As they chase a playoff berth, the Dolphins also hope to use the second half of the season to gain insight on assorted issues, beyond observing Ryan Tannehill’s growth. Assessing several at the midway point:
### What exactly do they have in this rookie class?
Aside from Seattle, which didn’t have a first-round pick, no team has fewer offensive/defensive snaps from its first four draft choices.
Third overall selection Dion Jordan’s 169 snaps (excluding special teams for everyone) are fifth-fewest among all first-round rookies, ahead of only Indianapolis’ Bjoern Werner (picked 24th) , Green Bay’s Datone Jones (26th), Denver’s Sylvester Williams (28th) and Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson (29th).
Jordan, who has 10 hurries and one sack in 111 pass rushing opportunities (but none Thursday), said coaches want to see him play effectively against the run before they give him more playing time: “I have work to do with that.”
The Dolphins like the skill set of rookie cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, but it’s telling that Davis has been inactive for a month, and Miami opted for RJ Stanford over Taylor when Dimitri Patterson left with an injury late Thursday.
Taylor has played just 45 defensive snaps and allowed all four passes thrown against him to be completed, for 100 yards. “It’s tough when you see teams like Buffalo playing their rookies, but we have good cornerbacks here,” he said. “I believe I will be a darn good NFL cornerback. [But] the stuff that worked in college isn’t going to work here.”
Among the other Dolphins rookies: There’s no great optimism among some Dolphins players about Dallas Thomas, who has been working at both guard and tackle but hasn’t distinguished himself at either. Mike Gillislee hasn’t come close to unseating Daniel Thomas for the No. 2 running back job....
The Dolphins like the blocking ability of tight end Dion Sims, but coordinator Mike Sherman said he has a lot of work to do. The staff sees potential in Jelani Jenkins to be an effective third-down linebacker....
Only Houston’s Randy Bulluck has missed as many field goals as Caleb Sturgis, though he redeemed himself with his 44-yarder to send Thursday’s game to overtime. And safety Don Jones projects as a special-teams player. So the book remains very much incomplete on this class.
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