Barry Jackson

Dolphins summon first-round possibility to team offices

Previewing who the Dolphins might pick in the 2017 NFL Draft

The Dolphins have a ton of needs, but here's who Adam Beasley thinks the team might pick in this year's draft.
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The Dolphins have a ton of needs, but here's who Adam Beasley thinks the team might pick in this year's draft.

The Dolphins, who would love to add front-seven talent with their first-round pick, summoned UF linebacker Jarrad Davis to team headquarters this week, a source close to the player said earlier Wednesday.

Davis, 6-2 and 238 pounds, had 60 tackles, six for loss two sacks and four passes defended in nine games last season, but was limited by a knee injury.

Davis was taken off the field with a left leg injury in an October game. He attempted to play through that injury, but suffered another a couple of weeks later and had to sit out three games and most of a fourth.

He was excellent in 2015, finishing with 94 tackles, including 11 for loss, six sacks and an interception.

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

“STRENGTHS Angular build with long limbs and a shredded physique. Excellent flexibility throughout his trunk. Can twist and turn to slither into gaps. Plus acceleration to chase all over the field. Scouts say coaches are effusive in their praise of his leadership, work ethic and character. Can be rude to company. Erupts from coiled hips with a jarring pop under the pads of oncoming blockers. Runs downhill with choppy steps in balanced, tackle-ready position. Effective in spy role with athleticism to mirror mobile quarterbacks. Has closing burst that could become a weapon as a blitzer. Wrap-up tackler with strong finishing rate. Improved his discipline pursuing to the sideline. Did a better job of leveraging running backs against the boundary. Forceful redirect of tight ends out of their routes. Good peripheral helps him spot crossing routes without having to drop eyes from the quarterback. Has athletic tools to become better in coverage.

WEAKNESSES Downhill routes to the ball can be problematic. Will step too far downhill and get trapped in traffic on counters or bounces to the perimeter. Needs to play with more consistent technique and positioning to properly leverage his gaps against gap plays. Lateral scrapes sometimes lack patience forcing him to overrun run fits and open cutback lanes. Sometimes prioritizes attacking blockers too high. Has to get better at seeing and working past the blocker and toward the runner rather than issuing so many physical challenges that get him behind in pursuit. Could improve with greater stick-and-move hand work to keep himself clean. Struggles to free himself when snatched by blocker. Average instincts create inefficiency with early, post-snap movement

BOTTOM LINE Praised for both his football and personal character, Davis has athletic gifts to go along with the character traits teams are looking for. His ability to cover ground, operate with loose hips in space, and finish his tackles make him a draft favorite for some teams. While it is easy to fall in love with the traits and potential, Will have to take better routes to the ball and learn to keep himself clean against blocks. Should be able to compete for an early starting job as a 4-3 outside backer.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Davis going 23rd to the Giants. “An ankle injury kept Davis out of workouts at the combine, but he had a spectacular pro day, running a 4.56 40 with a 38½-inch vertical,” Kiper said.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has him goign 24th to Oakland, calling him an “explosive linebacker with sideline to sideline range.”

For news on another Gator that the Dolphins have spent time with, a basketball player that Miami met with, and a potential Dolphins cap regret, please click here for my other Dolphins post today.

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