A six-pack of Dolphins and UM notes:
• Though a front-seven defensive player remains the most likely first-round pick for the Dolphins, don’t rule out a defensive back.
And ESPN’s Todd McShay suggests Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.
“Conley has good tape, and his ball skills really stand out,” McShay said. “His combine performance could vault him into the first round, after he ran a 4.44 40 at 6-foot and 195 pounds. Conley's length (33-inch arms) and experience (26 starts) also will be assets as he transitions to the NFL.”
Conley had four interceptions last season.
Mel Kiper has the Dolphins picking Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp in the first round, but a guard in the first round would be a bit of a surprise.
• Adam Gase met with Brad Kaaya last week, as our correspondent Peter Ariz noted, but it would be surprising if the Dolphins invest a pick on a quarterback before the late rounds, if at all. Kaaya is projected as a third or fourth rounder.
• FSU receiver Travis Rudolph was among those who visited the Dolphins last week. He had 56 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
“Rudolph may not be a burner, but he consistently plays at his top speed and displays some polish in his route work,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said. “He doesn't have the explosive feet to uncover on shorter routes, but is more than capable of handling intermediate and some deep work. Rudolph will need to get stronger, but he's already a willing blocker in the run game which helps his cause. Could be an early backup who works himself into snaps fairly quickly.”
• Nice project by Dolphins’ linebacker Kiko Alonso, who is holding a youth football camp in Puerto Rico on April 22.
The clinic is organized by non-profit PRAFA, whose main purpose is to “promote, organize and take part in activities that develop, support and educate athletes in the sport of American Football in Puerto Rico.”
Dolphins players Mike Pouncey, Mike Pouncey, Andre Branch, Bobby McCain, Xavien Howard, Neville Hewitt, Mike Hull and Michael Thomas will join Alonso in Puerto Rico.
“Engaging with young athletes, encouraging them to strive for their dreams and building up football in Puerto Rico is the drive behind Alonso’s decision for the clinic,” said his agent, Steve Caric. “As a Hispanic American, whose father was raised in Puerto Rico, Alonso’s connection to the country stands as a strong reason to give back.”
See prafa.com for more details.
• No transfer this decade will enter UM with higher expectations than cornerback Dee Delaney, an FCS All-American at the Citadel and considered one of the top 20 corners in next year’s draft. In fact, one UM official said UM people see similarities to Antrel Rolle, who was a corner at UM and safety in the NFL.
Malek Young had an interception in Saturday’s scrimmage, and Young, Delaney and Jhavonta Dean (not yet enrolled) figure to be UM’s top three corners, with summer arrival Trajan Bandy having a chance to claim the No. 4 job.
Michael Jackson also has played well at times this spring.
• The quarterback play remains inconsistent, with three interceptions in Saturday’s scrimmage, but Evan Shirreffs impressed on a touchdown pass on the right sideline (one person at the scrimmage said he believed it was thrown to Dayall Harris) on Saturday, a play of about 40 yards in length.
Shirreffs, smart with good size, made some good throws in the scrimmage but threw an interception Saturday and needs to be more consistent with his accuracy, as all the quarterbacks do, according to a UM source.
Malik Rosier is at his best on run/pass option plays but also threw a pick and was inconsistent.
Jack Allison, like the others, made some good throws but also had a pick before injuring his shoulder.
It’s clear Cade Weldon isn’t ready yet (that could change), and it might be a stretch to presume super-talent N’Kosi Perry would be, either, but nobody will know until Perry arrives in May.
What’s clear, the person said, is that UM will miss Brad Kaaya and that none of the quarterbacks, at the moment, can sustain anything consistently, though there have been good moments from each of them.