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New Dolphins lineman J.D. Walton: 'I'm coming to compete'

3/22/2015

Veteran offensive lineman J.D. Walton is in an interesting position after signing with the Miami Dolphins.

Walton started all 16 games last year for the New York Giants but knows his natural position is taken in Miami by Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. The Dolphins currently have two openings at guard, but that’s a position Walton never played at the NFL level.

What is a veteran offensive lineman to do?

“I’m coming to compete,” Walton said. “Wherever they want to try me at, put me in, it doesn’t really matter. I’m coming to push and trying to make this offense better. I come with the mindset of be ready to play guard, be ready to play center, be ready to help out this team any way I can.”

Walton has an interesting back story. His career took a bad turn in 2012 when he broke his ankle playing for the Denver Broncos. He sat out 12 games in 2012 and the entire 2013 season.

But Walton made a solid comeback and started all 16 games last year with the Giants. He told the Miami media that his ankle problems are behind him.

“Last year, coming back, I knocked off the rust at the beginning and then really felt like I caught stride and was playing a lot better towards the end of the season,” Walton said.

Walton admits he is definitely most comfortable at center. But he’s keeping an open mind in order to compete for playing time.

The Dolphins are extremely thin at guard. Currently, Walton is projected to compete with young, inexperienced players such as Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner for the two openings in training camp.

“The only thing I’ve ever played is center,” Walton said. “But I’m not a one-position guy in my mind. I’m ready to play whatever they want to try me at.”