Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dolphins add undrafted rookies Johnny Jones, Quinton Spears

The Miami Dolphins have released their official list of signed undrafted free agents, and two more names can be added to the original nine, bringing the total to 11.

Joining the previously discussed nine undrafted rookies will be defensive lineman Johnny Jones (Marshall) and outside linebacker Quinton Spears (Prairie View A&M).

The signings give the Dolphins 68 players under contract, added to which will be the team's six unsigned draft picks and soon-to-be-re-signed defensive end Tony McDaniel. This would give the team 15 open spots on their 90-man training camp roster.


Johnny Jones

A Clewiston, Fla. native, Jones was a second-team all-state selection as a high school senior before heading to Marshall. He played sparingly as a freshman before starting 11 of 12 games as a sophomore and recording 19 tackles, two sacks, and two blocked kicks.

After starting only two of 12 games as a junior, Jones appeared in eight games as a senior with three starts, recording four tackles on the season.


Quinton Spears

A highly-productive player two-way player in high school, Spears' senior season was derailed by a torn meniscus and the offers from bigger colleges stopped coming. He decided to attend Division I-FCS Prairie View A&M in Texas.

Spears excelled as a pass rusher for the Panthers, earning all-SWAC honors three times and All-American honors twice. As a senior, he totaled 70 tackles (nine for a loss), 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and three blocked kicks.


Analysis

I'm inclined to believe that Jones is solely a camp body that was on the Dolphins' radar because he's a local Florida product, seeing as how his collegiate career is fairly unimpressive and he wasn't even a starter or big-time contributor aside from his junior season.

I cannot be sure where Jones will project in the Dolphins' 3-4 scheme at 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds, but my guess is that he'll work at right end behind Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, and Rob Rose, while also playing inside on passing downs.

As for Spears, he clearly projects as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in the Dolphins' 3-4 scheme, and he has the speed and agility to do so with some success. However, at a lean 220 pounds at 6-4, he'll probably need to bulk up some to handle the physicality of the NFL game.

You also have to expect that Spears, who was a solid but not dominant player at a relatively small school, will need quite a bit of time refining his technique at the pro level. Thus, expect him to compete for a practice squad spot in 2011 rather than one on the active roster.

As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.


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