The Miami Dolphins have met with former Miami Hurricanes stars Duke Johnson and Clive Walford at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, according to a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Chris Perkins and Keven Lerner. Both players are projected to be second round draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and both could fit perfectly into the Dolphins' offense.
Johnson, a running back and the all-time leading rusher in University of Miami history, could be added to the Dolphins' roster as a compliment to Lamar Miller, who reached the 1,000 yard plateau for the first time in his career last year. Another Hurricanes alum, Miller averaged just 16 carries per game in 2014, with the Dolphins clearly trying to prevent him from wearing down as the season continued. The Dolphins had signed Knowshon Moreno to a one-year contract prior to the season to serve in a running back platoon with Miller, but Moreno missed nearly the entire season with a dislocated elbow and a torn ACL. He is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, and it does not appear Miami is planning to re-sign him.
Walford is one of the top tight end prospects in the draft, coming off a 44 catch, 676 yard, 7 touchdown season with the Hurricanes. He is a true all-around tight end, capable of blocking on the offensive line as well as being a pass catching threat. The Dolphins could be searcing for a tight end to pair with Dion Sims if they are unable to re-sign Charles Clay, who is scheduled to be a free agent as his rookie contract expires. Clay was third in the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, all while missing time due to injuries. Sims proved he is developing at the NFL level as he filled in for Clay, and he could be asked to take over the starting role if Clay leaves, opening the door for someone like Walford to become the primary backup.
The Dolphins also have Arthur Lynch at the position. The former Georgia Bulldogs tight end spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve after injuring his back in the preseason.
"I am the best tight end in this draft," Walford recently told the media. "I can block. I can catch. I can run after the catch. I do everything that a tight end is expected to do."
While most analysts have Walford listed behind Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams, NFL Network's Mike Mayock desribed Walford as the "most explosive tight end" in the draft class this year.
Obviously, there is a lot of time between now and the NFL Draft, which starts April 30, and this is the smoke-screen time of the year, but there is at least a possibility the Dolphins could be looking to keep some Hurricanes stars playing in Sun Life Stadium next year.