Jalen Davis

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.

Dolphins Cut CB Dee Delaney

Dee Delaney‘s stint with the Dolphins lasted only four days. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Miami has cut the defensive back. Cornerback Jalen Davis has been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

Delaney, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Miami, caught on with the Jaguars after the draft. He eventually landed on the team’s practice squad, and he was promoted to the active roster in late October. He ended up appearing in two games with Jacksonville, playing mostly on special teams.

He was waived by the Jaguars earlier this week, and the Dolphins ended up claiming the 23-year-old. The team placed tight end A.J. Derby on the practice squad to create an open roster spot.

Davis, an undrafted rookie out of Utah State, has spent the majority of the season on the Dolphins’ practice squad. He’ll be sliding into the bottom of a cornerbacks depth chart that already features Xavien Howard, Bobby McCainCornell Armstrong, and Torry McTyer (2017 third-rounder Cordrea Tankersley was previously placed on the injured reserve).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Miami Dolphins

Claimed:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

Practice squad:

New England Patriots

Claimed:

Placed on injured reserve:

Practice squad:

New York Jets

Practice squad:

Dolphins Cut Roster To 53

The Miami Dolphins are the latest team to cut their roster all the way down to the required 53 players. Here are their latest moves:

Waived:

Waived/Injured

Terminated vested veteran

Overall, not too many surprises. It looks like the Dolphins will be keeping three quarterbacks, with both Brock Osweiler and David Fales making the team.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, RG3, Ravens, Browns

The Dolphins made a number of moves this offseason, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the team was focused on improving the locker-room culture. The front office deliberately pursued team-first players who would “buy in, be diligent about studying and preparation, and do things the way the staff wanted.”

While the organization may have been focused on shifting the culture, quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t believe there was a culture issue in the first place.

“I don’t think we had a bad culture,” he said. “I think the guys that we brought in have already bought in and now we’re fully aligned and we can just drive forward. I think that’s a big factor in the performance of teams is everyone being on the same page.”

On the flip side, Jackson writes that safety Reshad Jones did admit that he’s already seen improvements to the team’s mindset.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Jackson notes that Dolphins undrafted rookie cornerback Jalen Davis received a $20K signing bonus on top of his $25K in guaranteed money. The writer wonders if the defensive back could end up sticking around, especially since he earned the most money among the team’s undrafted free agents. Linebacker Mike McCray received $12K in guaranteed money and and a $1oK signing bonus.
  • The Ravens added quarterback Robert Griffin III earlier this offseason, and they subsequently drafted signal-caller Lamar Jackson. While the rookie will surely provide the 28-year-old with some competition for backup reps, Griffin told Mike Jones of USA Today that the draft selection wasn’t a slight at himself or Joe Flacco. “When they drafted Lamar, I didn’t look at it as a shot at me or a shot at Joe,” Griffin said. “It was ‘OK, Lamar is coming in here, and it’s our job to help him learn the offense and help him compete.’ So, for me, my job is to show them that I’m an asset to the team and not a detriment. … One (reporter) asked me if I was trying to showcase for other teams. No, my focus is, ‘I’m a Baltimore Raven. I’m showcasing to them that this is where I’m supposed to be.’ ”
  • The Browns made several personnel changes today. ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi writes that personnel executives Chisom Opara and Bobby Vega (as well as area scout Patrick Moore) have left the organization. Grossi also notes that general manager John Dorsey could end up pursuing former NFL linebacker and current radio host Matt Wilhelm for a front-office gig.
  • We heard earlier today that the Patriots and tight end Rob Gronkowski were zeroing in on a new contract.

Dolphins Add 13 UDFAs

With several teams yet to hold their rookie minicamps, more undrafted free agent classes are being finalized. Here is the latest one, coming out of Miami:

Davis earned All-American acclaim for his 2017 season — five interceptions and 20 passes defensed — and set the Aggies’ school record with 48 passes defensed. In addition to the two Florida Atlantic-honed talents, the Dolphins brought in two players from Division II’s Mountain East Conference in Mathieu and Redmon.

Joseph and Gravelle figure to be competition for seventh-round rookie kicker Jason Sanders and longtime long snapper John Denney, respectively. Denney has been Miami’s specialty snapper for 13 seasons. Joseph has more experience kicking in higher-stakes games than Sanders, with the UDFA being a four-year kicker for the Owls. Sanders was New Mexico’s kicker for two seasons, so this could be a fairly even competition at its outset. Joseph finished as Florida Atlantic’s all-time scoring leader.