Miami Dolphins: 4 Undrafted Players Who Could Prove to Be Gems
The Miami Dolphins currently have the following 18 undrafted rookies on their roster:
1. Chris Barker, G, Nevada
2. Sam Brenner, C, Utah
3. Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State
4. Chandler Burden, G, Kentucky
5. Chris Burnette, DT, Old Dominion
6. Michael Clay, LB, Oregon
7. Jasper Collins, WR, Mount Union
8. A.J. Francis, DT, Maryland
9. Courtney Gardner, WR, Sierra College
10. Alonzo Highsmith, LB, Arkansas
11. David Hinds, LB, Florida Atlantic
12. Keelan Johnson, S, Arizona State
13. Jordan Kovacs, S, Michigan
14. Ina Liaina, FB, San Jose State
15. Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
16. Tristan Okpalaugo, DE, Fresno State
17. Emeka Onyenekwu, DE, Louisiana Lafayette
18. Brian Thomas, G, Texas A&M
Is there a Cameron Wake or Davone Bess in the bunch? The following slides will highlight four players who may be diamonds in the rough.
Jasper Collins, WR, Mount Union
In 52 career games, Jasper Collins made 232 receptions for 3,527 yards and 37 touchdowns, and returned three punts for touchdowns. Collins went undrafted because he played Division III football at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, and NFL scouts had concerns about his level of competition.
Surprisingly, Mount Union also produced current professional starters, Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts.
Some players from small schools cannot sustain their production at a higher level, while others excel at any level. The Miami Dolphins hope Jasper Collins is in the latter group.
Michael Clay, LB, Oregon
Any team could use an ultra-productive linebacker such as Michael Clay. The Oregon standout made 203 tackles in his last two collegiate seasons and was the 2013 Fiesta Bowl Defensive Player of the Game.
Dion Jordan's teammate has special teams ace written all over him, but can he climb higher on the NFL ladder?
Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State
No undrafted rookie in the Dolphins camp has received more attention than Chad Bumphis. Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel has consistently praised Bumphis' performance in practice.
At 5'10" 196 pounds, Bumphis has drawn comparisons to Davone Bess with his lack of speed, although he ran a respectable 40-yard dash (4.52 seconds) in the Bulldogs' pro day.
Like Bess, all Bumphis did was produce. In the top-notch Southeastern Conference, he caught 159 balls for 2,270 yards and 24 touchdowns.
While making the Dolphins' roster as a receiver is no longer a walk in the park, Bumphis does have a fighting chance.
Courtney Gardner, WR, Sierra College
Courtney Gardner has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL, but may be held back by lack of discipline. The good news is that Gardner is 6'3", 215 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4 range.
The bad news is that after being a junior college All-American at Sierra College and receiving offers from Oklahoma and LSU, Gardner failed to play in the NCAA because of academic and off-field issues.
Gardner was arrested twice in Nevada for possession of alcohol as a minor and obstructing a police officer. He also had issues meeting NCAA academic standards.
There is no doubt that Gardner has a short leash, but there is less doubt that he is a physical specimen. That's even more good news: Courtney Gardner is still on the roster.