Miami Dolphins Notes: Fins to work out top TE, continue showing interest in QBs

This is going to be an interesting week in NFL history as the courts now get involved in the suddenly very contentious labor dispute between the players and owners as they attempt to draw up a new CBA. But as I said last week, I don't plan on focusing in on this entire saga - there are a million sources doing a far better job of that than I could.

Besides, you all come here to talk Dolphins - and that's what you're going to get.

Dolphins to work out Arkansas TE

According to various sources, the Dolphins are planning to have TE D.J. Williams in for a private work out sometime this month. Williams, built in the mold of Dustin Keller, is probably the top pass-catching tight end available in April's NFL Draft. At 6'2, 245 pounds, Williams is an athletic tight end who is undersized but still does show good effort blocking.

For the Dolphins, though, Williams is exactly the kind of tight end that this offense has lacked since David Martin. Officially running a 4.67 40, though some had him timed in the high 4.5s or low 4.6s, Williams can stretch the field down the seam and help provide both big plays vertically as well as giving Miami's underneath receivers more room to operate.

Williams is also a "high character" guy who is clean off the field, despite a rough upbringing, and is a hard worker and vocal leader in the locker room - traits that this regime clearly puts an emphasis on.

Mel Kiper envisions that Arkansas tight end to be a second or third round pick. For Miami, I think they'll find it difficult to pass on the kid if he's still on the board when the Dolphins are on the clock in round three.

Other Dolphins notes:

  • Am I the only one wondering if the Dolphins will ask D.J. Williams about his college teammate and quarterback Ryan Mallett? I'd say that's a safe bet. However I still don't know what to make out of Miami's interest in numerous quarterbacks this offseason. According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have shown interest in at least the following quarterbacks: Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett, Colin Kaepernick, Christian Ponder, and Ricky Stanzi. The Herald even says the Dolphins have interviewed Kaepernick twice already. But could all this just be some smoke to get opposing teams to think the Dolphins are going to spend a high pick on a quarterback?
  • Good point by Omar Kelly, who mentions that the longer a lockout stretches on for, the better the chances are that Chad Henne will be the starting quarterback in 2011. If this lockout does indeed stretch out beyond the NFL Draft, any incoming rookie would have a lot less time to learn the offense before the season eventually begins. And both the free agency and trade routes can't be explored until a new CBA is reached or the courts force the league year to begin. So the big winner of a lockout could very well be Henne, who could face less competition for his job thanks to this labor mess.
  • Barry Jackson makes an interesting point in his latest article, highlighting how the Dolphins could be restricted this offseason if a salary cap is put back in place. The Dolphins are currently looking at about $103 million against a 2011 cap - and that doesn't factor in Paul Soliai's $12 million as the team's franchise player. That final proposal from the NFL, per Jackson, would have resulted in a $114 million cap number in 2011. That would obviously be a concern - and would force Dolphins' "capologist" Dawn Aponte to earn her money.
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