Barry Jackson

Dolphins to bring college football’s interception leader to team headquarters

Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Monday, March 5, 2018, in Indianapolis. He will visit the Dolphins in the coming days. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Monday, March 5, 2018, in Indianapolis. He will visit the Dolphins in the coming days. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) AP

The Dolphins have far more pressing needs than cornerback.

But they’re always on the lookout for quality corners, and that’s a big reason why they’ve scheduled a meeting at their Davie offices with Iowa’s Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-1 ballhawk who led the nation with eight interceptions last season.

Jackson had no interceptions in his first 16 games at Iowa before snagging eight in 13 games last year. He returned two for touchdowns.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects him as a first- or second-round pick and assesses him thusly:

“Long-armed ball-hawk who understands how to maximize his length to disrupt the catch and take it away. Jackson could be labeled a ‘one-year wonder’ but 27 passes defensed in a single season isn't random. He's talented but inexperienced and he has coverage holes that could be exploited early in his career. His draft stock could hinge on his forty time, but he is armed with route anticipation, ball skills, and NFL length. It may take time, but the tools are there to be an early starter as a play-making, press cover corner.”

The Dolphins would be fine beginning this season with a top four cornerback group of Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, Tony Lippett and slot corner Bobby McCain. But they’re also open to upgrading that group.

Coach Adam Gase made clear last week that the team is fully committed to McCain as their slot corner. Miami is excited to see what Howard can do after an excellent close to last season.

Lippett, who missed last season after an August Achilles’ injury, likely will be given a chance to challenge Tankersley for the boundary job opposite Howard.

McCain and Lippett are entering the final year of their rookie contracts. Howard has two years remaining on his deal and Tankersley three years.

The Dolphins also are expected to give an extended look this summer to Torry McTyer, who made the team last season as an undrafted rookie out of UNLV and appeared in seven games.

Miami has not re-signed veteran Alterraun Verner, who appeared in 15 games last season and started two.

Teams are permitted to invite 30 non-local draft eligible players to team headquarters for pre-draft visits, and it’s likely that Jackson isn’t the only cornerback invited for one of those 30 visits.

Here’s a look at two offensive linemen the Dolphins are using “30-visits” on.

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