Is John Jerry's Future with the Miami Dolphins in Jeopardy?

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IMarch 30, 2013

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After finding success as both a right guard and right tackle at Ole Miss, John Jerry was picked in the third round, 73rd overall, by the Miami Dolphins in the 2010 NFL draft.

Jerry didn't break through much until last season, when he was named the starting right tackle and played there the entire season. He was relatively average, showing some flashes of greatness but also disappointing at times.

His size was a huge factor, as he is naturally gifted but just cannot seem to stay in shape. He's dealt with his weight issues for some time, and the pressure is on now more than ever.

Listed at 6'5", Jerry can definitely keep a lot of mass on his frame, but when he's checking in at a soft 345 pounds, that just is not going to get it done. In the Dolphins' zone-blocking scheme, agility is essential, as guards are asked to change directions quickly and pull along the line to make blocks.

They also need to get upfield and make blocks at the second level, which is difficult to do effectively at Jerry's size. And as the game wears on, Jerry's fitness becomes essential to maintaining his blocks and staying on his game.

The Dolphins have made it known that Jerry needs to be in shape. That doesn't mean that they're going to whip him into shape when he shows up to camp—it means that he needs to show up to camp already in shape. 

Last year, there was not too much for Jerry to worry about. Richie Incognito had the left guard position locked down, but Jerry was the clear front-runner for the right spot.

A couple days ago, however, the Dolphins made a relatively low-key but ultimately significant move by signing ex-Bears guard Lance Louis. Coming off an ACL injury, Louis was had at a bit of a discount, but his potential is undeniable.

He started in Chicago for the past two seasons and is a promising talent who could fit in perfectly with the Dolphins' zone-blocking scheme. He plays with a bit of a mean streak, which is definitely an asset.

The 27-year-old, if he recovers fully, will definitely push Jerry for that right guard spot. If Louis returns to his pre-injury form and Jerry is even a little bit out of shape, I would not be surprised at all if he takes over as the starter.

There has been talk about pushing Jerry out to the right side at tackle, but if he's out of shape at all, he would be even more of a liability at tackle than at guard. And with Nate Garner around, and the very real possibility of Miami drafting a tackle to start opposite Jonathan Martin, it would seem like Jerry very well could be the odd man out.

With his history of weight issues and inconsistency, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.