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Dolphins OL Laremy Tunsil admits 'everything needs to get better' before training camp

Addressing reporters Thursday after the final day of minicamp, rookie OL Laremy Tunsil said, "I still need to work every day at the position." AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

DAVIE, Fla. -- Perhaps the immediate, Day 1 expectations were too high for Miami Dolphins first-round pick Laremy Tunsil. From the moment the Dolphins landed Tunsil at No. 13 overall in April, the highly touted offensive lineman carried the weight of a top-three pick -- and for good reason.

Some draft experts believe Tunsil was the best player in this year's draft. But due to off-field questions, including a video that surfaced on social media the night of the draft of Tunsil smoking a substance through a bong, the talented rookie unexpectedly fell into Miami's lap.

But so far Tunsil's play on the field has produced mixed results. The first-round pick has been inconsistent in learning left guard and left tackle. He has missed assignments, lost one-on-one matchups and allowed would-be sacks to veteran defenders in practice.

The Dolphins wrapped up their offseason program on Thursday. Tunsil is projected to be a Week 1 starter and has six weeks to work on his game before training camp.

"He has got a lot of room to get better," Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. "Any position that you play as a rookie, it's a different, different animal. It's funny, we were actually talking with him and a couple other guys, [and] we were talking about how training camp is going to be another speed. Preseason is going to feel like another speed. And then when you hit the regular season, it's a completely different speed."

In terms of positives, Tunsil has shown good feet, strength and athleticism this spring. There were two instances on Thursday when he effortlessly ran 15 yards downfield to block on screen passes. These are flashes that show why Tunsil was viewed as one of the draft's top talents.

However, the Dolphins cannot afford only flashes this season from Tunsil. They need a consistently dominant player to improve an offensive line that has allowed an NFL-high 184 sacks since the 2012 season, including 45 last season.

After the final day of minicamp, Tunsil provided a self-examination.

"Everything needs to get better," Tunsil said. "Everything needs to be in one motion. I still need to work every day at the position."

Tunsil added he "probably" will return to Ole Miss, his alma mater, this summer to work out with a strength coach. Tunsil sounds intent on keeping focused on football during his free time, which is music to Gase's ears because the Dolphins are counting on their first-round pick this upcoming season.

"This goes with everybody -- we just can't have guys that just don't do anything," Gase said. "It's not 20 years ago where you got six weeks to work into shape. You got to hit the ground running. You got to be ready to go. It's going to take a second to get back into football shape, but you can't be grossly out of shape. You got to stay in your [play]book. Because if you come back and you don't know what to do, it's going to be a problem because you're going to play slow."