Just five weeks remain until draft weekend, and Phillip Dorsett is still one of the year’s most intriguing prospects at his position.
The University of Miami receiver, whose 4.33-second 40-yard dash was the third-fastest at the NFL Scouting Combine, will make his closing argument to teams at the school’s pro day next week.
Mel Kiper, however, is already sold. ESPN’s draft expert called Dorsett the year’s most versatile and underrated receiver Thursday during a national conference call.
“I want to get him in the slot and get him in space,” Kiper said of Dorsett. “In terms of overall versatility, he would be the guy at the top of the list for me.”
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But is he the fastest? Central Florida’s Breshad Perriman would argue no. Perriman ripped off a blazing 40-yard dash at his school’s predraft workout Wednesday, unofficially timed in the low 4.2s.
In his latest mock draft, Kiper has the Dolphins selecting Louisville wideout DeVante Parker, a gifted albeit raw prospect who Kiper believes will go somewhere between the 10th and 15th overall picks. The Dolphins’ first rounder is No. 14.
“A heck of player at Louisville,” Kiper said, adding that Parker has a “fear factor” with “deceptive burst.”
Parker, who missed half of his senior year with a foot injury but still caught 43 passes for 855 yards and five touchdowns, will likely be the third receiver off the board on April 30. But who will go first — Alabama’s Amari Cooper (a Miami Northwestern grad) or West Virginia’s Kevin White?
Kiper isn’t sure, but he would take Cooper before anyone else at that position.
“[He’s] the higher rated player,” Kiper said. “I think Cooper has a better chance of coming in [and producing] right away. He’s a better route runner. ... Not only quick but fast. He’s probably the hardest worker in this draft.”
If the Dolphins covet Cooper or White, they’ll assuredly have to trade up — which seems unlikely considering their lack of ammunition. The league awarded the team no compensatory picks this year, and they lost the third-rounder in the Kenny Stills trade. The Dolphins own just two of the draft’s first 113 picks.
That suggests they’ll be more prone to move back than forward early in the draft.
▪ There has been speculation that the Dolphins will target Georgia running back Todd Gurley in Round 1. Kiper thinks that would be a bad idea — even if Gurley didn’t tear his ACL in November. He believes taking any running back that high “is not worth it.”
▪ UM back Duke Johnson, meanwhile, will likely be taken at a “bargain point” — presumably in the middle rounds.
▪ Dolphins defensive end Derrick Shelby has signed his restricted free agent tender, a one-year contract that will pay him $2.4 million in 2015.