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Ireland draft wrap: Dolphins looking for acorns

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said the Dolphins "got better today," when he met with the media to wrap the 2009 draft.

But he, like most GMs, is also about getting better tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

And that is the reason the Dolphins will sign between eight and 10 undrafted college free agents in the coming days and also finalize a decision on unrestricted free agent OLB Jason Taylor. Herald colleague Jeff Darlington is reporting one undrafted player the Dolphins will sign is DE Ryan Baker of Purdue.

TE Jared Bronson (Central Washington) and OG Mark Lewis (Oregon) also are on Miami's undrafted list.

Ireland refers to the free agents as "acorns."

"We mentioned acors and [Taylor] is one sitting there on the ground right now," Ireland said. "We have to make a decision whether we're going to do that right now or not."

The timing is important. Taylor's camp expects to have a contract in place by this week sometime. Talks are expected to begin as early as Monday.

The Dolphins came out of this draft having accomplished a handful of assignments -- such as adding receiver and cornerback help. But they failed to add a nose tackle to groom behind veteran Jason Ferguson.

"It's a position we would have liked to address. But it didn't fall that way," Ireland said. "There's only so many nose tackles walking this Earth and we just didn't get our hands on one of them this year."

This is what Ireland said about the players the Dolphins took on the second day of the draft:

On Patrick Turner: "Runs excellent routes. He's a playmaker. Smart. I think he's got some versatility and has good hands. They know how develop receivers [at USC], they usually go on and get drafted."

Asked why Turner had 10 TDs his final season but only six the previous three, Ireland cited Turner's change in demeanor. "His confidence really grew. His production grew, too. He became a more confident player. They keyed on him more to be a playmaker. What he did at USC is very respectable. I like the player. We had him up there from Day One." 

On tight end John Nalbone: "He dominated at his level. He'll have to learn to play at the NFL level."

On safety Chris Clemons: "Good cover skills."

On LT Andrew Gardner: "He has left tackle feet. Good athlete. Good test score. He gives us much-needed depth at the left tackle position."

On linebacker J.D. Folsom: "A developmental candidate. Real good core special teams player. Sub down value as well." He will start out at the Moe linebacker which is the position Akin Ayodele currently plays. Channing Crowder plays the Mike.

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