The Miami Dolphins have announced that Billy Turner, the third round offensive lineman from North Dakota State, has been signed which means all of the team’s draft choices are now under contract.
Turner, whose agent Michael Hoffman confirmed the signing on Twitter, was a four-year starter at North Dakota State and a two-time Football Championship Subdivision All-American. Although he was a left tackle at North Dakota State, he may move to guard for the Dolphins.
The signing of Turner means there are only two draft picks remaining to complete their rookie deals.
Both of the remaining players are first-round picks: Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert (eighth overall) and Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (11th). Gilbert has said he doesn’t know if he’ll sign before Cleveland’s training camp opens. Lewan and the Titans are believed to be at odds over roster bonuses.
As for Turner, no details have been released other than he signed a four-year deal with the Dolphins.
The signing is important as the Dolphins open training camp this week. Turner is expected to battle for a starting guard spot. The team drafted Ju’Wuan James to play right tackle on the line and Turner to possibly move over to guard. Free agency brought in starting left tackle Branden Albert and guard Shelly Smith.
Now that the Dolphins have lost Mike Pouncey to a hip injury that required surgery and will keep him out of action for an indefinite amount of time, depth becomes a huge key to this unit’s success. The offensive line gave up 58 sacks last season.
“Jaws” Sees Talent in Tannehill
Ron Jaworski knows a thing or two about quarterback talent. The former Eagles and Miami Dolphins quarterback is a quarterback analyst for ESPN, and believes Ryan Tannehill has a chance to be something special this season.
Although there were improvements from Tannehill’s rookie year to last season, those improvements couldn’t get the Dolphins over the proverbial “postseason hump” last year. It has put the young quarterback on the right path towards becoming an efficient player and leader. That’s grabbed the attention of some of most notable quarterbacking evaluators out there, including Jaworski. As part of an ESPN video series ranking all 32 starting quarterbacks, Jaworski evaluated the Dolphins QB, and broke down the attributes that could eventually turn Tannehill into a top quarterback in the NFL.
It’s important for a quarterback to help drive his team down the field, notching first down after first down, but none of that matters if you can’t score touchdowns in the red zone. Average teams in this league kick field goals when they get inside the 20-yard line. Great teams score touchdowns, and make plays in that area. According to Jaworski, red zone play was one of Ryan Tannehill’s biggest strengths, as that is where he did most of his damage.
“Where Tannehill was at his best in 2013 was in the red zone,” said Jaworski. “He threw 18 touchdowns (in that area), with only one pick.”