DAVIE (AP) –
In a five-minute span Saturday, the Miami Dolphins improved their depth at linebacker and tight end.
Miami drafted linebacker Jelani Jenkins of Florida in the fourth round with the 104th overall pick, then added tight end Dion Sims of Michigan State with the 106th selection.
Jenkins had hoped to be drafted in the first round, but an injury-plagued final season at Florida hurt his stock. He was limited to nine games in 2012, when he broke his thumb, battled a hamstring injury and broke his foot, which required surgery and kept him out of the Sugar Bowl.
The 6-foot, 237-pound Jenkins played both middle and outside linebacker for the Gators. He had two sacks last year and six in his career.
Sims excelled as a blocker at 6-foot-5 and 285-pounds. He caught 36 passes for 475 yards and two scores last year, and had eight career touchdown receptions.
Sims was suspended for the 2010 season, when he was sentenced to a year’s probation in connection with the theft of 104 laptop computers from schools in Detroit.
The Dolphins also held two picks in the fifth round and one in the seventh.
They devoted four of their first five selections to defense. Pass rusher Dion Jordan of Oregon was their first-round choice Thursday, and Miami took 8th and 16th cornerbacks drafted — Jamar Taylor of Boise State in the second round, and Will Davis of Utah State in the third.
Taylor and Davis will compete for a starting job after the departure of Sean Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs via free agency.
Guard-tackle Dallas Thomas of Tennessee, drafted in the third round, is a candidate to replace Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long, who departed to the St. Louis Rams via free agency. Six tackles were taken ahead of Thomas, including three of the first four picks.
Jordan, who attended the draft in New York, flew to Miami for his first news conference as an NFL player. He smiled when asked if he liked the attention he has been getting.
“It’s different, man, honestly,” he said. “At the University of Oregon the defensive players don’t get much love.”
The 6-foot-7 Jordan, so tall he hunched over the lectern to get close to the microphone, played outside linebacker in the Ducks’ 4-3 scheme but is projected as a defensive end with Miami. He said he weighs a career-high 250 pounds and plans to put on more so he can hold his own against NFL linemen.
“I feel like I can play with the same speed and the same motor right around 260,” Jordan said. “I know it’s something that I have to do.”
To the surprise of Jordan and many draft pundits, the Dolphins moved up nine spots to No. 3 overall to take him.
“I was shocked. I was happy. I was overwhelmed,” Jordan said.
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