DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins second-year cornerback Jamar Taylor was all smiles this week during the opening of organized team activities. For the first time in his NFL career, he is 100 percent healthy and happy.
Taylor, a 2013 second-round pick, had a nightmarish rookie season. A pre-draft kidney ailment and subsequent sports hernia set Taylor back from the start. He missed a majority of the offseason program and training camp. From there, Taylor spent the rest of the season playing catch up and ended up with just 40 total snaps. Taylor admitted to the Idaho Statesman that he even thought about walking away from football.
Fast forward to Tuesday where Taylor was in high spirits and candid with reporters. Taylor had a solid practice where he moved around well and appears to have his injuries behind him.
"I'm blessed -- that's the only word to describe it," Taylor explained. "When you're at your low, the only way to go is up. So it was humbling, it was very humbling.
"Coming out, you do so much in college and you see that this is the real deal. You're one-step behind and you can't be one-step behind. This is like an all-star team."
Taylor is competing with veteran Cortland Finnegan and fellow second-year player Will Davis for a starting job. Finnegan is getting the initial chance to start with first-team reps because of his experience. Taylor or Davis currently are playing in sub packages.
Miami did not get much from its rookie class last year. The Dolphins were ranked 30th in the NFL in rookie snaps with 1,126. Only the AFC champion Denver Broncos (1,066) and Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (1,111) had fewer snaps.
First-round pick Dion Jordan, Taylor and third-round picks Davis and Dallas Thomas are all expected to compete for roles and provide depth this year. Any production in 2014 from this group would be an upgrade over last season.
"I think it was a learning experience for all of us," Taylor said of Miami's 2013 draft class. "We all came here on our high horse and we got humbled real quick. I think we got to keep working. I expect all of us to do good, keep learning, play fast and compete."