Miami Dolphins

With a block, Oregon’s Tyrell Crosby changed that game. Could he now become a Dolphin?

North Squad offensive tackles Tyrell Crosby of Oregon (73) and Brian O’Neill of Pittsburgh run drills during the North team’s practice ahead of January’s Senior Bowl.
North Squad offensive tackles Tyrell Crosby of Oregon (73) and Brian O’Neill of Pittsburgh run drills during the North team’s practice ahead of January’s Senior Bowl. AP

Poor Jalyn Holmes.

The Ohio State rush end was simply trying to get through his one-on-one drill, and the next thing he knew, he was getting the football version of posterized.

Holmes will probably never forget his showdown with Tyrell Crosby.

The scouts and coaches who saw it go down at January’s Senior Bowl surely won’t.

The ball was snapped. Holmes got out of his stance, took two steps, and ended up on his backside.

Crosby, an offensive tackle out of Oregon, slung him to the ground with such strength — and ease — that Denver Broncos coaches (who led the North team in Mobile) were concerned for Holmes’ well-being.

“God d---!” one coach was heard shouting in video obtained by the Miami Herald. “Holy s---! Are you all right?”

 

Felt great putting the pads back on last week

A post shared by Tyrell Crosby (@tyrellcrosby) on

Holmes was fine.

But Crosby? He was fantastic.

He knew that he was at his best when it mattered the most.

“I felt like that was my highlight [of Senior Bowl],” Crosby told the Herald. “Coaches were telling me that was the block of the week.”

Here’s why it was important: It not only solidified his place as at least a second-day draft pick, it made some stop and think —Should he go in the first round?

Mike Mayock, an analyst for NFL Network, could be convinced. He already has Crosby ranked fourth among this draft class’ offensive tackles, behind only Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey, Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown and Texas’ Connor Williams.

But in Crosby’s mind, that’s three spots too low.

“I personally believe I’m the best tackle in this class,” he said.

He has data to back up that boast. Crosby did not allow a quarterback sack or hit in 844 snaps at left tackle in 2017.

“Statistically, every other Top 5 tackle has given up a sack,” added Crosby, who is comfortable playing on both the left and right sides.

So what will it take to be that first tackle taken in April?

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“I think if I just really show up at the Combine [which starts next Tuesday] and prove that I’ve been working hard and pushing myself, [I’ll] get great results.”

Count the Dolphins among the teams that will watch his progress with great interest.

They already sat down with Crosby, meeting with him in Mobile. And they gave hints that he could be in the mix — if not at 11, but certainly when they pick in the early 40s in Round 2.

“They were telling me about that [they had a need for a tackle],” Crosby said. “They just asked if I knew anything about their O-line, and that their tackle is getting older.”

That tackle is presumably Ja’Wuan James, who is due $9 million this year by virtue of Miami picking up his fifth-year option. However, the Dolphins can get out of that obligation if James passes a physical before the start of the league year. James missed the last eight games of the season with a hamstring injury.

If the draft were today, Crosby would be more likely to go in Round 2 than Round 1.

He had injury issues of his own — missing almost all of the 2016 season with a broken foot. If he had not gotten hurt, Crosby would have likely gone pro after his junior year.

Crosby went a bit overlooked this past season, but expects to change that in Indianapolis. He’s shed about 15 pounds since the season ended and is out to prove that he is more athletic than given credit for. He hopes to have at least 20 reps on the bench press, run a fast shuttle and a 40 in the high 5.1s. The comp for his skill set and body type is probably La’el Collins, who has blossomed into a fine player for the Cowboys.

Like Collins, he can play both guard and tackle.

And the Dolphins most certainly have needs at both.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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