just go and get the guy they felt comfortable with plugging in from day one. My evaluation a month ago, even went as far as to say so verbatim. James will take first team reps from day one and will be given every opportunity to start on opening day, with his mobility and long reach, he should be able to make the transition. The Miami Dolphins need him to take this opportunity in stride and turn it into fruition.
"OLB- Jordan Tripp – Montana – Projects to MLB in pros where his limited foot speed can be hidden, plays with great instincts and has very good size."
Jordan Tripp Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
I personally got excited with this late round pick, there’s something to be said about watching some film on a prospect and be able to see an enthusiasm for the game, Tripp brings that enthusiasm to the game. While a month ago I projected his NFL fit at Middle Linebacker, I can easily see this kid catching on at the Weak Side Linebacker position and making immediate contributions on special teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about him one day being known as a steal like Charles Clay was a few years ago.
"HB- Gator Hoskins – Marshall – Reminds me of Randy McMichael, will never blow anyone away with time testing but the kid can play football and knows how to get open."
Marshall Herd tight end Gator Hoskins (26) scores a fourth quarter rushing touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins during the 2013 Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Talk about an underdog, loved this kid in college and I hope he surprises Dolphins‘ coaches with how good he is like Randy McMichael did in his rookie season with the Fins. Gator led college football in TDs for TE’s the last two seasons. Yea he is undersized for a TE and timed at an average time, but he just knows how to get open. Hoskins will have a tall ladder to climb in camp with so many bodies to compete with, but really all he has to prove is he can play FB, get open, and beat out Michael Egnew, as Georgia’s Arthur Lynch was drafted to push and compete with Dion Sims.
This is a big year with multiple story lines and solid contributions from this year’s rookie class will go a long way in helping them reach the playoffs for the first time in a while. I would not be surprised if these 3 rookies I’ve followed through the draft process become members of the Dolphins, are the rookies that make a splash for the Fins. Training camp should be fun! FINS UP!