Monday, April 26, 2010

Dolphins ink eight undrafted free agents

A day after selecting the last of their eight picks in the 2010 NFL Draft, reports have come out across the internet of eight more players signed by the Miami Dolphins as undrafted rookie free agents.

So far, the Dolphins have reportedly added safety Jonathon Amaya (Nevada), nose tackle Travis Ivey (Maryland), guard Andy Leavine (Florida International), wide receiver Marlon Moore (Fresno State), nose tackle Vince Oghobaase (Duke), cornerback A. J. Wallace (Penn State), wide receiver Roberto Wallace (San Diego State), and cornerback Ross Weaver (Michigan State).

UMass defensive lineman Kyle Harrington has also been reported by myself and others as having signed with the Dolphins, but further investigation has revealed Harrington has only received a tryout at the team's upcoming rookie minicamp.

The eight signings give the Dolphins 74 players under contract counting toward their 80-man offseason roster. The Dolphins also have eight unsigned draft picks and two unsigned free agents in running back Ronnie Brown and tight end Anthony Fasano.

That being the case, I expect a handful of the players currently on the roster to be let go—namely guard Justin Smiley and linebacker Reggie Torbor. The Dolphins may also trim a few of the lesser talented players off the bottom of the roster to make room for the new rookies.

In the meantime, here is some background information, scouting analysis, and predictions for each of the seven undrafted signings.

Name: Jonathon Amaya
Position: Free safety
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 203
College: Nevada
Birth date: 11/25/88
Hometown: Panama City, Florida

Accolades: Second-team All-WAC (2009)

Career stats: 236 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, seven interceptions, one defensive touchdown, 44 games played

Positives: Versatile with experience at both safety positions and cornerback ... highly productive with plenty of playing time ... quality athlete with good straight-line speed ... hard hitter with special-teams potential

Negatives: Stiff in the hips and struggles in man coverage ... lacks strength to provide good run support ... didn't play against top competition

2010 Outlook: Amaya has some potential as a safety and at the very least can contribute on special teams. He was fairly highly regarded as a free safety prospect entering the draft and even had a chance to be drafted, so he's not just a camp body. He's unlikely to knock Tyrone Culver or Chris Clemons off the roster, but he does have the ability to earn a roster spot.

Competition: Nate Ness

Name: Travis Ivey
Position: Nose tackle
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 341
College: Maryland
Birth date: 12/22/86
Hometown: Riverdale, Maryland

Accolades: none

Career stats: 54 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, 32 games played

Positives: Prototypical nose tackle size ... good strength ... some upside

Negatives: Durability concerns ... didn't play or produce much at the college level ... lacks speed and quickness off line

2010 Outlook: Ivey has the prototypical size of a 3-4 nose tackle, but that doesn't mean he has a future in the NFL. Like undrafted nose tackle Louis Ellis with the Dolphins in 2009, Ivey has a long way to go to even earn a roster spot in this league. Even with Jason Ferguson suspended for the first half of 2010, Ivey will just compete for a practice squad spot with the Dolphins.

Competition: Tony McDaniel

Name: Andy Leavine
Position: Guard / Center
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 292
College: Florida International
Birth date: 12/27/87
Hometown: Brooksville, Florida

Accolades: none

Career stats: 43 games played, 41 starts

Positives: Versatile with experience at all guard and tackle positions ... lots of playing time at the college level ... solid athleticism

Negatives: Lacks ideal bulk and strength for the pro level ... didn't play against top competition ... not much upside

2010 Outlook: Although he played quite a bit of tackle in college, Levine is probably best suited for an interior spot in the pros. Based on his weight and size as well as the Dolphins' current roster, my best guess is that he'll serve as the No. 3 center in training camp behind Jake Grove and Joe Berger. He doesn't stand much chance of making the roster and will have a hard enough time making the practice squad.

Competition: Ray Feinga, Dimitri Tsoumpas

Name: Marlon Moore
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 182
College: Fresno State
Birth date: 9/3/87
Hometown: Sacramento, California

Accolades: none

Career stats: 90 receptions, 1,374 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns, 89 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 16 kick returns, 365 kick return yards, 19 punt returns, 161 punt return yards, one punt return touchdown, 38 games played

Positives: Good athlete with great speed ... some deep-threat ability ... some potential as a returner

Negatives: Durability concerns ... underachieved in college ... lacks great bulk

2010 Outlook: Moore was a solid yet unspectacular receiver in college and doesn't have a whole lot of pro potential. Return potential will help his chances of making the roster, but realistically he's competing only for a practice squad spot.

Competition: Ryan Grice-Mullen, Taurus Johnson, Julius Pruitt, Roberto Wallace

Name: Vince Oghobaase
Position: Defensive end
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 302
College: Duke
Birth date: 1/24/87
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Accolades: Two-time honorable mention All-ACC (2008, 2009) ... Sporting News Freshman All-ACC (2006)

Career stats: 160 tackles, 13 sacks, 42 games played

Positives: Ideal size and strength ... solid athleticism ... smart, hard-working player with good technique ... pretty productive with a great 2008 season ... lots of experience as a four-year starter in the ACC ...

Negatives: Minor durability concerns and coming off a season with a lingering knee injury ... a bit of an underachiever that hasn't realized his potential ... no experience in the 3-4 scheme

2010 Outlook: Oghobaase is one of the more talented undrafted free agents picked up by the Dolphins, and may have the most pro potential of the bunch. He's probably got more upside than 2009 undrafted free agent Ryan Baker, who ended up making the team and playing as a rookie, so I wouldn't put it past him to earn the final reserve defensive end job.

Competition: Ryan Baker, Lionel Dotson, Ikaika Alama-Francis

Name: A. J. Wallace
Position: Cornerback
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195
College: Penn State
Birth date: 5/23/88
Hometown: Waldorf, Maryland

Accolades: U. S. Army All-American (2005)

Career stats: 98 tackles, four interceptions, 47 kick returns, 1,128 kick return yards, one kick return touchdown, 50 games played

Positives: Good height and size for position ... great speed and has been timed in the 4.3s in the 40-yard dash ... plenty of playing time at a top college program ... strong kickoff returner

Negatives: Not a lot of starting experience in college ... doesn't play as fast as timed speed would indicate ... once suspended for failing to attend classes

2010 Outlook: Wallace does have some pro potential, but he was never able to really establish himself as a starter prior to his senior season. He has an outside chance to earn the Dolphins' fifth cornerback spot, but the practice squad seems more likely at this point.

Competition: Evan Oglesby, Nolan Carroll, Ross Weaver

Name: Roberto Wallace
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 223
College: San Diego State
Birth date: 5/10/86
Hometown: Oceanside, California

Accolades: none

Career stats: 73 receptions, 940 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns, 31 games played

Positives: Ideal size and bulk ... great speed for his size with a 4.4 40-yard dash against the wind at his pro day ... some upside

Negatives: Doesn't have great hands ... still raw as a receiver and is more of a physical specimen than a football player ... average jumping ability ... doesn't really stretch the field

2010 Outlook: Wallace's blend of size and speed makes him an ideal practice squad candidate, but he's nowhere near ready to contribute at the pro level. He's a practice squad candidate only.

Competition: Ryan Grice-Mullen, Taurus Johnson, Marlon Moore, Julius Pruitt

Name: Ross Weaver
Position: Cornerback
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 108
College: Michigan State
Birth date: 1/9/87
Hometown: Southfield, Michigan

Accolades: none

Career stats: 86 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, one interception, 41 games played

Positives: Good height for position ... lots of experience at the college level ... good intangibles and was a team captain

Negatives: Wasn't very productive ... lost starting job to a sophomore during as a senior ... missed 2006 season with broken ankle ... limited upside

2010 Outlook: Wallace wasn't much of a college player and has a long way to go before he's ready to play in the NFL. He's probably just a camp body and will be trying to impress the staff enough to earn a roster spot.

Competition: Evan Oglesby, Nolan Carroll, A. J. Wallace

Closing thoughts

Now into their third season running things in Miami, Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland have signed their smallest crop of undrafted rookie free agents yet as the roster becomes more and more their own.

As usual, there is a nice mix of camp bodies and guys with some real NFL potential, and I'm much more excited about some of these signings than others.

Safety Jonathon Amaya and defensive end Vince Oghobaase are my current favorites, as I feel they have the most upside of these seven and thus the best chances to earn roster spots with the Dolphins.

Obviously, Amaya and Oghobaase are also strong candidates for the practice squad in the event they don't make the active roster. Meanwhile, Roberto Wallace's physical tools make him an intriguing practice squad candidate as well, and I think A. J. Wallace could find a home on the developmental squad too.

The Dolphins will likely sign a few more undrafted free agents between now and training camp in July. These players will report the first rookie minicamp this upcoming Friday, which will also include a crop of undrafted players participating on a tryout basis in hopes of landing a contract.

In particular, it wouldn't surprise me to see the team add another body at tight end, offensive tackle, strong safety, and maybe even kicker or punter to spell Dan Carpenter or Brandon Fields in training camp.

What do you think about the undrafted free agents signed by the Dolphins? Share your thoughts on the forum here!