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Rookie camp today ... production starts NOW

Sometimes patience is necessary. Me, I waited a long time before I got my life right. It took me a while to come to Truth.

But I wasn't drafted by the Miami Dolphins.

And so I had the benefit of time.

Dion Jordan doesn't.

Jamar Taylor probably doesn't.

Dallas Thomas and Will Davis shouldn't.

Everyone else is on scholarship, sort of.

What I mean is the Dolphins rookie draft class is on the clock -- again. No, they're not waiting for their names to be called by Commissioner Roger Goodell. We're now waiting for their names to be penciled in to the Dolphins starting lineup. We're now waiting for them to begin contributing as Dolphins players.

It begins today. The Dolphins will hold their first rookie camp practice at 2:30 p.m. (be here for live updates). And so production of some sort, learning, advancing toward a goal of contributing needs to begin. Today.

Take Jordan for example. He was the No. 3 overall selection. I read somewhere that talked about him being a project. Whaaaat? Look, I recognize he's not a finished product. He's got to learn techniques taught by Dolphins assistants. He's got to learn the scheme. He's got to adjust to the pace of the game. All that.

But he's the No. 3 overall selection. He's a pass-rusher. He needs to produce as a rookie.

Aldon Smith did. He had 14 sacks. Von Miller did. He had 11.5 sacks. As rookies. Jason Taylor and Jevon Kearse and DeMarcus Ware, the players the Dolphins most associate with Jordan, all produced to some degree or another as rookies. Ware had eight rookie sacks. Taylor, a third-round pick, had five rookie sacks. Kearse had 14.5 rookie sacks.

And none of them were the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.

Frankly, the NFL today is made for pass-rushers to produce at a high level. Teams are throwing more than ever so there are more opportunities. Tackles are being left on islands more than ever, so there are more one-on-one possibilties. And for Jordan, that should be more the case because if someone is getting doubled, it'll be Cameron Wake.

So the opportunity will be there.


Expectation alert here: I believe a solid year for Jordan would be seven to nine sacks. That's not spectacular. That's not babying the guy. That's solid production. Your thoughts?

(Peanut gallery and Dolphins apologists: But, Mando, the important statistic is hurries. Don't put pressure on the kid with a sack total. It's not nice.)

Ahh, the peanut gallery is back. I'm not putting pressure on Jordan. The Dolphins did that when they picked him No. 3 overall. You get plucked that high, you better get off the career blocks strong otherwise the pressure builds exponentially. As for hurries being the more fair statistic, fine. I expect 7-9 sacks and 12-15 more hurries.

There is obviously less pressure on Taylor. He's a second-rounder.

But he too is being counted on heavily to produce in 2013. Have you seen Miami's veteran cornerback corps? Questions everywhere. Is this guy's Achilles going to be right? Is that guy's back going to be right? Is the other guy really worth $4.6 million?

It would be great if the rookie could follow in the footsteps of past rookie corners who played very quickly -- Sam Madison, Pat Surtain, Vontae Davis, Sean Smith. Yes, I know only two of those players worked out longterm. But they all contributed early on even if they didn't all start right away.

The Dolphins would like that from Taylor. They need that from Taylor if the vets who are troubled by questions don't have the right answers.

Eventualy, perhaps by next season, Taylor also must be a starter. There are no two ways about it. Second-round picks are busts if they don't start.

Third-round picks get more latitude, obviously. Look at Michael Egnew. Look at John Jerry. They get some time. So Thomas and Davis have that time now.

No one will blink if they don't earn starting jobs. But Davis should be at least a special teams contributor. Heck, Thomas should contribute on teams as well.

Mike Westhoff, the great former special teams coach, once told me he knew if a player was going to be a player on offense or defense by how he played on special teams. If he had it once he got on the field on teams, he was probably going to factor at his position. He said it was rare for a linebacker, for example, to be a great defensive player without having a clue how to make a play on special teams. So there's that.

Bottom line is the Dolphins added these players to get better. Some will add depth. Some will be projects. Some will help special teams. Dion Jordan, meanwhile, is a puppy that needs to bare his teeth in 2013. Jamar Taylor needs to do that at some point in the season and definitely beyond.

It begins today with the opening of rookie camp.

{Blog note: Come back later for the undrafted free agent signing list. Also I'll give real-time updates on the camp, if Internet service is running, starting at 2:30 p.m. So come back. You should also follow me on twitter @Armando Salguero]