Miami Dolphins

Local college prospects looking to impress hometown Dolphins ahead of NFL Draft

Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase could be set up for success with an easy early schedule and the return of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase could be set up for success with an easy early schedule and the return of starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Welcome to Bulletin Board, the Miami Herald’s weekday roundup covering everything in the South Florida sports scene. A lot to talk about today. Let’s get right to it.

Dolphins hosting top local talent

The Miami Dolphins have shown interest in a host of top players from this year’s draft class, from quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen to defenders Vita Vea and Roquan Smith.

On Friday, they will get an up close and personal look at the NFL Draft prospects who are right in their back yard at their annual pre-draft local pro day.

In addition to players from the University of Miami, FIU and FAU, players expected to be in attendance include Georgia running back Sony Michel, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, FSU linebacker Matthew Thomas and South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore — all of whom grew up in South Florida

The three-day NFL Draft, which begins April 26, will be one of the last steps for the Dolphins to add to their roster after making vast changes throughout the offseason by releasing or trading big-name players in Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey. The team still has plenty of needs to address — safety, linebacker, tight end — before training camp begins. Another quarterback is expected to be added as well, although maybe not with a first-round pick like most expect. Coach Adam Gase, though, feels the team is heading in the right direction overall.

Panthers keep playoff hopes alive (again)

The Florida Panthers simply won’t stop.

The latest feat: a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday to stay relevant in the playoff hunt.

Aleksander Barkov opened scoring in the first period with his 100th career goal, Jared McCann broke the 2-2 tie with a game-winning shot on the first line late in the third period and Roberto Luongo saved 26 of 28 shots against goal in his 1,000th career game.

With two games left (and a game in hand), the Panthers can only catch the Philadelphia Flyers, who are up by four points on Florida. In short: The Panthers need to win their final two games (home Saturday against Buffalo and on the road Sunday against Boston) and for the Flyers to lose to the New York Rangers on Saturday to see the postseason.

Marlins shut out on the road

The Miami Marlins have failed to gain any traction after a promising series split against the Chicago Cubs to open the season.

The Marlins have lost three games in a row, the latest a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in their first road game of the season. Starter Caleb Smith lasted just three innings, during which he gave up three runs and walked six batters. The Marlins (2-5) recorded just four hits.

Both teams have an off day Friday and then conclude their three-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

Gerald Willis: A changed man

Gerald Willis, a former blue-chip prospect from Louisiana and a soon-to-be-senior defensive tackle for the University of Miami, has had his share of transgressions during his collegiate career.

He was kicked out of the University of Florida, suspended more than once at Miami and last year took an unspecified leave of absence from the team.

His message on Thursday, his first time speaking publicly in two years: He’s here, he’s a changed man and he’s ready to make an impact for the Miami Hurricanes this season.

More news from the South Florida sports scene

Miami Heat

▪ Exploring the Heat’s possible playoff opponents. A Heat-Cavs first-round matchup is looking more and more likely, but does Kyrie Irving’s injury impact where the Heat wants to be seeded?

▪ He’s not in the Heat’s primary rotation, but coach Erik Spoelstra won’t hesitate to play him in the playoffs.

Miami Hurricanes

▪ Braxton Berrios still remains a firm believer in Malik Rosier.

▪ A look at what the basketball team’s roster could look like next season.

▪ Here’s what’s happening in Miami’s safety and cornerback competitions.

Soccer

▪ Brazil vs. Argentina at Hard Rock? It could happen.

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