The 2023 NFL Draft has officially wrapped, and after only having four picks in this year’s draft, the Dolphins went big with undrafted rookie signings, signing over twenty undrafted free agents. In my opinion, a few of these signings have real potential to contribute to this team in the future. Here are three undrafted rookies that I think have a real shot of making the team/practice squad.
Tight End – Julian Hill
After losing tight end Mike Gescki in free agency, the Dolphins found themselves with a bit of a void at tight end. While I certainly don’t think Hill comes in and takes any significant snaps this season, I can easily see him craving out a role for himself in a tight end room that’s basically open for the taking. Outside of Durham Smythe (the definitive TE1 at this stage), I think every other tight end snap is up for grabs, so unless the Dolphins add a free-agent veteran at tight end before the start of the season, I think we’ll see plenty of guys have chances at that position. Julian Hill is a solid blocker, has great timing when running his routes, and can lineup in the slot as well as a tight end; I think his versatility as a pass catcher and willingness to block will earn him a very limited role with the team as maybe the 4th tight end on the depth chart. I’m not expecting him to stuff the stat sheet or anything jaw-dropping, but he’ll be a solid depth piece.
Punter – Michael Turk
I actually believe Michael Turk may give the currently listed starting punter, Jake Bailey, a run for his money this off-season. Michael Turk is the nephew of former Dolphins punter Matt Turk and much like his uncle Michael has a big leg and the ability to absolutely bomb punts. If Miami can help Turk develop some better accuracy on his punt placement, I think Miami may have found a solid punter they can have on the cheap for several years to come. While I don’t expect the Dolphins to be punting much next season, the fact that they landed Turk as an undrafted free agent is a solid steal for a team with limited draft capital to work with this off-season.
Linebacker – Zeke Vandenburgh
Linebacker is a need the Dolphins have been addressing all off-season, bringing in multiple veterans and new signings to add depth to the position. Zeke Vandenburgh should fit in nicely as a run-stopping linebacker while also having the ability to play special teams for the team as needed. Again, nothing flashy with this signing, but it adds quality depth at a position of need and brings in a guy who can contribute on special teams (a unit that had its fair share of struggles a season ago).
Undrafted rookies rarely contribute in year one, but I think Miami signed a solid group of undrafted guys this off-season. Plus, with the cap situation for the Dolphins at the moment being a little tight, having undrafted guys that have the ability to step in when injuries do pop up can be a huge help. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing how these guys perform throughout practice and training camp.