Smokescreens and due-diligence, those are the two main terms that describe this time of year for NFL clubs. No one wants to tip their hand as to what they may do when the NFL Draft arrives at the end of next month, but they also need to visit with the college players they would be interested in selecting during the Draft. It is a carefully orchestrated balancing act.
The Miami Dolphins are well into their preparations for the annual selection meeting, attending the various college pro days around the country, meeting privately with players during those workouts and extending invitations to players to come to Miami to meet with the team. The Dolphins cannot acquire every player with which they meet, and they may not have met with a player they select, but the due-diligence of meeting with these players gives Miami a better sense of exactly who is on the draft board, while also giving fans a chance to analyze what the team might do in April.
Several reports over the past few days have indicated the Dolphins are either meeting with a player or have shown interest in a specific player. The team had scouts attend the Western Kentucky pro day on Monday, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com, with guard Forrest Lamp the top prospect at the workout and who completed drills as a guard and a center. Many of the most recent mock drafts from around the internet project the Dolphins to select Lamp with the 22nd overall pick.
Pauline also writes that the Dolphins had coaches on hand for Houston’s pro day on Monday, where linebacker Tyus Bowser was the headliner. Miami met with cornerback Brandon Wilson, who also did some running back drills on the day, and recorded 24 reps on the bench press, a 41-inch vertical, an 11-foot-1 broad jump, and a 4.35-second 40-yard dash.
The Pauline article also mentions that Miami has set up an official visit with Mississippi State defensive end Johnathan Calvin.
Aaron Wilson, who covers the Houston Texans for the Houston Chronicle and the NFL as a whole for National Football Post, mentioned the Dolphins in a couple of tweets recently. He wrote on Wednesday that the Dolphins have invited Connecticut cornerback, and Miami native, John Green to their local-prospect pro day. Slightly earlier, he had written that the Dolphins were “showing interest” in Richmond defensive tackle Winston Craig, who likely is a late-round pick, or potentially an undrafted free agent.
Tuesday, according to the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley, the team had defensive line coach Terrell Williams in Michigan to conduct a workout with Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who is projected as a late-first or early-second round pick, and has the flexibility to play outside on the defensive line as an end.
Miami working to find defensive tackles is not a surprising move. The team visited with Dontari Poe in free agency this year and would like to add more depth behind the presumed starting tandem of Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. Head coach Adam Gase told the media during his availability at the NFL owners meetings this week in Arizona that the team is looking to add a player at defensive tackle, whether it be a free agent signing now, in the draft, or possibly a free agent after the draft.
Pauline mentions in an article from last week that the Dolphins have “a lot of interest” in Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley, though they have no met with him. Wormley is seen as a edge-setting defensive end who could play in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 formation, but may need some time to develop into a true pass rusher.
Finally, Pauline also writes that the Dolphins have set up an official visit with 6-foot-1, 220 pound North Carolina State safety Josh Jones.