Barry Jackson

Dolphins summon well-regarded cornerback for meeting with coaches, executives

From the archives: Florida defensive back Jalen Tabor (31) breaks up a pass intended for Florida Atlantic wide receiver Darius James (89) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Gainesville, Fla in Nov. 21, 2015.
From the archives: Florida defensive back Jalen Tabor (31) breaks up a pass intended for Florida Atlantic wide receiver Darius James (89) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Gainesville, Fla in Nov. 21, 2015. AP

Though front-seven help is the Dolphins’ priority, they are also looking for another guard and safety and cornerback, and they’ve taken a particular interest in one potential second-day corner who was summoned to team headquarters this week.

According to a source, UF’s Jalen Tabor visited with Dolphins coaches and executives at their Davie offices this past Monday.

Tabor, 6-0, had nine interceptions and 28 passes defended, 11 tackles for loss and four sacks in 37 games, including four picks last season.

He also has three defensive touchdowns in his career and was a third-team AP All-American last season.

The Dolphins pick 54th in the second round and have a compensatory pick at 97 at the end of the third round.

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

STRENGTHS, said Zierlein: “Prototypical size and athleticism. Plays with bouncy feet in coverage. Good initial patience and foot quickness to mirror receiver's release from press. Has the quick twitch to accelerate and pattern match receivers throughout their routes. Has recovery speed to bird-dog crossers. From zone, can split high/low routes and is quick enough to challenge the catch on either. Has agility and change of direction to come off of one route and pick up the next. Shines when the ball is in the air. Pro-ready closing burst. Has excellent hand-eye coordination. Hands and timing help turn opportunities into interceptions. Posted 28 passes defensed over the last two years. Finished career with nine interceptions at Florida. Willing to unload into receiver's ribs in order jar a ball free.”

WEAKNESSES, said Zierlein: ‘Whispers in scouting circles that Tabor fears deep speed. Often played excessively deep off-coverage. Shows balance issues in space. Occasionally loses footing in coverage during his transition. Shows willingness to sit on routes and grab receivers trying to go vertical rather than flipping hips to chase. Can be undisciplined from zone losing track of his responsibilities. Appears to be hit or miss with instinctive playmaking. Doesn't play to his listed size. Finesse cornerback. Avoids mixing it up with physical receivers away from the ball. Too many weak tackle attempts. Charted with 13 missed tackles in 2015. Scouts consider him to be a high-maintenance prospect. Has been suspended due to drug tests and a run-in with a teammate in practice.”

BOTTOM LINE, said Zierlein: “Tabor has terrific size and quickness, but his pedestrian 40 times at both the combine and his pro day workout are hard to ignore. While he has some lapses in judgement and awareness in coverage, his nine career interceptions didn't happen by accident. Tabor can pattern match around the field, but he may need safety help over the top if he's playing on the outside. If he's going to be a zone corner, he'll have to do a better job of tackling. Tabor looks like a second day pick.”

The one corner consistently projected for Miami’s first-round range at No. 22 is Ohio State’s Gareon Conley.

The Dolphins have studied him but haven’t brought him to team headquarters as one of their 30 visits. But the Dolphins do select some players that they don’t bring in for visits.

The Dolphins don’t announce any of their 30 visits, but I’ve confirmed 15 of them. They can be found in my archives.... If you missed it, here’s my post from late last night on a potential second-day outside linebacker who was flown in to meet with top Dolphins coaches and executives on Thursday.... Please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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