National Football League
Odrick taken in 1st round by Dolphins
National Football League

Odrick taken in 1st round by Dolphins

Published Apr. 23, 2010 6:03 a.m. ET

Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick knew he had been drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins even before he answered their phone call.

``I saw the 954 area code and went nuts,'' Odrick said.

The 6-foot-5, 304-pound Odrick was selected Thursday night with the 28th pick. It came after the Dolphins moved down 16 spots in the first round to acquire a second-round choice and reserve inside linebacker Tim Dobbins from the San Diego Chargers.

Playing tackle in Penn State's 4-3 scheme, Odrick was the Big Ten defensive player of the year in 2009. He had 43 tackles and seven sacks, and Joe Paterno said Odrick was as good as any defensive tackle he had coached.


Odrick (pronounced Ah'-drick) said he can line up at either end or tackle in the Dolphins' 3-4 defense.

``I play both, and I think that's one of the reasons the Dolphins picked me,'' he said. ``I can and will play any position on the d-line. ...

``I think I'm a great pass rusher. I think I'm a great run stopper. I think I'm a smart player and make people around me better. I try to do everything as good as possible and not specialize in something.''

The Dolphins are deeper at end than at tackle, where starter Jason Ferguson is 35 and will miss the first eight games of the season because of a suspension. General manager Jeff Ireland was noncommittal about where the Dolphins expect Odrick to line up.

``We think he can play both inside at outside,'' Ireland said. ``This guy has a tremendous motor. He's a good inside pass rusher. He's very powerful, he's productive, he's explosive and he's versatile.''

Regardless of where Odrick plays, he should bolster a Dolphins defense in need of an upgrade. It's the first time since 1996 they used a first-round pick on the front seven.

With multiple needs to address in a draft touted as one of the deepest ever, the Dolphins decided they could wait another couple of hours to make their first selection. While on the clock, the Dolphins gave the No. 12 overall choice to the Chargers for the 28th overall pick.

``There's depth in this draft,'' Ireland said. ``We looked at our board, and there wasn't a whole lot of difference from the players we were considering at 12 and the players we would be considering at 28.''

For the Dolphins, the deal was appealing because they traded away second-round choices this year and next to acquire Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall last week. Ireland made the organization's first comments about the Marshall trade, saying he's the playmaking receiver the team sought.

``That's a piece we needed to improve on,'' Ireland said. ``We needed a guy who was dynamic. Brandon gives us a shot in the arm in terms of offensive output.''

Ireland also offered the team's first comments on linebacker Jason Taylor's departure this week for the New York Jets. Taylor said he had been hoping to remain with the Dolphins, but an offseason contract offer never came,

``We certainly didn't mean any disrespect,'' Ireland said. ``This whole organization has a great respect for Jason Taylor. But we had a business plan in place.''

On the second day of the draft Miami will have two picks, including the No. 40 overall choice acquired in the deal with San Diego. The Dolphins also swapped fourth-round picks with the Chargers, moving down 16 spots, and gave up a sixth-round choice.

Miami also gets Dobbins, who has made 10 starts in four NFL seasons, all with San Diego. Last year he had a career-high 51 tackles, one sack and one interception, and he played on special teams.

The Dolphins made the trade with nose tackle Dan Williams of Tennessee and outside linebacker Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech still on the board. Miami was believed to be seriously considering both.

Instead, it's Odrick who will join their defense. He was projected as a first-round pick and expressed relief that he won't have to wait until Friday to be selected.

When asked if he expects to start as a rookie, Odrick said, ``I don't expect anything. The only thing I expect is me going down there and working my behind off.''

A native Pennsylvanian, Odrick said he has visited South Florida and likes the idea of making the 954 area code his own.

``I can't imagine a better situation right now,'' he said.


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