Friday, May 3, 2013
Observations from Dolphins rookie camp
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- When you're the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft, major expectations are thrust upon you to immediately make an impact.
That is one of the challenges facing Miami Dolphins rookie defensive end Dion Jordan. But another hurdle is to not rush back to prove himself following offseason shoulder surgery.
Jordan partially participated Friday in the opening of Miami's three-day rookie mini-camp. Miami's first-round pick took part in drills but not in team scrimmages. Jordan recently had shoulder surgery on Feb. 28.
"With me right now, the main thing is taking care of my body," Jordan said after practice. "I will do what I can while I'm here, as far as soaking everything up."
Dolphins second-year head coach Joe Philbin said there is no timetable for Jordan's return. The surgery was not a big enough concern to deter Miami from trading up to the No. 3 pick to take Jordan, and it's just a matter of when he will get back to 100 percent.
"He’s going to get himself well as quickly and completely as he possibly can, whenever that is," Philbin said. "And when the medical people deem that he's healthy, he will be joining us on a full-time basis."
Here are some other notes from Miami’s first rookie practice:
- The rookie who showed the most flashes Friday was running back Mike Gillislee. The former University of Florida product and fifth-round pick made several nice runs in team drills. It's difficult to evaluate running backs when there's no contact. But Gillislee comes to Miami after a strong senior season and has a chance to compete in a group that includes projected starter Lamar Miller and backup Daniel Thomas.
- I usually do not watch kickers in practice. But I kept a close eye on new Miami kicker and fifth-round pick Caleb Sturgis, who is another Florida product. Sturgis has a strong leg, and I watched him make three consecutive field goals from 43, 49 and 50 yards right in front of me. If that's any indication, Sturgis and veteran incumbent kicker Dan Carpenter should have a strong competition in training camp. "It's a great opportunity, but I know Dan is one of the best kickers in the NFL," Sturgis said. "Nothing is given in this league. I just want to help the team any way I can."
- For those interested, the rookie numbers for top draft picks are as follows: Jordan (No. 95), cornerback Jamar Taylor (No. 22), offensive lineman Dallas Thomas (No. 70), Gillislee (No. 35), Sturgis (No. 9) and linebacker Jelani Jenkins (No. 43).