Miami Dolphins

Dolphins bring in two more first-round prospects, including a homegrown defender

Grier: The ultimate goal is to win Super Bowls and championships and be a consistent winner,

Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL
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Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL

The NFL Draft is 10 days away.

And the Dolphins are still doing work.

They are hosting two more potential first-rounders Monday — one projected to go in the top 10 and another who could be the steal of the draft.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus said on WSVN-7 Sunday night that Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor will be in the building Monday as the Dolphins finalize their board ahead of next week’s draft.

Both names should be familiar to South Florida sports fans.

Bush played for Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines before attending Michigan.

Taylor, meanwhile, has been on the Dolphins’ radar for some time. He huddled with the team at the NFL Scouting Combine.

At the time, the Dolphins still had a right tackle on roster, Ja’Wuan James. But that’s no longer the case, with James signing a monster deal with the Broncos, and so Taylor — who lost some 50 pounds in high school — would be a logical fit at 13.

NFL Network’s Charley Casserly projects Taylor going seventh to the Jaguars in his latest mock draft, so the Dolphins might need to trade up or get lucky to land him.

Casserly’s colleague Daniel Jeremiah lists Taylor the 14th-best prospect, regardless of position.

“He has average height and a broad frame for the position,” Jeremiah wrote. “In the passing game, he has the foot quickness to cover up speed rushers and the athleticism to redirect versus counter moves. He has a bad habit of scooping instead of punching, which allows defenders to get into his chest. However, he is still sturdy versus power rushers, despite giving up his chest. In the run game, he has tremendous upper-body strength to torque and toss defenders. He’s nasty. Some teams will prefer his power inside at the guard position, but I see him as a quality starting right tackle.”

As for Bush, the son and namesake of a former NFL safety and Super Bowl champ, it would be interesting to see where he would fit in the Dolphins’ multiple defensive scheme. His body size (5-11, 234 pounds) suggests he’s a 4-3 weak-side linebacker in the NFL, but the Dolphins probably are not going to play a ton of that this year.

More likely, he would be on the field as a coverage linebacker in the sub package, which the Patriots used essentially as their base defense in recent years.

Jeremiah ranks Bush as the ninth-best player in the draft, but since the NFL devalues linebackers, he might slip all the way to the 20s. Taking Bush would suggest that the Dolphins are set on taking the best player available, regardless of need.

“Bush is a little undersized for the position (5-11, 234 pounds), but he makes up for it with instincts, twitch and production,” Jeremiah wrote. “He’s excellent as a zone dropper against the pass — quick to key routes and get a jump on the ball. In man coverage, he has the speed to run with tight ends and running backs, but he gets a little too grabby down the field. He is an excellent blitzer, using a dip/rip move to defeat running backs. Bush really excels in the run game. He is quick to identify, fill and chest up runners. He is also capable of shocking and shedding guards when they work up to the second level. He has a high batting average as a tackler and provides some huge hits. Overall, Bush is a three-down linebacker, and he’ll provide the team that drafts him with a physical presence.”

Bush, who believes concerns about his size are overblown, said this at the NFL Scouting Combine: “What you see on tape is real. That’s what you’re going to get 100 percent of the time, and it’s no fluke. I’m a tough player. I play hard, and my film speaks for itself.”

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