Carradine was part of the Dolphins’ final cuts back in August after he started three of four preseason games and registered only a single tackle. The former 49ers 2013 second-round draft pick has failed to live up to his draft status thus far, totaling 77 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble in 45 career games. Since Carradine was released before Week 1, the Dolphins were not required to guarantee his salary of $880K for the 2019 season.
Ledbetter, an undrafted free agent from Georgia, signed with the Dolphins back in May, and started for the organization in last week’s ugly loss against the Ravens. Ledbetter played well in the contest, however, making four tackles and registering half a sack, while playing 66% of the team’s defensive snaps.
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.
We’ll wrap up the 2019 undrated free agent process with the Dolphins, who have announced the signing of the following 18 UDFAs:
- Ryan Anderson, C (Wake Forrest)
- Shaq Calhoun, G (Mississippi State)
- Wesley Farnsworth, LS (Nevada)
- Terrill Hanks, LB (New Mexico State)
- Montre Hartage, DB (Northwestern)
- Dewayne Hendrix, DE (Pittsburgh)
- Tyler Horton, CB (Boise State)
- Trenton Irwin, WR (Stanford)
- Patrick Laird, RB (California)
- Jonathan Ledbetter, DE (Georgia)
- Aaron Monteiro, T (Boston College)
- Chris Myarick, TE (Temple)
- Nik Needham, CB (UTEP)
- Rob Rolle, S (Villanova)
- Cory Thomas, DT (Mississippi State)
- Tre’ Watson, LB (Maryland)
- Preston Williams, WR (Colorado State)
- Stone Wilson, P (FIU)
Most evaluators pegged Miami’s six-draft class as mediocre, but the Dolphins may have hit it out of the park with their undrafted free agents, as Thor Nystrom of Rotoworld ranked the Dolphins’ UDFAs as the second-best crop in the NFL (behind only the Saints). Calhoun is particularly interesting, as the poor state of Miami’s interior offensive line could give him a real chance at a roster spot. Williams, who was barred from testing at the scouting combine due to a 2017 altercation with a woman, is another Dolphins UDFA with a shot to make the 53-man roster, as Brad Kelly of The Draft Network writes.