Who are the hidden gems?

The Dolphins brought 45 players to their rookie minicamps in addition to their six draft picks, a group that includes 16 undrafted rookie signings and 29 players invited to try out. So, who among those 45 have the best chance of beating the odds and wearing a Dolphins uniform next season?

We break down the group by position.

QUARTERBACK - The Dolphins have two QBs among the 45, rookie free agent signing Brock Berlin and tryout player Matt Verbit from Princeton. Very simply, neither has a shot. The Dolphins are set at this position with A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels.

RUNNING BACK - There are four halfbacks among the group, led by rookie free agent signing Kay-Jay Harris. The other three are tryout players Doug Parker, Dwone Hicks and Chris Douglas. The latter have no shot, although it wouldn't surprise us to see Hicks signed for training camp. As for Harris, it was a major surprise that he wasn't drafted last weekend considering some observers had him pegged as a potential second- or third-round selection. He's easily the most talented of the 16 rookie free agents, and it wouldn't shock us to see him on the roster next fall.

WIDE RECEIVERS - The three rookie free agents at this position are Josh Davis, Tony Madison and Luther Huggins, while the tryout players are Roosevelt Bynes, Kevin Beard, Michael Marker, Chad Lucas and LaTarence Dunbar. Of the tryout guys, we're thinking Dunbar has the best shot at getting a contract and a shot in training camp because of his return ability. Of the group, Davis is the one with the best shot. Like Harris, it was a surprise he wasn't drafted. He's not terribly fast, but he's a good route-runner and was very productive at Marshall. He has a shot.

TIGHT END - There are three tight ends among the rookie free agents, and they are Victor Sesay, Alex Holmes and Joe Munson. Kevin Ware, the only tryout player at this position, has no shot. The Dolphins wouldn't mind having another tight end on the roster in addition to Randy McMichael, Donald Lee and Ed Perry, so there's an opening here. Sesay was very inconsistent in college, but he's got the best tools, so he's our choice.

OFFENSIVE LINE - None of the rookie free agents are offensive linemen, but there are five tryout players at this position, center Mike Houghton, tackle Garry Johnson, and guards Bryce Bishop, John Drake and Bobby Meeks. Of the five, the two most accomplished are Johnson, who was compared by his coach at Arkansas State to Orlando Pace, whom he also had coached, and Bishop. The Dolphins currently have a lot of bodies on the offensive line, so it's going to be hard for anybody on hand this weekend to make the roster.

DEFENSIVE LINE - There four defensive linemen among the rookie free agents are ends Van Brown, John Denney and Chris Solomona, along with tackle Orrin Thompson. Then there's tryout players Matt Faga and Thomas Pittman at DT and Bryce Wyatt at DE. Nobody really jumps out among this group, but keep an eye on Brown, who's got nice size (6-5, 256) and some pass-rushing ability.

LINEBACKER - Derek Curry of Notre Dame and Lionel Turner are the two linebackers on the rookie free agent list, while the tryout group includes Brenden Givan, George Lewis, Courtland Bullard and Maurice Jones. Turner was expected to get drafted and he has a real shot at making a roster that is short on depth at the position. Turner's experience playing for Saban will help his cause tremendously.

DEFENSIVE BACK - The only DB on the rookie free agent list is Shirdonya Mitchell from Missouri, and he probably won't play in 2005 after tearing an ACL at his Pro Day workout. That leaves tryout players Abram Eman (FS), Ray Green (CB), Roderick Bryant (CB), Atari Bigby (S) and Virgil Williams (S). Logic says the long shot with the best chance here is Green, who played for the Dolphins in 2001 and 2002 and has NFL experience.

SPECIALISTS - The Dolphins gave a tryout to punter Eddie Johnson from Idaho State, but his chances of beating out veteran Matt Turk just aren't realistic. It would be an accomplishment for him just to get offered a contract to come to training camp.


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