The Miami Dolphins continue to explore their options with the 14th overall pick in this month's NFL Draft, welcoming potential draft picks to the team's training facilities in Davie, Florida. A report today from the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Clarence E. Hill, Jr., indicates the Dolphins will meet with running back Melvin Gordon on April 22. Miami is thought to be looking primarily wide receiver or cornerback with their 14th overall selection, but Gordon coming to Miami could indicate they are open to selecting someone else in that spot, could be looking to trade out of the position, or could be concerned none of the players they would like to select will be available by the time their pick comes around.
The article, which was written to highlight Gordon's visit with the Dallas Cowboys, states Gordon has also met with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens this offseason, in addition to the scheduled meeting with Miami.
Gordon is one of two running backs, along with Todd Gurley, who are considered potential first round draft picks this year. The Wisconsin running back rushed for 4,915 yards on 631 carries with 45 touchdows in four seasons. Last year, he carried the ball 343 times for 2,587 yards with 29 scores.
The Dolphins' Lamar Miller rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, but Miami clearly would prefer to have him work as a platoon running back, rather than a feature back getting 20-plus carries a game. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in 2014, with eight rushing touchdowns, but averaged just 13.5 carries a game, and only reaching 19 carries in a contest twice, the last two games of the year. Adding Gordon, or potentially Gurley, could be Miami's way of adding the complimentary back to Miller, and giving the team more options on offense.
NFL franchises are given 30 prospect visits per offseason, giving them a chance to get a closer look at a player they may select. The visit could result in nothing happening, with the club using the visit despite not having a plan to select the player, just as a player not visiting a team does not signal a team has no interest. The Dolphins could just be doing their due deligence here, they could be looking to select Gordon, or they could be trying to use the visit to cover their real target with the 14th pick.
The NFL Draft will kick off on Thursday, April 30.