Barry Jackson

Dolphins meeting with lineman that was tasked with protecting one of top QBs in draft

UCLA offensive lineman Kolton Miller runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine last month in Indianapolis. Miller is visiting the Dolphins on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
UCLA offensive lineman Kolton Miller runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine last month in Indianapolis. Miller is visiting the Dolphins on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) AP

The Dolphins, hoping to emerge from the draft process with at least one more offensive lineman worthy of a roster spot, are flying UCLA tackle Kolton Miller to team headquarters for a visit on Wednesday, according to a league source.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects the 6-9, 310-pound Miller to be drafted in the second or third round. He declared for the NFL Draft with one year of college eligibility remaining.

Zierlein said “Bruins coaches paid Miller the ultimate compliment when they moved him to the most important position on the field: left tackle. Protecting quarterback Josh Rosen was the top priority, so placing Miller on the passer's blind side showed confidence in him. He repaid them by starting all 13 games at the position, garnering second-team All-Pac-12 recognition …

“Miller is an exceptionally tall tackle prospect who lacks the flexibility in his hips to drop his pad level and play with better leverage and a stronger base. His lateral movements in his pass slides are segmented and there are reps that he has to completely break from his technique to chase edge rushers to the corner. Miller has the frame to add more mass and he may need to make the move to the right side as a pro. He has the physical traits to become an average NFL starter, but I see pass protection concerns in his future.”

NFL teams are permitted to bring as many as 30 non-local draft eligible players to their facility for medical exams and meetings with front office officials and coaches.

The Dolphins, according to another source, also are using a 30-visit on at least one other offensive lineman: TCU guard/tackle Matt Pryor, who is expected to be a third day selection.

NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler said this of Pryor: “Because of qualifying issues out of high school, Pryor fell through the cracks as a recruit, but TCU lured the California native to Fort Worth once his grades improved in the summer of 2013. He became a full-time starter as a junior at right guard in 2016 and split his time between right guard and right tackle as a senior in 2017. The coaching staff singled him out on more than one occasion for his effectiveness in moving back and forth between tackle and guard, doing whatever was best for the team.

“A dancing bear, Pryor has massive size measurements and coordinated movement skills to sustain blocks while keeping his balance. He is aggressive in his protections and drives defenders in the run game, but his tall pad level and technical breakdowns lead to negative reps. Joseph Noteboom will likely be the first TCU offensive lineman drafted, but Pryor has an NFL future as well.”

The Dolphins have seven players set for their offensive line: starting tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, starting center Daniel Kilgore, starting guard Josh Sitton, likely starting guard Jesse Davis, No. 3 tackle Sam Young and guard/center Ted Larsen.

That would leave a draft pick or undrafted players competing with second-year tackle Eric Smith and second-year guard Isaac Asiata for one or two remaining offensive line jobs on the 53-man roster.

The Dolphins did not tender Anthony Steen, a backup center/guard on last year’s team, and did not attempt to re-sign guard Jermon Bushrod, who joined the New Orleans Saints.

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