The Miami Dolphins overhauled their interior offensive line this offseason, trading away weak-side guard Justin Smiley and opening strong-side guard Donald Thomas’ job to competition after his late-season benching. There have even been indications that center Jake Grove’s position is up for grabs.
The Fins might’ve found their starting left guard in the third round of April’s draft. John Jerry, a mauling right tackle at Ole Miss with a 6-foot-5, 332-pound frame and 34 1/4-inch arms, was Miami’s selection at No. 73 overall. While transitioning from the exterior of the line in college to the interior in the pros may prove something of a challenge, Jerry’s makeup is better cutout for guard than tackle because of his limited athleticism but brute strength.
The Dolphins made sure Jerry would be in camp on time by signing him Tuesday to a four-year, $2.64 million contract. Old pal Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times had the news first.
In Miami, Jerry will compete with Thomas and Nate Garner, the latter of whom wrapped up the ’09 season in the starting lineup. Jerry has an edge on Garner in terms of run-blocking upside and system fit. The Dolphins run a power scheme up front, and Jerry is more powerful.