The Miami Dolphins might not have a chance to draft Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, but they are evaluating him in every way possible.
The Dolphins dined with Mayfield on Tuesday night and coach Adam Gase put him through a private workout on Wednesday in Norman, Oklahoma.
What’s more, according to two league sources, the Dolphins are using one of their 30 permitted non-local-player visits on Mayfield, who will visit team headquarters in April.
Mayfield is training in California but is coming East to visit the Dolphins, Giants and Jets, among others.
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What’s more, Gase and Dolphins officials interviewed Mayfield at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
And a Dolphins scout watched Mayfield at Oklahoma’s Pro Day last week.
The Dolphins think very highly of Mayfield, according to an official not associated with Mayfield who spoke to the team.
And Mayfield apparently thinks highly of Gase.
“Smart guy,” Mayfield said of Gase at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. “I think we relate a lot, mindset-wise on offense. I think they’ve got the keys on that team. They’re close as well. He’s a smart guy. There’s a reason he’s a head coach.”
But it’s highly questionable if Mayfield will be available when Miami selects 11th overall, considering numerous teams picking ahead of Miami need a quarterback.
Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold is widely expected to be drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns.
Many expect three other quarterbacks — Mayfield, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen - to be selected soon after.
Mayfield threw for 43 touchdowns last season, just six interceptions and completed 70.5 percent of his passes.
The Dolphins have told at least one NFL person that they would love to find Ryan Tannehill’s backup in the draft. If they can’t do it in the first round, they could do it in the second, third or fourth rounds — perhaps Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Washington State’s Luke Falk, Western Kentucky’s Mike White or Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta.
The Dolphins could try to move up from 11 to draft a quarterback, but that might be too painful for the Dolphins, who have multiple other needs to fill in the draft and recently restructured Tannehill’s contract in a deal that significantly increases his 2019 dead money if the Dolphins parted ways with him after next season.
The Dolphins have said they’re committed to Tannehill as their starter this season.