Armando Salguero

Draft Day 2: Players Miami Dolphins are targeting in the second and third rounds

East Washington's Cooper Kupp was selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America team for the fourth straight season.
East Washington's Cooper Kupp was selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America team for the fourth straight season. AP

Day Two of the NFL draft will include the second and third round of the process, with teams having five minutes to make their selections. This is what the Miami Dolphins are thinking at this hour ...

At some point in Round 2 a run on cornerbacks will happen. This year’s class of cornerbacks was particularly deep to where teams believe they are going to be able to land first-round caliber cornerbacks into the second round. And the Dolphins seem poised to be part of that run as they have targeted Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley for this round -- as I shared with you days ago.

About Tankersley: He is an excellent scheme fit for the Dolphins because he has classic press corner traits. He’s angular at 6-1 and 200 pounds. He has a 32 1/4-inch wingspan, which is very good. Remember Devante Parker, who has a phenomenal catch radius, has a 33 1/4-inch wingspan. So an inch less on a corner is impressive.

On a national championship team, Tankersley was a defensive leader. He was All-ACC. He was a third-team All American selection. He led the Tigers with 11 passes defensed. Oh, yes, he had eight interceptions which is a lot.

I should tell you Tankersley is on a lot of teams’ radar because he ran a 4.4 at the NFL Combine. Last year, Xavien Howard, picked by the Dolphins in the second round, ran a 4.55 at the NFL Combine.

More comparisons?

Howard had the greater leaping ability, jumping 33 inches on his vertical while Tankersley went 29.5 inches. Both did 10’ 2’’ in the broad jump and Tankersley was better in the three-cone drill while Howard was better in the 20-yard shuttle.

I don’t want to clutter this up too much with measurables so I’ll stop there.

This is more important: Unlike first round pick Charles Harris, who I reported the Dolphins coveted first and you better believe that got a reaction within the Dolphins building!, Tankersley visited the Dolphins in the past month.

And I’m not clear on what happened or what was said, but I’m told the player hit a home run on that visit. Who knows, maybe he showed the Dolphins how he’s going to cover Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski. No idea.

But it sold the Dolphins.

Anyway, Tankersley seems to be the guy in the second round if the Dolphins can get to him.

The third round will follow this evening and as the picture attached to this article suggests, the Dolphins have a bit of a surprise planned.

They really, really, really like an obscure wide receiver from Eastern Washington named Cooper Kupp.

Who?

Kupp is the leading receiver in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) history. He caught 428 passes for 6,464 yards in four years.

And, I know what you’re thinking, he’s a Wes Welker wanna-be.

Well, he is a slot receiver. And he’s not fast -- he ran a 4.62 at the NFL Combine.

But he’s 6-2 compared to the 5-10 Welker. He’s something of a bruiser in that he powers himself open rather than watching Welker get open on sheer quickness and precise route running.

Kupp, like most of the players the Dolphins are targeting, embodies a confidence and swag that coach Adam Gase loves. Gase, you see, has swag in his own right. The Dolphins are going for competitive, engines-revved, hearts engaged kids.

Kupp has those traits. Oh, yes, he’s also productive.

So there’s that.

These are only two names of players the Dolphins are targeting today. As the team does not release the names of such players, I cannot pretend to be sharing the full list.

I assume safeties are on the list and although I believe Obi Melifonwu will be gone by pick No. 54 (Miami’s pick in the second round) I would expect he’s a targeted player today in the second round for Miami.

The Dolphins need a linebacker. They’re searching for a strongside backer to be out there so that Koa Misi isn’t and Salguero doesn’t freak. So Tyus Bowser is likely a targeted guy in the third round. Bowser got into a fight with a teammate last year so the Dolphins did a lot of homework on that to help figure out what makes this kid tick.

Another likely third-round target is UCF safety Shaquill Griffin.

Two things: GM Chris Grier can spot safeties. He found Reshad Jones in the fifth round once upon a time. And the Dolphins have a long-range need for a safety. They can manage in 2017, but the answers they have on the roster now are short-term or incomplete answers. They need a long-term answer to team with Jones in the back end.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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