Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins reach out to defensive tackle, other front seven prospects


Some Dolphins nuggets on a Tuesday:

• The Dolphins are on the lookout for at least one more defensive tackle, potentially two.

As Adam Beasley noted, they sent defensive line coach Terrell Williams to East Lansing, Mich., to work out Michigan State’s Malik McDowell, a potential first-round pick.

But they’ve also been poking around on other d-tackles. Among them: Oklahoma’s Charles Walker.

The Dolphins have invited him to visit team headquarters, and the sides are trying to work out a date.

He had six sacks in 2015 but was limited to four games last year because of his third concussion, which is a concern.

Here is Lance Zierlein’s assessment of him on

SUMMARY: Walker didn't gain a lot of fans in Norman with his exit from the Sooners midway through the 2016 season. He played well in the team's first four games (seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss), but suffered his third concussion against TCU. After one month trying to recover (and denying he was going to leave), he decided to quit the team to focus on preparing for his professional career for the sake of his daughter. In 2015, Walker didn't start a game but still managed to earn second-team All-Big 12 recognition with 10 tackles for loss and six sacks. That followed a redshirt freshman season where he showed flashes (five tackles, 0.5 sacks against Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl) but missed five contests with a knee injury.

STRENGTHS: Disruptive and productive as a sophomore in 2015. Can be tough to handle when motor is cranked and he's working the gaps. Comes off the snap with good get-off. Able to rip through a blocker's edge with good violence once the door opens up just a little bit. Has upper body power to set a strong edge. Plays with unusual agility and athleticism once he's into the backfield. Able to redirect his weight for sudden change of direction. Plays on his feet. Shows ability and play speed to chase down running backs and quarterbacks headed for the perimeter. Operates with a big closing burst and an extended playmaking radius. Hands show power and potential in both run and pass. Works his hands and feet in unison as interior rusher.

WEAKNESSES: Has had concussions in each of last two seasons. His football character called into question by coaching staff after he failed to come back from October 1 concussion and left team with two regular season games remaining to prepare for NFL draft. Effort level and motor fluctuates. Was a relative non-factor in all four of the games he played. High cut and struggles to maintain his ground against double teams. Lacked urgency as a pass rusher that he showed in 2015. Needs to add a rush counter when initial charge is foiled. Will lay on blocks at times. Needs quicker shed with tackle-ready posture.

BOTTOM LINE: “Disruptive defensive tackle with the initial quickness and power to become a factor for a one-gapping, upfield front if he can ever put it all together. Despite his flashes, Walker's career starts can be counted on one hand and 2016 was a complete loss of a season. NFL personnel men are likely to get harsh reviews from the Sooners coaching staff and teams will need to do their work on Walker's concussion situation, but his athleticism and potential give him a chance to become an NFL starter.”

• The Dolphins have been showing strong interest in Villanova defensive end/potential Day 2 draft pick Tanoh Kpassagnon, who had 11 sacks last season.

He met with defensive coordinator Matt Burke at the Combine and defensive line coach Terrell Williams flew to Philadelphia and took him to lunch after his Pro Day.

• The Dolphins have been showing interest in Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, a potential first-rounder, and have scheduled either a private workout or visit. It’s questionable if Reddick will be available when the Dolphins pick.

Mel Kiper has him going 11th in his latest mock draft. Miami picks 22nd in the first round.

“No prospect has risen as much during the pre-draft process as Reddick has. He was fantastic at the Senior Bowl, and he was one of the MVPs of the combine, with a 4.52 40, 36.5-inch vertical and 11-foot-1 broad jump,” Kiper said. “Reddick's value is in his versatility -- he could play inside or outside in a 4-3 or 3-4, with his hand in the dirt or playing on his feet in space.”

• The Dolphins gave a private workout to veteran corner John Ojo on Monday, but he’s expected to sign elsewhere, according to a source. Ojojo, who attended Florida A&M, had five interceptions for the Edmonton Eskimoes in the CFL in 2015 but missed last season with a torn Achilles’ tendon.

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