Dolphins Notes: Mills, Drake, Ledbetter

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald passes along a veritable treasure trove of notes for Dolphins fans today, so let’s dive right in:

  • Although free agent acquisition Jordan Mills was disappointing in minicamp and was replaced at right tackle by Jesse Davis, Jackson says the Dolphins are still very much open to having Mills man the RT position. The club will give him a chance to redeem himself in training camp and may elect to keep Davis at guard, where he played last year. Zach Sterup is also in the mix for the right tackle job.
  • Jackson believes that running back Kenyan Drake has been woefully underutilized to date and that he should be getting 12 to 18 carries a game. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics support Jackson’s opinion, citing Drake’s ability to win after early contact and force missed tackles. However, PFF also says Kalen Ballage should serve as Miami’s primary third-down/receiving back, which Jackson’s eye test does not support. Jackson says Ballage looked “unnatural” as a receiver out of the backfield during the club’s offseason program, and he even says the embattled Mark Walton could be the Dolphins’ best receiving back. Drake and Ballage will have plenty of opportunity to prove their worth in 2019, which is an especially crucial year for Drake, a 2020 free agent.
  • UDFAs often have a better chance of cracking the roster of a rebuilding team like the Dolphins then they would on a club with playoff aspirations, and Jackson says Miami hopes at least one of the its undrafted defensive linemen — Dewayne Hendrix and Jonathan Ledbetter — will make the cut. Ledbetter, one of the best collegiate DEs at stopping the run, is attempting to diversify his game by refining his pass rush skills.
  • The team also has several UDFA cornerbacks that merit some attention, and the new coaching staff had plenty of luck developing that type of prospect in New England. 2018 UDFA Jalen Davis flashed in minicamp this year, and while the Dolphins have taken a look at him both outside the numbers and in the slot, his size (5-10, 185) may make him better-suited to a slot role.
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4 comments on “Dolphins Notes: Mills, Drake, Ledbetter

  1. crosseyedlemon

    I think that if your a true football fan then you root for UDFAs. Some of these guys have gone on to have great NFL careers. The league should have some kind of award to recognize these players but they don’t. It’s a travesty.

    • aamatho18

      Why would you have an award for them, though? It’s a great honor and everyone should root for UDFA’s, but we don’t need separate awards for them either. What sport has different awards for guys not getting drafted? I’m sure none of them would want to be treated than any other rookie. If this UDFA can win the UDFA Rookie of the Year, can they win the regular rookie of the year too because that’s unfair for all the drafted players. This is the farthest thing from a travesty.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I’m not suggesting any award for a UDFA who has one good rookie year. I think the ones that survive multiple years, retaining jobs against heavily hyped draft picks deserve some recognition though. 17 UDFAs have been inducted into Canton but there are many more than never really got the credit they deserved.

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