Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dolphins sign rookie linebacker Josh Linam

With as much attention as the Miami Dolphins drew when they opened up a roster spot Sunday, releasing veteran wide receiver Chad Johnson after his arrest on a domestic assault charge, that's how little attention the team garnered when they filled the spot Wednesday.

The Miami Dolphins announced today the signing of linebacker Josh Linam, who will take Johnson's spot on the roster and give the team a full 90 players as they head into their second preseason game Friday at Carolina.

The Dolphins must cut down to 75 players by 4 p.m. eastern time on Monday, Aug. 27 and then finally to 53 players by 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31. The team's regular season schedule begins Sept. 9 at Houston.


Background

A Tavares, Fla. native, Linam lettered three years in basketball and four years in football at Tavares High School, where he received numerous accolades as one of the best prep linebackers in Florida.

After heading to the University of Central Florida in 2008, Linam worked primarily on special teams during his first two seasons, notching six tackles as a freshman and 14 as a sophomore.

Linam stepped in as the team's starting middle linebacker as a junior in 2010, opening 14 games and totaling 78 tackles (nine tackles for loss), a sack, an interception, four pass break-ups, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

As a senior in 2011, Linam started 11 of 12 games at middle linebacker and recorded 66 tackles (10 for a loss),, two sacks, two passes broken up, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two interceptions. In addition, he was an Academic All-Conference USA pick each of his final two years.

Just over 6-foot-2 and 241 pounds, Linam ran a 4.85 forty in mid-March but improved that time to 4.74 at UCF's Pro Day in late March. He also posted 27 bench reps of 225 pounds and a 7.15-second three-cone drill.

After going undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft, Linam signed with the San Diego Chargers on April 30. He was released by the team on July 27 when the team signed veteran quarterback Kyle Boller.


Analysis

An in-state prospect for the Dolphins from just four hours up the road, Linam profiles as your typical linebacker. He's got typical size and satisfactory but unspectacular measurables.

Linam projects as a middle linebacker in the Dolphins' 4-3 scheme, but will be buried behind starter Karlos Dansby, 2010 seventh-rounder Austin Spitler and fellow undrafted rookie Cameron Collins of Oregon State.

Personally, I see Spitler as a pretty good bet to make the roster simply because he's a proven special teams player, he looked good working with the second team in last Friday's game and hasn't really been challenged by Collins to date. For Linam to come in and jump both Collins and Spitler seems extremely unlikely.

All Linam can hope for right now is to show enough on special teams to garner a practice squad spot, but even that's up in the air and getting cut before your first training camp as an undrafted rookie doesn't bode well for your pro prospects.


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