Barry Jackson

Dolphins summon well-regarded guard to team headquarters

Utah offensive guard Isaac Asiata competes in the 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL football scouting combine Friday, March 3, 2017, in Indianapolis.
Utah offensive guard Isaac Asiata competes in the 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL football scouting combine Friday, March 3, 2017, in Indianapolis. AP

The Dolphins would like to draft a guard to challenge potential starters Jermon Bushrod and Ted Larsen, and Utah’s Isaac Asiata is very much on their radar.

The Dolphins summoned him to their headquarters for a visit today, Wednesday, with coaches and staff, according to a league source.

Asiata is a potential second-day pick (second or third round).

Here is Lance Zierlein’s assessment of Asiata on NFL.com:

“Isaac is the cousin of former Utah and current Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata. After serving a two-year church mission in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he shared the starting role at right tackle in 2013. Asiata (ah-see-ah-ta) has started every game since then, mostly at left guard (with seven games at right guard in 2014). He garnered honorable mention All-Pac-12 notice as a junior and second-team accolades as a senior. Asiata swapped jerseys with injured center J.J. Dielman in October 2016 as a sign of support for his fallen teammate.

STRENGTHS: Big body for the interior. Adds roster flexibility. Has played both guard spots and can play center if needed. Plays with outstanding aggression on the field. Doesn't just look for extra work, he demands it. Hard worker. Gives maximum effort to take the lead in early portion of a block. Effective lateral skip step puts him in position to make his reach blocks. Rarely gets cheated on initial contact, landing powerful shoulders that jar defenders. Has power to uproot defenders in base blocks. Sets shallow anchor in pass pro against bull rushers. Has reactive quickness to handle blitzes and twists.

WEAKNESSES Playing style can be too frenetic. Will allow his aggression to pull him out of proper blocking position at times. Needs to quiet his flailing hands. Excessive hand fighting prevents him from snatching and securing blocks. Leads with upper body onto second-level blocks and loses balance if he doesn't land a strike. Base narrows as drive blocker and can be thrown off his block upper body tosses from defenders. Lacks body control for sustained engagements.

SUMMARY: Aggressive and powerful with an ability to create space for running backs in a power scheme. Asiata isn't a complete stiff from a movement standpoint, but he loses effectiveness the farther he's asked to travel from his home base. He'll fall off of blocks a little earlier than teams will want, but his ability to generate movement combined with his girthy frame means he could become a starter at either guard or center within a couple of years.”

Asiata is listed at 6-4 and 315 pounds.

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