The Dolphins are still trying to get a feel for what they have in this rookie draft class beyond starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James and highly praised receiver Jarvis Landry.
During Saturday’s scrimmage, two of their lower-round picks — linebacker Jordan Tripp and defensive end Terrence Fede — made a case for roster spots.
Tripp, a fifth-round pick from Montana, stripped undrafted Oklahoma rookie running back Damien Williams and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown.
“Jordan Tripp is good at a lot of things,” linebackers coach Mark Duffner said a few days ago. “He’s a highly competitive guy. He’s got great desire to be a great player and the athletic skills to do it and pretty good awareness. I’m excited what I see so far.”
Fede, a seventh-round pick from Marist, had one sack (beating backup tackle Steven Baker) and knocked down a Ryan Tannehill pass later in the scrimmage. Fede has displayed impressive athleticism, and his chances of making the 53-man roster are helped by Dion Jordan’s four-game suspension to start the season.
“He’s got a lot of natural talent,” Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick said of Fede. “There are a lot of things he can do and the coaches know he can do without him even knowing he can do it. He’s got to realize what he has and put it to use. He’s doing it pretty well in this camp. It’s like night and day from what he did in the spring to what he’s doing now. He’s a quick learner.”
As for Jordan, he had two sacks, both against Jason Fox. He said he is “definitely” a better pass rusher than a year ago.
He hasn’t added any new pass rush moves but is “trying to use them a lot more effectively than last year. Just learning how to use my body and my length.” The added bulk — from 250 pounds in January to 265 now — has helped, especially in the run game.
With Matt Moore sidelined by a shoulder injury, third-string quarterback Pat Devlin and undrafted Northern Colorado rookie Seth Lobato received additional work. Neither especially distinguished himself.
Jimmy Wilson intercepted a high throw from Devlin, off a tip from Landry, and returned it 44 yards.
Cornerback Cortland Finnegan had the only other interception of the scrimmage, also against Devlin, who badly overthrew Kevin Cone. Devlin wasn’t even close on two 5-to-10-yard throws to receivers near the sideline.
Devlin finished 7 of 14 for 71 yards, with a touchdown pass to Landry.
Lobato, victimized by a few drops and shaky pass protection, threw for just 8 yards on 6-for-17 accuracy.
THIS AND THAT
• Sam Brenner returned after missing three days with an ankle injury and took second-team snaps at center behind Nate Garner. Shelley Smith was the second-team left guard.
• Besides the two sacks from Jordan and one from Fede, Cameron Wake, Derrick Shelby and Dannell Ellerbe also had sacks. But none of the sacks were against the first-team offensive line.
• Coach Joe Philbin was pleased that Lamar Miller (six carries, 36 yards) “broke some tackles. That’s one thing we would like him to do more.”
• Damien Williams at times has been the most impressive of the running backs behind Miller, and he led all backs Saturday with 39 yards on nine carries. But his day was tarnished by the fumble.
Daniel Thomas had five carries for 15 yards, Mike Gillislee four for 17 and Orleans Darkwa five for 17.• Among receivers, Landry led the team in yardage (40, on two catches) but also had a drop. Rishard Matthews had 30 yards on three receptions but dropped a touchdown pass. Tight end Dion Sims had the most receptions (four for 27 yards and a touchdown).
• The Dolphins announced the players who will be inducted into their Walk of Fame on Sept. 21 against Kansas City: guard Ed Newman, running back Tony Nathan, cornerback Sam Madison and defensive end Jeff Cross.