What to know about new Dolphins developmental tackle Bayron Matos. And Fins notes

New Dolphins rookie Bayron Matos hasn’t played a single snap on offense in an organized football game in his life, but he already has lofty goals.

“I want to be one of the best tackles to play in the NFL,” he said Friday, following the first session of the Dolphins’ two-day rookie minicamp.

The Dolphins thought so much of Matos — who towers over most at 6-7 and 313 pounds — that they guaranteed him $247,500, an unusually high number for an undrafted rookie. At least 10 other teams showed interest.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Matos, 23, initially played baseball growing up (he could throw in the 90s as a pitcher) but moved to the United States to play college basketball for two years at New Mexico and for a year at USF.

He walked on as a football player at USF and played a couple dozen snaps on defense before moving to the offensive line.

Why did he pick the Dolphins? “Great coaching staff, great people; they take care of their players,” Matos said. “They develop players here. I looked at that a lot. And it’s Miami. I love the weather. I love the heat.

“They gave me the opportunity to be here. I’m really grateful for that. Not a lot of people take a chance on a guy who never played the sport before.”

Being coached by offensive line coach Butch Barry also apparently appealed to him.

“I love that boy,” Matos said. “I like the energy.”

Matos moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when he was 17, initially for “basketball, to learn English, learn the culture.”

In three years playing Division I college basketball, he averaged 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds and 14 minutes per game in 48 games and 19 starts.

But Matos’ “host family in Tennessee said… you will be a football player. You will never touch a basketball.”

So he walked on at USF and appeared in two games as a defensive end before switching to the offensive line, where he never saw game action.

“I played 11 snaps in two games, against BYU and Howard, got the feel for it, played special teams,” Matos said. “Football is a beautiful sport.”

Does blocking feel natural as an offensive lineman? “I can still get rebounds,” he cracked.

But seriously… Matos has been studying NFL offensive linemen.

“One of my favorite players is Tyron Smith,” he said of the Dallas Cowboys’ eight-time Pro Bowl tackle. “I watch that guy a lot. Watching that guy play is like watching art.”

Matos is one of 16 players who was selected for the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, designed to give opportunities to foreign players. He runs well for his size — a 4.88 in the 40-yard dash.

Though English isn’t his first language, he has a pretty good handle on it. When he first moved to the United States, he would answer “I’m hungry” to any question he was asked in English.

“Everyone used to ask, ‘How are you?’ I’m hungry. ‘You going to school today?’ I’m hungry. That was my answer for everything for seven months.”

His favorite three Dominican athletes playing U.S. sports? He cited former MLB star players David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez and current player Robinson Cano.

Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, now with NFL Network, said Matos, who trained at IMG Academy in Bradenton, “has picked up specific offensive line movement skills quicker than most and is making remarkable strides.”

Because of Matos’ practice squad exemption, Miami can keep him as a 17th player on its practice squad — one more player than teams typically can keep.

Durval Qeiroz-Neto was the Dolphins’ most recent international developmental player; he never played a regular-season snap for Miami.


Occasionally NFL veterans are invited to try out at rookie minicamps across the league. The Dolphins invited one such veteran this weekend: edge rusher Aaron Lynch, who has 21 sacks in 81 NFL games but hasn’t played in the NFL since 2020.

Lynch, now 31 and listed at 6-5 and 260 pounds, was a fifth-round pick out of USF in 2014.

He was the only non-rookie among 46 players attending rookie minicamp and one of 27 who attended on a tryout basis.

Upstate, former Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry is trying out with Jaguars at their rookie minicamp.

Among other players attending Dolphins rookie minicamp on a tryout basis: FIU linebacker Alex Nobles and former UF backup quarterback Micah Leon. The Dolphins rookie camp concludes Saturday; it is not open to the public.

Former UTEP quarterback Gavin Hardison, who will attempt to challenge Skylar Thompson for the No. 3 QB job, has been cleared for throwing after Tommy John (elbow) surgery in November.

“I’m at the end stages of the recovery process,” he said Friday. “I am going to eventually get to where I was arm strength wise. I might not be there right now, but I’m close.”

Former Louisville cornerback Storm Duck said the fact the Dolphins have developed undrafted cornerbacks (Nik Needham and Kader Kohou) factored into his decision to sign with Miami:

“That was a huge thing; Miami has a good track record of that.”

Former UCLA edge rusher Grayson Murphy said he wasn’t aware of a Pro Football Focus tidbit that he has the most career quarterback pressures of any draft-eligible player in last month’s draft (172).

“I feel like my pass rush is the No. 1 asset,” he said. “The draft didn’t go as I wanted, but I ended up in the right spot.”