Mike McDaniel went to Eric Azukanama before his first practice as a Miami Dolphins player and began to tease the rookie.
The Dolphins’ coach attempted to reduce the tension, with the team’s fourth-round pick increasing his body fat, and the former Texas Tech receiver attempting to reduce the nervous energy needed to bring it down. .
“I’m on four percent,” said Ejukanama, who caught 138 passes for 2,165 yards and made 17 touchdowns during his four seasons with the Red Raiders. “He was making fun of me. We had a little laugh.”
Before taking the field Friday during the first on-field session of the Dolphins Rookie Minicamp, all newcomers — four draftees, 14 unspecified rookie free agents, and camp tryout players — were measured, weighed, tested, tested, and basically Over-analyzed to determine who each player is dealing with.
So, what are these newbies bringing to the team?
The correct answer to that question about a handful of youngsters who will likely get off to a slow start in the NFL because of how deep Miami’s roster appears to be is inexperience.
And with it comes a side of mistakes, and growing pains such as Jevon Holland, Jaylen Phillips, Jaylen Waddle and the rest of last year’s rookies experienced before increasing their productivity in the second half of the 2021 season.
So it is not safe to expect any of these crooks to play a significant role in 2022.
Former Kansas State standout Skylar Thompson could spend his rookie season on the practice squad uncovering a string of Dolphins exemptions until he’s out in the preseason and becomes a developmental quarterback.
Unless Channing Tindall is a football savvy, don’t be surprised if former Georgia linebacker Miami was selected in the 2022 NFL Draft with 102 picks, struggling to learn Miami’s complicated hybrid defense as his rookie. Season spent.
The chances of Tindall, who was smaller than I expected despite being listed at 6ft 2,230 pounds, are slim for one of starting linebackers Jerome Baker and Alandon Roberts inside the linebacker spot. Baker has led the team for three years, and two-time team captain Roberts is coming off a career year where he was not in rehab for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee until December.
So in a perfect world, Tindall, a role player on the Georgia team that won the national championship last time, became a package-based player. That may have propelled Duke Riley for his role as a near-coverage specialist last season.
“The college was fast-paced, but it’s even faster here,” Tindall said after Friday’s practice. “That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve taken from today.”
The Dolphins, selected in the seventh round by Cameron Goode, California Pass, faced a similar climb. Until this 6-foot-3, 232-pounder becomes a fast-moving demon during training camp and exhibition season, he’ll need to contribute to special teams.
It may not sound like a lot, but it will be more than last year’s seventh round – tailback Gerid Dox and offensive tackle Larnell Coleman – did for the Dolphins. Miami held off Coleman over reports of injury last season, and the Docks spent the entire season on Miami’s practice squad, despite the Dolphins desperately in need of tailback help midseason.
After Friday’s session, Goode commented on how “surreal” it was to be on the NFL roster.
So his 5:45 a.m. alarm didn’t bother him, even though Goode was studying his newly released playbook around midnight, and watching the movie on the team-issued iPad.
“My mind was racing,” God explained why he couldn’t sleep.
“When I woke up this morning I was telling myself there’s no place on earth that I want to,” said Goode, who recorded 172 tackles and 20.5 sacks in 37 college games. “I was tired, but I couldn’t get mad.”
After all, he is living his dream, a dream that many other college football players have but never gets the chance to make it a reality. Be it as a role player, or as a roster long shot.