Miami Dolphins

Judgment Day nears for ascendant Dolphins defensive lineman Warmsley

Senior defensive assistant Jim Washburn, center, talks with defensive tackle Chris Jones, left, and defensive end Julius Warmsley during training camp.
Senior defensive assistant Jim Washburn, center, talks with defensive tackle Chris Jones, left, and defensive end Julius Warmsley during training camp. AP

Somebody needs to make Julius Warmsley a Wikipedia page.

If this week goes how Warmsley hopes — and many expect — somebody will.

Warmsley will learn by 4 p.m. Saturday if his NFL dream will become reality.

That’s when the Dolphins and 31 other teams must decide on a 53-man roster.

It’s hard to see what more the largely anonymous defensive lineman of Tulane could do to win a job.

He has made more plays this preseason than anyone on the defensive line.

Warmley’s stat line: six tackles, two of which were for loss, and three sacks. And those flashes weren’t the exception, but the rule.

Warmsley was consistently a disruptive force in practice, including earlier this week, when he beat right guard Jermon Bushrod so badly in pass protection, Bushrod had to hold Warmsley to prevent a sack.

“I most definitely could have done better,” Warmlsey said. “But I think I've made a hard decision for them. I'm just praying and hoping. I think I put a good body of work out there. I'm playing for this team. I want to play for this team. I love the Dolphins. But there are also 31 other teams out there that have seen what I can do. It's up in the air. It's a business.”

No one knows that more than Chris McCain, the third-year defensive end shipped off to the Saints for a conditional seventh-round pick on Monday.

And while McCain and Warmsley are different players — the latter is 60 pounds heavier and can play inside and out on the defensive line — the numbers game became a lot more promising with McCain’s exit.

The Dolphins are expected to keep nine defensive linemen on their 53-man roster.

Ndamukong Suh, Earl Mitchell, Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Jordan Phillips, Jason Jones and Andre Branch are locks. Chris Jones seems to be one, too.

So that leaves one spot between Warmsley and Terrance Fede. (Dion Jordan is on the reserve/non football injury list and out for at least six weeks.) But Fede injured his knee in the preseason, while Warmsley is healthy and productive.

But that’s not Warmsley’s only competition. Some 700 players will be cut in the coming days, and the Dolphins would have a shot to claim many of them.

“I think it's always a little bit nerve-wracking,” said Warmsley, who is going through the cuts process for the third time. “For me, I guess I just try to take my mind off it and enjoy family. ... Whatever happens, happens.”

Players and coaches alike have praised Warmsley’s summer.

Suh said his teammate’s rise is “not necessarily surprising” because Warmsley is “very energetic, plays hard, works hard, asks a lot of questions and is a guy who is asking a lot of the right questions and following through on his actions and his play.”

Added Dolphins coach Adam Gase: “You always see him finishing; you always see him penetrating. It seems like he’s always causing some kind of problems.”

If he sticks, Warmsley would be one of the oldest first-year players in the league. He’s 26.

Miami Herald's Miami Dolphins reporter Adam Beasley, talks about the newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium and the struggling team in their last preseason game on Thurs., Sept. 1, 2016.

His career timeline was pushed back because he attended U.S. Military Preparatory School in West Point, N.Y. for one year after graduating high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

And when training camp began in late July, there was little reason to believe the third time through the NFL’s version of Survivor would be different than the first two. He split time between the third and fourth teams. But the Dolphins couldn’t help but elevate him; Warmsley’s production was just too good to ignore.

“Hopefully they feel good about [my body of work],” Warmsley said. “I think I feel good about it.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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