Barry Jackson

Dolphins visit with basketball player; Dolphins notes

ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack Dolphins notes on a Wednesday:

• The Dolphins were one of 30 teams that attended a Tuesday workout for Virginia Commonwealth basketball player/aspiring NFL tight end Mo Alie-Cox, but one of only three who met with him privately after his workout, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Alie-Cox, who is eligible to sign with any team immediately, hasn’t played football since ninth grade. At 6-5, he’s hoping to follow other former basketball players who excelled in the NFL as tight ends, a group led by Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and the Dolphins’ Julius Thomas.

Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowler Jason Witten met Alie-Cox two years ago and “told me I could make the transition to football," Alie-Cox told USA Today. "He said if it's something I wanted to do I should look into it."

Alie-Cox is visiting the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Jets and Colts.

Though Cox can be signed before the draft, analyst Bucky Brooks said: “The biggest thing for him, is [the team that signs him hopes] that he flashes enough in training camp that he makes practice squad to develop his game.”

• Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett will be a strong consideration if he’s there at No. 22, and the Dolphins also have taken an interest in the defensive end who played opposite him, Corey Vereen, meeting privately with him twice.

He had seven sacks last season and is a potential day three pick.

• The Dolphins reportedly dispatched new linebackers coach Frank Bush to Houston’s pro day to closely evaluate Tyus Bowser, a potential second-round pick.

“He’s incredibly athletic and easily moves about the field,” NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline said. “Most teams feel he’s best suited for a 3-4, but the athleticism makes some believe Bowser will be equally effective in a 4-3 alignment.”

The Dolphins, of course, play a 4-3.

• Miami also has spent time with Houston cornerback Brandon Wilson, who created buzz at his pro day by running 4.36 with a vertical jump of 41 inches, broad jump of 11-feet-1 and 24 bench reps.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said he’s an “explosive athlete who could be considered on either side of the ball as a defensive back or a running back. Wilson doesn't have as many flashes on tape at cornerback as he does at running back, but his he was primarily a fill-in at running back in a few games over the last two years due to injury. If Wilson transitions to running back, he will be a developmental prospect who could make a roster sooner over later thanks to his kick return potential.”

• The Dolphins reportedly worked out Florida safety Marcus Maye, who was named a first team All American in 2015 but missed three games to end last season because of a broken arm. The negative: He allowed 10 touchdown receptions in his career at UF, according to nfl.com.

Zierlein called him an “interchangeable safety with the instincts of a free safety and the physicality of a box player. Thrives as a downhill player and has the instincts and speed to operate effectively from both single-high and two-deep looks. Has the physical attributes and intelligence to step into a starter's role early on and will be a strong contributor on special teams.”

• According to the NFL players association, the Dolphins have $20.2 million in cap space, which should be enough to sign a draft class, extend Jarvis Landry and have a good bit left over.

They could afford defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins, who remains available, but don’t want to meet his asking price. Hankins and the Dolphins have spoken, and he met with the Colts this week.

If Zach Brown excels for Washington next season, it will be fair to ask why the Dolphins didn’t use some of their space to sign him.

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