by son of a son of a shula
The Miami Dolphins have seven players battling for a spot on the final roster at the Defensive End position. Sure locks include starters Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon while Derrick Shelby who is entering his fourth season and Terrence Fede a 7th round pick last year appear to have the inside track to round out the position. Fede offers versatility as a player who can move inside from time to time. Should the Dolphins carry five DE’s then the battle royale will be between Emmanuel Dieke, Ray Drew and Kendall Montgomery the fringe players.
In order for these fringe players to have a shot at making the team they will first and foremost have to become reliable Special Teams players while showing pass rushing skills and ability to set the edge when they are getting reps with the Defense. It’s entirely possible that two of these 3 players could find themselves as part of the practice squad as we move into the season.
Emmanuel “Too Tall” Dieke #98
6’6 270 DE Georgia Tech
Dieke was an Undrafted Free Agent for the Giants coming out of Georgia Tech last year so he will be entering his second NFL training camp this year. Several years ago there was another DE the Giants picked up as an undrafted free agent, you may recall, and released him. Will Emmanuel Dieke have to go the way of the CFL the way Cameron Wake did? With Wake and Vernon entrenched as starters Dieke faces a similar situation in Miami as he did in camp last year with the New York Giants. The Giants had Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore, Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Ayers in place making it very difficult for a UDFA to crack the squad.
SB Nation had this brief breakdown of Dieke last June: Pegged as a player with great size, quickness, change of direction and work ethic, Dieke was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Georgia Tech. Last year, Dieke recorded 28 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss and one forced fumble in 13 games. In his four-year career, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end recorded five sacks.
Ray Drew #47
6’5 276 DE Georgia
Here is the guy to keep your eye on, Drew played at a very high level in the SEC but for a variety of reasons never was able to set himself apart and distinguish himself as a top level draftee. When Drew joined Georgia he was projected as an outside linebacker but grew too much to stay at the position. Drew then began playing Defensive End where he showed flashes of what he could become. He actually looks like a similar player to Fede.
To explain the rest I’ll insert from CBS Sports:
“Drew was considered one of the crown jewels in Georgia’s highly touted “Dream Team” recruiting class in 2011, but prior to the 2013 season had been considered a bit of a bust.
Expected to play outside linebacker, Drew kept growing and finally earned time at defensive end in ’13, starting seven of 13 games and posting 43 tackles, eight tackles for loss and six sacks. Left on the defensive line as a senior, Drew quietly emerged as one of the SEC’s better and more versatile defenders in 2014 — though his statistics (39 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack) hardly prove it.
Drew’s relatively pedestrian statistics can be explained by the block-eating role he was to play at Georgia. Keeping blockers off of Georgia’s playmaking linebackers forced Drew to get stronger but robbed him of the production that could earn him a higher draft selection. Savvy scouts will notice Drew’s size, upside and passionate play, as well as the three blocked kicks he recorded in 2014.
If drafted into a 4-3 alignment that allows him to attack, Drew could prove a better (or at least more productive) player in the NFL than he ever was at Georgia.”
A couple of things stand out from there for me: the first is “savvy scouts”, even though we’ve only seen one year of on field production from Hickey’s picks I think savvy is easily a word we could use to describe him thus far. Second thing is “drafted into a 4-3 alignment” well undrafted in this case but certainly this puts Drew in a position to showcase his talents and gives him the best chance to succeed.
Kendall Montgomery #67
6’5 262 DE Bowling Green
Although Kendall is wearing what is normally an offensive lineman’s number (67), make no mistake, this kid is here to work and make an impression at the DE position.
Scott Porter: What do you like most about football?
Kendall Montgomery: I like the physicality and putting my hands on people and letting my aggression out on the field.
Scott Porter: What type of person is an NFL team getting in you?
Kendall Montgomery: They are getting an ambitious person. I want to be the best at what I do. They are getting a person who will work hard to be the best player he can be and display great character.
Scott Porter: What separates you from other players?
Kendall Montgomery: My athletic ability combined with my versatility. I could play DE, LB or TE. I can cover, rush and tackle.
There is also this for this fringe player as he tries to forge a career in the NFL.
Bio: Infrequent starter the past three seasons. Posted a career-best 21 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 3 sacks as a junior.
Positive: Imposing line prospect who’s shown marginal development. Displays good movement skills, easily changes direction and gets a lot of pressure up the field.
Negative: Lacks great first step quickness. Ineffective using his hands to protect himself and slow disengaging from blocks.
Analysis: On paper Montgomery possesses the size and speed desired for a starting defensive end but his results fall far short. He’s a developmental prospect who must quickly pick up the pace of his game for any chance of a career at the next level.
The thing to note about all three of these players is the similar size. All of them are much bigger than what we had seen being brought in from Ireland. When you add Fede to the mix you have four players who are big at the DE spot all possess a good amount of quickness and possibly some of the same position flexibility we saw from Fede when he was playing.
I wish the best of luck to these fringe players as they attempt to become Miami Dolphins.
June 6 1944 – Remember the greatest generation as the allied invasion at Normandy began 71 years ago – D Day