Hunter Long needs to make progress in Miami Dolphins camp

Hunter Long. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Hunter Long. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Hunter Long was someone that the Miami Dolphins felt they needed, whether because of the Mike Gesicki situation or his value.

In 2021, the Miami Dolphins entered the NFL Draft not really needing a tight end but also not sure what was going to happen with Mike Gesicki. Would he be traded or would contract demands push him out of Miami in 2022? Still, they used a third-round draft pick to take Long.

2021 wasn’t a good year for the rookie tight end and that happens quite often for players at that position. Mike Gesicki faired better in his rookie year but it wasn’t by leaps and bounds. Gesicki started to come on his second season and that is where Long is heading now.

This will be the 2nd training camp for Hunter Long and it should start to get a little easier. He should improve his route reads and blocking assignments. The speed of the game should start to slow down and his confidence should improve as well.

Long isn’t expected to be competing for an actual spot on the 53, he should make the team unless he is simply horrible and Mike McDaniel feels he can’t develop him. The truth is Long has a lot of upside and potential and only needs a good coach to pull it out.

The good news for Long is that he has one of the best and most respected TE coaches in the NFL this year, Jon Embree, brought to Miami by McDaniel from San Francisco.

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Long will have every opportunity to improve in camp and he could push Adam Shaheen for practice reps and exhibition playing time. In the end, Long could force a real competition with Shaheen and that could make for an interesting situation towards the end of camp. While I think both will likely stay in Miami, their roles could change considerably because of competition.