Crash Course in NFL Life Awaits Miami Dolphins Rookies at OTAs

Chop Robinson, Patrick Paul, and the rest of the Miami Dolphins' rookie class will get a real taste of NFL competition in next week's OTAs.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins rookies practiced in unprecedented heat during their rookie minicamp last weekend.

But beginning next Monday, the temperature really gets turned up. That’s when they will participate in their first OTA practices against the highest level of competition they’ve seen in their lives.

Are Miami Dolphins Rookies Ready for OTAs?

Aside from last weekend’s shorts-and-helmets soft launch, their work up until this point has been in the weight room and individual/position group drills.

That changes next week with the beginning of Phase 3 of the offseason program. The Dolphins have six OTA practices on the calendar (plus three mandatory minicamp days), beginning Monday.

What does that mean? That Dolphins rookies will, for the first time, go up against one of the NFL’s most talented rosters.

While live contact is prohibited, 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

In other words? Buckle up.

“It’ll be exciting,” Dolphins sixth-round safety Patrick McMorris said when asked about the prospect of facing off against Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Odell Beckham Jr.

“Of course, these past couple of years they’ve been in the league, just watching [their] success and play at such a high level, now you’re on the same field as them. It’s definitely a nice experience, but I’m here to play football. They are Dolphin players; they’re my teammates now.”

Yes. And as their teammates, they’re going to try to sharpen steel with steel.

Can Chop Robinson and Mohamed Kamara get by Austin Jackson, Kendall Lamm, and Terron Armstead (assuming they all practice)?

How do the Washingtons — Malik and Tahj — handle Jalen Ramsey and Kendall Fuller in coverage?

We probably won’t get a good gauge of how running back Jaylen Wright’s game translates to the NFL until the pads come on, but we’ll get an early idea of how his electric speed translates.

As for rookie tackle Patrick Paul, he’ll probably have to wait for his real test until late in the summer.

While the Dolphins haven’t officially ruled out Jaelan Phillips or Bradley Chubb from participating this spring, both are less than six months removed from major injury, so it would be a surprise if either is ready for on-field work quite yet.

So aside from Shaq Barrett, there won’t be a big jump in competition from what Paul saw in rookie minicamp.

Paul, the most polarizing of the Dolphins’ seven draft picks, said he’s fueled by “negatives [people] have on me. A lot of those come from people just not knowing me as a player or knowing my work ethic. So just coming everyday and proving everybody wrong — anyone who doubts me — by working hard and trusting the coaching.”

Asked last week if he’s affected by the weather, which recently has been unseasonably warm, even by South Florida standards, Paul replied:

“I’m from Houston, Texas — come on now. (laughter) We practice in 100 degrees, not 90. … This is cool — we’ve got a breeze out here. In Houston, it’s humid and hot.”

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