This past weekend, many tuned in to watch the East-West Shrine Game to get an up-close look at some of this year’s top NFL prospects. For those who missed it, I narrowed it down to 10 players to watch. And now, it’s time to do the same before this week’s festivities begin in Mobile, Alabama.
Since the North and South teams have a ton of talent, I will split this up into a series based on offense and defense. Several players chose not to participate in the Senior Bowl, like LSU QB Joe Burrow and Utah State RB Zach Moss—to name a few. Nevertheless, this game is loaded with NFL talent.
Here are 10 offensive players that could help the Miami Dolphins in 2020 and beyond.
Jordan Love, Utah State
Many draft analysts, including myself, believe that Jordan Love has all the tools to be an outstanding NFL QB. I would go as far as saying that aside from Tua Tagovailoa, Love’s potential is the highest of any of this year’s QB class. Nevertheless, Love must prove to scouts and GMs that his dismal 2019 season isn’t the norm. This season, Love threw for 3,402 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions compared to his 3,567 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions the year prior. Love may have the strongest arm in the class and some of the best mechanics of the group. A strong showing at the Senior Bowl could see Love skyrocket up draft boards. Regardless, a good week from Love can help the Dolphins in more ways than one.
Justin Herbert, Oregon
A few weeks ago, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller mentioned that no other team in the NFL has studied Justin Herbert as much as Miami. And sure, a lot of that had to do with former GM Mike Tannenbaum, but no one truly knows how the Dolphins’ draft board is stacked. What we do know is that personality issues aside, Herbert has prototypical size and one of the strongest arms in years. His 2019 season wasn’t quite what he expected—when he decided to return to school for his senior season—but Herbert has the chance to prove to GMs that he loves football and drafting him is the right decision. If a team becomes enamored by Herbert, it makes life a bit easier for the Dolphins to land the QB they covet. There’s also the possibility they fall in love with Herbert, and the entire world implodes.
OTHER: Anthony Gordon, Washington State. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, Steven Montez, Colorado.
Lamical Perine, Florida
We all know how badly Miami needs to inject new life into their running game. And besides a complete rebuild of the offensive line, the team will look to add one or two RBs via FA and the draft. With Utah State’s Zach Moss out, Lamical Perine will have every opportunity to showcase his skills in front of the onlookers in Mobile. Perine is a powerful back that runs with determination. He’s patient enough to wait for holes to develop and strong enough to bully his way through the pile. If Perine wants to appeal to the Dolphins, he must showcase his abilities as a pass-catcher during workouts. In three years, Perine only has 32 receptions.
RB #22 Lamical Perine has been running over LSU defenders all day pic.twitter.com/3qmTKDAkcV— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) October 6, 2018
Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
Eno Benjamin was a three-year starter at Arizona State and in 2019 carried the ball 253 times for 1,083 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Benjamin is a downhill runner that sees the field well but also can make defenders miss in open area. He’s not the best pass-catcher of the group, but if you can get him in space, good things will come. Don’t be surprised if Benjamin and Perine are the top two RBs this week in Mobile.
OTHER Antonio Gibson, Memphis
I’m not going to spend a lot of time breaking down the wide receivers because I don’t believe it’s something the Dolphins need to invest. However, this year’s class is stacked with talented wide receivers—and the Senior Bowl is no different. So, while I don’t believe Miami has a pressing need at receiver with a ton of draft capital, there’s very little doubt they will invest a pick on a promising, young WR to add to Chan Gailey’s arsenal of weapons.
Denzel Mims, Baylor
One glance over the Dolphins receiving corps, and you notice that their two top WRs are both towering individuals. DeVante Parker is 6’3, and Preston Williams is 6’5. So, no, I don’t think Miami requires another big-bodied WR—but Baylor’s Denzel Mims sure would look lovely in Aqua and Orange. Here’s a look at the things Mims can do that most WRs simply can not.
Denzel Mims with the catch of the year!! pic.twitter.com/Jl11d7qDLX— Barstool SicEm (@BarstoolSicEm) November 23, 2019
Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt
Lipscomb isn’t the most explosive WR, but he’s a refined route-runner that made some pretty impressive catches throughout his NCAA career. In 2018, Lipscomb led the SEC in receptions with 87, accumulating 916 yards and 9 TDs. However, between battling with personal issues and not getting the same opportunities in a struggling offense, he was never able to replicate those impressive numbers. I believe Lipscomb has the potential to succeed at the next level.
Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
I’ll never forget watching Aiyuk blow the top off of Oregon’s defense in one of the most memorable games of the NCAA season. He’s a speedster and if Miami were to move on from Jakeem Grant or Albert Wilson this offseason, Aiyuk would be a fitting replacement. He’s a game-changer.
OTHER: K.J Hill, Ohio State. Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty. Devin Duvernay, Texas.
OT, Josh Jones, Houston
Houston’s Josh Jones has all the tools to be a stout offensive tackle in the NFL. However, he also has a lot he must improve on before he maximizes his full potential. At 6’7, 310 lbs, Jones has all the physical attributes scouts like in a prospect. He can move players (see below), and his freakishly long arms help mask some of his imperfections. Miami desperately needs help on the offensive line, which would lead me to believe they could have an interest in the Houston tackle.
There’s not enough buzz around Houston OT Josh Jones right now.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 10, 2020
Really love his combo of quick feet and length that allow him to really control the edge. Very good mover in space. Took a step up this year with his hands too.
Top 50 player for me.
IOL, Matt Hennessy, Temple
There have been several offensive linemen that have decided to go back to play one more year of college football. And although that isn’t the best for teams like the Dolphins—who are desperately in need of help throughout their offensive line—it allows other players to move up the draft board. One of those players is Temple center Matt Hennessey. Hennessey runs well for a player of his size and can redirect players with ease. Very few in the country are as good at pass-blocking, which makes Hennessey an intriguing prospect for a team in desperate need of interior line help.
Meanwhile, here’s a nice rep from Matt Hennessey of Temple. Quickly into the DT on the combo block then the vision and awareness to see the safety and peel back before he can nail the runner. Helps the back out here big time. pic.twitter.com/0iQ1gc1IsT— Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) January 11, 2020
OT, Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
At 6’7, 305 lbs, Tega Wanogho fits the mold of an NFL offensive tackle. He uses his long arms and Mr.Miyagi hands to fight off pass-rushers and moves well for a player of his size. However, he’s still developing, and it is clear that his technique remains a work in progress. With the right coaching, Wanogho has the potential to be an every-day starter in the NFL. Here’s an example of his ability to completely dismantle the opposition.
Prince Tega is the beginning of an avalanche... pic.twitter.com/9pk99N12v3— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 30, 2019
OTHER: IOL, Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU. IOL, Nick Harris, Washington.
I could go on for days about which prospects the Dolphins may have interest in drafting. However, I tried my best to narrow it down to ten, or close to it. Practices begin on Tuesday and run through Thursday, which will be available to watch only on NFL Network. I will also be posting videos on Twitter @Houtz. Enjoy.
Catch the Senior Bowl live January 25th at 2:30 PM EST, only on NFL Network
This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow me on Twitter (@houtz)