Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins will get their first look at the incoming class of rookies Friday when the team holds a three-day minicamp.
All eyes will be on the team’s first-round draft pick, defensive end Dion Jordan. Most draft experts pegged Jordan as turning into an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Miami’s base defense is a 4-3 and its expected Jordan will have to add some muscle to become and every down end.
Jordan has all of the mesaurables a team could want. Jordan stands 6’6” and weighs in at 247 pounds. He also ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.6 seconds. But his size, at least as of now, could have him line up as a linebacker in the Dolphins’ base defense, according to NFL.com.
What should Dolphins fans expect out of Jordan as a rookie? CBS4 news partner the Miami herald’s Armando Salguero pegged the sack number at between seven and nine for Jordan’s rookie season.
In addition to Jordan, cornerback Jamar Taylor could assume a starting role quickly with the Dolphins. He wound up in Miami after a health red flag scared some teams away, but he has first-round talent and the coaches are hoping they landed a sleeper.
Taylor will compete with Richard Marshall and Brent Grimes, who are both returning from injury, for one of the starting cornerback jobs.
Third round offensive lineman Dallas Thomas could also be in line to earn a backup job. He played left tackle for a few years at Tennessee and then moved to guard in his senior season where played well. Miami needs help along the offensive line, but Thomas’ best position may be at guard.
But that could help the Dolphins out as well. Pro Bowler Richie Incognito could shift to the right side of the line and help solidify that side and Thomas could move into the left guard position. Still, the left tackle position will also be in flux.
Coaches will also be watching some former Florida Gators in linebacker Jelani Jenkins, running back Mike Gillislee and kicker Caleb Sturgis. Each could play a role in their rookie year and Sturgis might be able to unseat incumbent kicker Dan Carpenter from his job.
Tight end Dion Sims, a fourth-round pick, may earn starting time thanks to his blocking skills and Miami’s lack of depth at tight end. Sims will likely settle into a spot alongside Dustin Keller and put major heat on last year’s third-round pick tight end Michael Egnew, who could never get on the field in 2012.
Plus, there are a host of undrafted rookie free agents who will be vying for camp invites and hope to follow in the footsteps of wide receiver Davone Bess who carved out a nice career in Miami before being traded to Cleveland during the NFL Draft this year.