How eager are the Dolphins to find a young safety to groom to play longterm alongside Reshad Jones?
Of the maximum 30 permitted draft prospects that the NFL allows teams to invite to their headquarters, the Dolphins have used at least six – and perhaps more – on safeties.
The newest name to visit Davie, according to a team source: ball-hawking BYU standout Kai Nacua, who was summoned to Dolphins headquarters earlier this week.
Nacua had six interceptions each of the past two seasons and 14 in his career.
His six picks ranked seventh in the country each of the past two years. Nobody in BYU football since 1974 has had more career interceptions.
A Jim Thorpe award semifinalist, he also holds the BYU record for picks in a single game with three, against Boise State in 2015.
Pro Football Focus rates him the No. 5 college football safety for 2016, both overall and in coverage.
Though he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.48 at his pro day and his results would have ranked him in the top six among safeties at the Combine in vertical jump, broad jump, 20-yard dash, 40-yard dash and three cone drills.
Waletrcampfootball.com said Nacua's statline “wasn't an anomaly as he showed excellent instincts…Nacua is a sleeper prospect who could be a steal. Teams graded him as a late-rounder because [of doubts about] his speed.” But he then ran well at his Pro Day.
Fox Sports says “Nacua is one of the best in the nation when it comes to reading the opposing quarterback. He diagnoses plays quickly and finds his way to the football. He isn’t just a spy either. Nacua is also an enforcer who will punish receivers for going over the middle of the field.”
Of the 30 permitted non-local visitors, I’ve confirmed 19 of the Dolphins’.
The other safeties who visited team headquarters: Texas A&M’s Justin Evans, NC State’s Josh Jones, Connecticut’s Obi Melifonwu, Florida’s Marcus Maye and UCF’s Shaquill Griffin.
The Dolphins signed safeties Nate Allen and TJ McDonald to one-year deals, but McDonald is suspended for the first eight games next season.
Please click here for my four other posts today, including this one on a familiar-named linebacker the Dolphins worked out and this one with NFL schedule tidbits, including a new broadcast rule that could affect the Dolphins. And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz