Miami Dolphins: Arthur Lynch

The Miami Dolphins had a disappointing finish as a .500 team for various reasons last season. The offensive line was awful, the run defense was inconsistent and the coaching staff didn’t get the team to finish strong -- particularly on offense.

An underlying reason the Dolphins failed to get over the hump in 2013 was the ineffectiveness of Miami's rookie class. That must change in 2014 if the Dolphins want to end their five-year playoff drought.

Current Miami rookies such as right tackle Ja'Waun James, receiver Jarvis Landry and guard Billy Turner cannot go the route of last year's rookie class led by defensive end Dion Jordan and cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis. The Dolphins must get immediate production from their first-year players. James, Miami's first-round pick, is projected to start at right tackle, while second-rounder Landry and third-rounder Turner are competing for significant roles on offense.

Mid- and late-round picks such as cornerback Walt Aikens, tight end Arthur Lynch and linebacker Jordie Tripp are all looking to add depth and compete to make the 53-man roster this summer. Here is my first projected 53-man roster for the Dolphins if you want to look at how many rookies I believe will make the team.

This is the first draft under new Miami general manager Dennis Hickey. Interestingly, Hickey selected a lot of players from small schools such as Liberty, Montana, Marist and North Dakota State. But those players must aim to immediately find roles this year -- and it starts Friday when the Dolphins take the field for their opening practice of training camp.
The Miami Dolphins will have plenty of tough decisions to make when it comes time to put together their 53-man roster. This week we're highlighting players on the roster bubble.

Here is a preview of one player on the Dolphins’ roster bubble:

Player: TE Michael Egnew

2013 stats: Seven receptions, 69 yards

Why he could make it: The Dolphins’ coaching staff puts heavy emphasis on position flexibility. Egnew has proven he has the ability to play tight end, fullback and a hybrid H-back position. His ability to play multiple positions helped Egnew survive the roster bubble last year. The Dolphins do not have a true fullback, and Egnew is the closest thing. He also is getting a look in organized team activities at tight end to see if he can contribute there in first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s scheme.

Why he couldn’t make it: Egnew is another draft bust of former Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland. Egnew is a former third-round pick who was expected to be a good receiving threat at tight. He’s been anything but with just seven career receptions. New Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey doesn’t have the same attachment to Egnew. Hickey drafted rookie tight end Arthur Lynch this year, and both players could be fighting for one roster spot.

Chances to stick: 50 percent
The offseason program is heating up for the Miami Dolphins. ESPN.com’s Dolphins page has been to practices open to the media.

Miami fans have plenty of questions. So let’s see what’s in the Dolphins’ Twitter mailbag.

Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories on Memorial Day from around the Web:
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes second-year cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis are ready to make an impact.
Morning take: Staying healthy will be key for both players. A starting cornerback and nickleback roles are available for both players to compete along with veteran Cortland Finnegan.
  • Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post writes rookie tight end Arthur Lynch is trying to shed the label of a blocking tight end.
Morning take: Lynch did not do a lot of pass catching at Georgia, but he wants to show that he is capable. Doing both is the best way to earn playing time in Miami’s offense.
  • Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel examines where Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill fits in the NFL hierarchy at his position.
Morning take: Tannehill certainly is not elite, but he still has potential to become a good quarterback. We will know a lot more about Tannehill after his third season.
  • Dolphins first-round pick Ja'Wuan James is trying to become a leader, according to the team’s site.
Morning take: James started 49 consecutive games at Tennessee and was a team captain. That means he brings natural leadership ability, which is needed in Miami’s locker room.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Monday: Morning take: This was expected since last week. But after a little delay, Jensen is ready to compete with Dolphins third-string quarterback Pat Devlin.
  • Ty Schalter of Bleacher Report ranks the Dolphins dead last in their most recent NFL Power Rankings.
Morning take: Ouch! The Dolphins are not getting a lot of respect nationally after just missing the playoffs last season. ESPN.com ranked Miami No. 24, which indicates the team could take a step back this season.
  • Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes first-round pick Ja’Wuan James represents many of the character traits the Dolphins are looking for.
Morning take: Miami went out of its way to draft former team captains and character players high this year. New Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey wants to make sure Miami cleans up its poor locker room culture from a year ago.
Morning take: This has been a good feeder program for the Dolphins. Starting safety Reshad Jones and starting tailback Knowshon Moreno are among the biggest names. Miami also drafted rookie tight end Arthur Lynch from Georgia.

Scouts Inc. on TE Arthur Lynch

May, 17, 2014
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ESPN.com's Miami Dolphins page continues its series on providing scouting reports for their 2014 rookie class. On Friday we take a look at Dolphins fifth-round pick and tight end Arthur Lynch, who will try to earn a spot on the 53-man roster as a backup to starter Charles Clay.

Here is Lynch's scouting report, according to Scouts Inc.:
“Zone buster at best locating and settling into pockets. Physical route runner that can create separation with hands. Attacks defender, pivots and posts up. Flashes some savvy at the top of stem and adequate job of setting up breaks but not quick enough to consistently separate from man coverage. Takes too long to transition in and out of breaks. ... Doesn't have second gear to run away from coverage or pursuit after the catch but fast enough to get down the seam. Not a homerun threat but can produce after the catch. Flashes ability to make first defender miss and pick up yards after contact.”

Lynch will join a crowded tight end group that includes Clay and backups Dion Sims and Michael Egnew. Clay is a lock and Sims, a 2013 draft pick, has a solid chance to make the team.

It could come down to Lynch and Egnew for the No. 3 tight-end spot. Egnew has been a bust as a former 2012 third-round pick. He played some fullback last year but showed little as a receiving threat. If Lynch can block and proves to be a more reliable receiver, he can make the team as a rookie.

Miami Dolphins draft wrap-up

May, 10, 2014
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NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


DAVIE, Fla. -- A wrap-up of the Miami Dolphins' draft. Click here for a full list of Dolphins draftees.

[+] EnlargeJu'Wuan James
AP Photo/Wade PayneThe Dolphins targeted right tackle Ja'Wuan James, and they got him with the 19th overall pick.
Best move: The Dolphins, as expected, plugged their biggest hole of need in the first round. Miami spent the No. 19 overall pick to select former Tennessee right tackle Ja'Wuan James. He was a durable, four-year starter whom Miami believes will be ready to play in Week 1. The only question with this pick is whether Miami had to take James at No. 19. The Dolphins were talking to other teams about trading down to acquire more picks and perhaps could have landed James in the 20s, but Miami says it was safer to take James, whom general manager Dennis Hickey says was the best player on the board. If James turns out to be a quality starter for a long time, no one will care that James was taken at No. 19 instead of later in the first round. James will pair with Pro Bowler Branden Albert as Miami's two new offensive tackles in 2014.

Riskiest move: The Dolphins didn't make a lot of risky moves in this draft, but fourth-round pick Walt Aikens comes with a red flag. Aikens was kicked out of Illinois after his arrest for felony possession of stolen electronics in 2010. According to Aikens, he bought a laptop from a teammate that turned out to be stolen. Aikens pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and was forced to leave Illinois. He continued his career at Liberty and worked his way into a fourth-round pick. The Dolphins did their homework into Aikens' background and felt he was worthy of the selection. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Aikens was the first player drafted who wasn't invited to the NFL combine. Aikens said Saturday that he wants to compete for a starting job right away, but his best chance most likely is to compete on special teams.

Most surprising move: After playing it safe on Day 1, the Dolphins were wheeling and dealing on Day 2. Hickey produced three trades with the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders in the second and third rounds, respectively. Miami traded down twice and moved up once. The result was the Dolphins drafting LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry at the end of the second round and offensive lineman Billy Turner near the top of the third round. Both players are expected to add depth to Miami's roster. But it was surprising to see Hickey, in his first draft, do a complete 180 in terms of aggressiveness on Friday.

File it away: Leadership was a major issue in Miami in 2013. The Dolphins went through a bullying scandal that caused a media firestorm and suffered a late-season collapse while having a chance to make the playoffs. Five of Miami’s first six drafted players -- James, Landry, Turner, tight end Arthur Lynch and linebacker Jordan Tripp -- were team captains for their respective college teams. That was not a coincidence. Hickey made it a point to acquire natural leaders to place in Miami’s locker room. The Dolphins are putting a heavy emphasis on character at the top of this draft as they work to remake their locker-room image.

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