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Center James Empey

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by KeyFin, Sep 2, 2022.

  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Not sure how we missed this yesterday, may have been late in the day, but the Fins signed center James Empey, a UFDA center that didn't make the roster of the Cowboys.

    He was a 4-year starter at BYU and received strong grades for blocking ability and football smarts, but was thought to be a late rounder because of his size (6' 3", 297 pounds) and shorter arms. His draft profile weaknesses was that he sometimes struggled to move larger D linemen and he would sometimes over-pursue at the 2nd level and let a backer/corner skip in behind him.

    I've seen a few videos saying that he might be the best center on our roster today, so that's a great move as this kid tries to crack our rotation. He's still a rookie so there's a lot of unknowns, but I like the roll of the dice anyway. He will definitely get playing time anyway and it would be huge if he could be the starter.
     
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  2. Tin Indian

    Tin Indian Rockin' The Bottom End Club Member

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    Shorter arms on a center don't bug me too much, if he was a tackle I'd be far more worried because that doesn't usually end well. Sounds like he is a little on the smaller side but if they can put some strength on that frame it seems he has the skills.
     
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  3. Fishhead

    Fishhead Well-Known Member

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    It’s pretty amazing that in today’s game, 297 pounds is considered “small”.
     
  4. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    Well this is the best news I've heard in days. Let's hope he works out.
    Recebtly I've been doing some reading and listening about OL play and it might be the most misunderstood and underappreciated part of football. Being a British fan I didn't grow up playing the game so my personal knowledge is all theoretical and I came late to it all. The impression I think many people have is that OL work only requires heavy/strong guys who can push and shove well, bit there's a mix of understanding, observation, teamwork, and physical skill that might be unmatched in any position outside QB. They can't just go it alone and think only of their job.

    Drafting for physical traits alone, even physical ability and skill, won't necessarily get it done. A top OL player is a rare combination of talent and ability that in really something special.

    For my part, I might be proudest of the Dolphins if we can begin to field a solid offensive line who are boringly reliable. They can become almost invisible because they don't go wrong often and when they perform well all eyes will be on the QB, backs or receivers as they benefit from the dominance of the OL.

    Win the trenches guys!
     
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  5. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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  6. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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  7. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    O line is a lot like your version of football (our soccer). You could have the best players in the world on your team but if they don't work together and gel together, then you're team is probably going to be horrible. Line is exactly the same way.
     
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  8. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
  9. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    https://thedraftnetwork.com/nfl-cuts-zaquandre-white-heiligh-empey-rose/

    "James Empey
    (IOL)
    Empey is more a victim of the numbers game in Dallas within their offensive line group in general. You have projected starters in rookie Tyler Smith, Connor McGovern, Tyler Biadasz, Zach Martin, and Terrence Steele. Veteran tackle Tyron Smith will initially eat a 53-man roster spot despite an injury that is expected to sideline him until December at the earliest due to the rules for returning from injured reserve prior to roster cuts.

    That’s six players. Dallas carried nine OL last season. Add in a rookie in Matt Waletzko and a second-year player and a former fourth-round draft pick in Josh Ball and suddenly you now have eight. Matt Farniok played every offensive snap for the team in Week 2 of the preseason between center and left guard, seemingly making him a shoo-in as well and pushing the number of OL to keep initially at nine.

    Empey can play, he just happened into a team that had a perfect storm of recent draft investments worth keeping, an injury that will surely eat a roster spot during initial cuts, and a position-flexible utility lineman in front of him."

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    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10021373-james-empey-nfl-draft-2022-scouting-report-for-byu-iol

    "NOTES

    — Former 3-star offensive and defensive line prospect out of American Fork high school in Utah.

    — 41 career starts at center.

    — Missed six games in 2021 primarily because of a leg injury suffered against Washington State.


    OVERALL

    Empey is a four-year starter inside BYU's zone-based run scheme with 41 career starts at center, making all the line calls and setting protections since his freshman season in 2018.

    Empey has a smaller stature with middling girth and arm length, but he is a proficient, skilled run-blocker who plays with good leverage, pad level and balance. Empey shows an impressive understanding of how to work combo blocks with his guards, knowing how to fit on interior run-defenders to cover them up, overtake and release up to the second level. He has solid quickness to reach shades and strains through contact consistently, running his feet and reworking his hands to stay attached and finish when defenders attempt to disengage.


    Empey's middling arm length and power limit his ability to generate immediate displacement when needed and to control bigger, hulking defensive tackles, pigeonholing him as a zone-only scheme fit. He also has an erratic hit rate at the second level because of inconsistent angles and average movement skills.

    Overall, Empey is a proficient zone run-blocker with the football IQ to quarterback the pre-snap phase of the game. He lacks scheme or position versatility because of middling size and power, but his makeup and understanding of leverage is worth drafting for a backup role in a zone scheme.


    GRADE: 5.9 (Backup/draftable - 6th round)

    OVERALL RANK: 276

    POSITION RANK: IOL31

    PRO COMPARISON: Greg Mancz"
     
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  10. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    Sounds like exactly the sort of guy you want to take a look at, have as depth, and who just might be able to compete for a starting job.

    Good stuff. Let's see if he develops enough to take a starting position or at the very least a versatile backup who can fill the guard or center spots when needed.
     
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  11. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    I was a little disappointed this off-season that we didn’t make a play for a TRUE center. We’ve been lacking at that position since Pouncy’s retirement.

    I do wish we would have at least tries to get JC Tretter but his retirement made that option moot.
     
  12. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    If we had not taken Tyreek, I feel pretty confident that we would have snagged a center in the 1st or 2nd round. Or heck, maybe we would have ended up taking Empey in the 7th, who knows. The kid seems to have the talent and the IQ for the job, so we'll just have to see what happens.
     
  13. firedan

    firedan Well-Known Member

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    Looks like being patient may have paid off.
     
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  14. ExplosionsInDaSky

    ExplosionsInDaSky Well-Known Member

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    Hey, any avenue we can explore towards upgrading our O line and pushing in the direction of the best it can possibly be is always a great thing. Over the years we've been able to find some gems here and there. Most recently we found Jesse Davis...Now I know He wasn't the best, but he's made a career for himself in the league and he really wasn't all that terrible for us. I know absolutely nothing about this young man that we just signed, but who knows??? Maybe he surprises all of us. Maybe he becomes a perennial starter for us...Or maybe we cut him next week. Either way, this is just so much fun!
     

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