The Dolphins finally reached the 90-player roster limit on Friday by signing 19 undrafted rookie free agents to supplement the nine players they took in last weekend’s NFL draft.
And among the 19 new signees are a handful of speedy playmakers on offense, as well as one familiar name on defense.
The Dolphins didn’t draft a receiver after signing Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson in free agency, but signed four after the draft, including Mississippi State slot receiver Chad Bumphis, who had 922 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.
They also signed Northern Iowa’s Terrell Sinkfield, who reportedly ran an eye-popping 4.19 in the 40 yard dash at the University of Minnesota’s Pro Day in March and produced a 4.30 at his own Pro Day a few weeks later. Sinkfield, who stands 6-foot-1 and scored four touchdowns as a senior, wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but his 4.19 would shatter the Combine record for the 40-yard dash, 4.24.
The Dolphins also signed an intriguing running back in Arizona State’s Cameron Marshall, who rushed for 27 touchdowns the past two seasons and at 220 pounds is known as a solid inside runner. And they signed a potential practice squad quarterback in Clay Belton, who is listed at 6-5 and 232 pounds and played at Division II Findlay (Ohio).
On defense, University of Miami fans will recognize the name of a linebacker from Arkansas signed by the Dolphins — Alonzo Highsmith Jr., son of the former Hurricanes’ tailback from the mid-80s. Highsmith Jr. was the Razorbacks’ leading tackler through six games last year, but missed the rest of his senior season with a foot injury.
All 28 rookies were in attendance Friday for the start of the Dolphins’ three-day rookie minicamp, which is essentially their orientation to the team. Coach Joe Philbin met with all 28 rookies on Thursday night and told them to forget about their draft position and college careers.
“I told the guys last night at the meeting, ‘I don’t care how you got here now,’” Philbin said. “We know who you are, we know why you’re here.”
The Dolphins also invited a handful of undrafted prospects to tryout at Friday’s rookie minicamp, including Iowa center James Ferentz (son of Kirk, the head coach at Iowa), Mars Hill (N.C.) quarterback Jon Richt (son of Mark, the head coach at Georgia) and Duquense linebacker Zach Richert, who is Dan Marino’s nephew.
Noteworthy: The Dolphins worked out four veteran offensive tackles this week with the hopes of adding one to the starting lineup. Bryant McKinnie has subsequently re-signed with Baltimore, but Tyson Clabo, Winston Justice and Eric Winston all still remain available, and can fill the Dolphins’ void at right tackle.
But Philbin said the team isn’t close to signing anyone as of this minute, and a team source said the Dolphins might wait until closer to training camp to see if any other veteran tackles become available.