The 2010 NFL draft has passed and rookies have been through t-shirt and shorts workouts so I think its the perfect time to hazard an initial guess on which Miami Dolphin rookies will make the 53-man roster, which will start, and if any will make a significant impact.
Any of the following predictions are predicated on the player getting into training camp on time and staying healthy.
The Penn State defensive lineman is a lock to make the roster but will he start? It really depends on your definition of a starter.
If you are looking at the name on the game day program I put him at about 50 percent to start.
Figure that Randy Starks is the nose tackle and Kendall Langford holds down the left defensive end position which leaves Odrick battling with Philip Merling and perhaps Tony McDaniel for the other end spot. Except that Miami rotates their lineman and likely will experiment with 40 fronts. Therefore, in terms of number of snaps played, Odrick will play a starter's number of snaps.
One big caveat to this equation is the Randy Starks experiment at nose tackle. If Starks can't play the nose, he moves back out to the end position and Odrick's playing time is diminished.
3-4 ends don't traditionally have huge statistics so his impact will likely be measured by the production of Miami's linebackers. For now, I will say Odrick will have a limited to moderate impact.
Misi's reputation as a tireless worker, athletic talent, and the Dolphins' need at outside linebacker make the Utah product not only a sure bet to be in uniform on game day but a likely (say about an 80 percent chance) starter.
No offense to Dolphin linebacker Charlie Anderson, but he had his chance to emerge as a full time starter last year and struggled.
Anderson is also a liability in coverage and with as much as Miami was hurt by tight ends last season, Misi is a better fit if he can keep his weight up. Misi will have a high impact on Miami in 2010.
Jerry steps into an interesting situation on the offensive line. There is plenty of competition, yet plenty of opportunity, especially at the guard position.
Veteran Justin Smiley figures to be traded or released within the next few weeks according to reports and the other projected competitors for the two guard spots have question marks (Richie Incognito—attitude and behavior; Donald Thomas—inconsistency; Nate Garner—versatile but not overpowering).
I'd put Jerry at 90 percent to make the roster. Only a few question marks give me slight pause on putting him on the final 53-man list. Jerry has a history of battling his weight.
Some projections in the draft had him being picked significantly lower and while it's probably not fair to compare the two players, last year's third round selection Patrick Turner arguably shouldn't have made the roster.
I put Jerry as only about a 35 percent chance to start not because of fears about his ability (he has a promising future as a run blocker) but because he needs time to develop and probably fits better in a rotation right now. However, with natural attrition on the offensive line he could be a first-teamer sooner than I think. For now, I project Jerry to have a low impact on the Dolphins in 2010.
Miami's second selection of a linebacker was a bit more confusing. While Edds fits the size requirement for a 3-4 linebacker, his ability to rush the passer isn't apparent at this point.
Edds excels in pass coverage and he works hard, but you have to remember that he was drafted towards the end of the fourth round with what was San Diego's draft pick.
I put him at 65 percent to make the roster and only 10 percent to start. The biggest problem for Edds is that the Dolphins have 13 linebackers on their roster right now. He is a low impact player except possibly on nickel passing situations.
To be continued with a look at Rounds 5-7 and a couple of free agents...