Dolphins sign all 7 draft picks to rookie deals
The Miami Dolphins wasted little time in locking up their 2015 draft class, signing all seven selections to rookie deals on Thursday.
Wide receiver DeVante Parker, the 14th overall pick of the draft, signed a four-year deal with the team worth $10.9 million with a $6.2 million signing bonus, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
"It is a very nice place to be. I’m glad that they picked me to be a part of this organization," Parker, 22, said in his post-draft press conference. "I just love this place. I’m looking forward to my first season with the Miami Dolphins."
Parker, who caught 156 passes for 2,775 yards, and 33 touchdowns during his four collegiate seasons at Louisville, has a chance to become Miami’s No. 1 target in a revamped receiving core alongside Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings and Jarvis Landry.
In addition to Parker, the Dolphins also inked second-round defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, fourth-round guard Jamil Douglas, fifth-round cornerback Bobby McCain and fifth-round running back Jay Ajayi, fifth-round safety Cedric Thompson and fifth-round cornerback Tony Lippett.
Phillips, 22, played in 28 career games (17 starts) at Oklahoma, recording 57 tackles (28 solo), 3.5 sacks, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery. According to the Miami Herald, his deal is also for four years.
"We feel like he can really learn from our defensive line, the veteran group that it is, and he truly was the best player available on our board," Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said of Phillips. "We took him and we almost had an earthquake up there, the defensive coaches trying to break down the walls, they were so excited."
Douglas, 23, started 13 games at left tackle and 27 at guard while at Arizona State and was named first teal All-Pac 12 in 2014. He will be competing with incumbents Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas for a starting spot on Miami’s offensive line.
"I’m a versatile player. I’m an athletic player. I’m strong at the point of attack. I’m an explosive guy," Douglas said in his post-draft teleconference. "I’m a disciplined player, as well. I’m a smart guy. I can figure things out. I can adjust on the fly and those are a couple things that come with my game."
McCain, 21, played in 45 career games (43 stars) at Memphis, recording 136 tackles (108 solo), 1.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, four touchdowns, 15 passes defensed, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
"Unbelievable charisma and personality," Dolphins assistant general manager Eric Stokes said of McCain. "I definitely felt the passion, the toughness and the love for the game. Over 40 starts, 12 interceptions, can play inside, can play outside for us. He can come in to do a little bit of Nickel and play a little bit on the outside, obviously give us something on special teams."
Ajayi, 21, appeared in 38 career games (26 starts) at Boise State, rushing for 3,796 yards and 50 touchdowns, while also notching 73 receptions for 771 yards and four touchdowns. He will be competing with Damien Williams, Mike Gillislee and LaMichael James for playing time behind starting tailback Lamar Miller in Miami.
"The Dolphins are going to get a running back that’s complete, a guy that can contribute right away and is going to do whatever he can for the team," Ajayi said in his post-draft teleconference. "A guy can catch the ball out of the backfield, run inside and outside, and has the mental aspect of the game to be able to pick up blitzes and is going to make sure he keeps his quarterback protected."
Thompson, 22, appeared in 46 games (32 starts) at Minnesota, recording 205 tackles (127 solo), seven passes defensed, five interceptions and three forced fumbles.
"I’m a strict tackler. I don’t miss tackles. I think the biggest thing about my playing style is that I have a lot of upside," Thompson said in his post-draft teleconference. "I’ve only played this position competitively for three years and I know that I have a lot of upside to be a great NFL safety. That’s what I’m going to strive to be and I think that’s going to be coming up in the next couple of years."
Lippett, 22, started 27 games at wide receiver and seven at cornerback while at Michigan State. In 2014, he became the first two-way starter in a single game for the Spartans since 1968. He is expected to play as a defensive back with the Dolphins.
"I’m very confident in my skills and ability at the next level," Lippett said in his post-draft teleconference. "I know it’s something a little new. I’ve been doing it my freshman year and my senior year. I’ve been going up against some big wide receivers in the conference that we have. I feel that my capabilities are pretty deep for this level of ball. I’m just excited to be a Dolphin, and I’m ready to play."
Miami opens its rookie minicamp Friday.