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Dolphins rookies Waddle, Phillips look to make instant impact

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, right, greets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Miami Dolphins with the sixth pick in the NFL football draft Thursday April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Tony Dejak, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – As the Miami Dolphins continue training camp, a pair of first-round draft picks are hoping to make an instant impact.

The Dolphins took speedster Jaylen Waddle with the No. 6 pick in the first round.

With the No. 18 pick, the Dolphins took pass-rusher Jaelan Phillips.

Waddle is excited about being in the NFL, “It’s been great. I think we are getting a lot of good chemistry out here. It’s just competing against one another. The heat, they told us it was going to be hot before , so heat is going to be heat.”

The Dolphins have big plans for the former Alabama wide receiver.

They are hoping that he has instant chemistry with one of his college quarterbacks, Tua Tagovailoa.

Waddle said, “It’s great. We are out here practicing. We out here competing. Just trying to get better.”

Waddle also might be a force for the Dolphins on special teams.

The rookie said, he will do whatever is needed, “I’m just trying to learn, honestly. Learn the playbook, learn my teammates and just try to get better. Help out and just do what the coaches ask me to do. That’s all they can ask and that’s all I’m going to give them.”

For Jaelan Phillips, he’s learning a new position in familiar surroundings.

The Dolphins are moving Phillips to linebacker, he played mostly defensive lineman in college.

Phillips said, “It’s definitely been an adjustment getting used to it again; but a lot of the terminologies are the same, a lot of the principles are the same. I’m just taking it in stride and trying to get better every day. It’s definitely cool.”

Phillips played his home games at Hard Rock Stadium when he was with the University of Miami and now he gets the chance to practice right next to the stadium.

Phillips said, “This is gorgeous. I can’t help but be happy just sitting in a meeting room looking out seeing Hard Rock in the background. It still blows my mind ‘til this day. Like I literally haven’t moved at all. I’m right here.”

Phillips was asked if any other rookies have reached out to him to show him where to go, Phillips said “They call me Mr. 305. I’ll tell you that much.”


About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.