Poll Friday: Small-school players

May, 16, 2014
May 16
1:30
PM ET
A lot has been made of the Miami Dolphins drafting five small-school players in one class. Marist, Montana, Liberty, North Dakota State and Coastal Carolina were all represented during Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey’s first draft.

Some football fans in South Florida are worried that Miami’s draft class will not make an immediate impact because so many rookies have to make a significant jump to NFL competition. That leads to our latest “Poll Friday” question: Which small-school rookie will make the biggest impact in their rookie season?

SportsNation

Which small-school prospect will make the biggest immediate impact with the Dolphins?

  •  
    59%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    5%
  •  
    2%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,594)

There are plenty of choices, starting with third-round pick Billy Turner of North Dakota State. Turner played left tackle in college but projects as a guard in the NFL. Miami has a need there and Turner will compete with holdovers Sam Brenner, Nate Garner and Dallas Thomas. Will Turner start and make an immediate impact?

What about fourth-round pick Walt Aikens? The Liberty cornerback is viewed as a value pick for Miami. He will add depth in the secondary and try to push second-year corners Will Davis and Jamar Taylor for playing time.

Former Montana linebacker Jordan Tripp is another interesting prospect. The Dolphins need linebacker help but waited until the fifth round to get Tripp. He most likely must prove himself on special teams. But could Tripp make an impact at linebacker?

Finally, former Coastal Carolina receiver Matt Hazel and former Marist defensive end Terrence Fede have an uphill climb as late draft picks. Will either player surprise?

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on which small-school rookie will make the biggest impact for the Dolphins. You can share your thoughts in the comment section below or send a message via Twitter @JamesWalkerNFL.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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