The Dolphins’ annual pre-draft local pro day allows them to get an on-field look at all the draft prospects from UM, FIU and FAU.
But a bunch of others will be there too Friday because NFL rules permit teams to invite players who grew up or attended high school in South Florida.
ESPN has indicated Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson will visit the Dolphins this week; Jackson attended Boynton Beach High.
Among others of note expected to be in attendance Friday:
▪ Georgia running Sony Michel. He is planning to attend the Dolphins’ pro day, according to his father Jean.
The Dolphins have high regard for Michel, a Plantation American Heritage graduate who ran for 1227 yards last season and averaged 7.9 per carry.
The Dolphins already have spent time with him at Georgia’s pro day and will get another look.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects Michel as a second-round pick and says: “Michel is a well-built, no-nonsense runner who is able to combine vision, burst, and physicality. While he can make open field cuts to find additional yardage, his running style is more angular in nature and he thrives when playing north-south. He’s not the most creative runner and he lacks some finesse, but his size, pass protection and ability to create yardage make him a natural fit as a future NFL starter.”
The Dolphins also like Georgia’s other talented running back, Nick Chubb.
[UPDATE: Michel’s father told me that an Adidas commitment came up for Michel and he rescheduled his Dolphins visit/workout for Monday at the team’s Davie facility.]
▪ FSU linebacker Matthew Thomas. The former five-star prospect out of Booker T. Washington had an underwhelming career with the Seminoles; he was suspended and was ruled ineligible for the 2015 season.
But he had 11 and 10 tackles for loss the past two seasons and he has an intriguing skill set.
Zierlein projects Thomas as a sixth- or seventh-round pick and said: “Thomas is lacking in many of the areas teams covet in linebacker play. His instincts are poor, he doesn’t always play with a competitive demeanor, he’s not a downhill player and he lacks play strength and productivity for the position. However, Thomas does possess a long frame with outstanding play speed and the potential to make plays. It’s his athletic traits and potential that will give him a shot as a WILL linebacker who will need to excel on special teams to stick with a team long-term.”
▪ South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore. The Fort Lauderdale University School alum was highly productive in college (93 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions last season) but is projected as a late round pick or free agent.
“Moore has great football intelligence and is highly instinctive which has lead to impressive productivity in each of his four years at South Carolina,” Zierlein said. “However, he lacks size for the inside and strong-side linebacker spots and the athleticism and man cover skills for the weak-side spot. Moore’s limitations would doom most prospects, but his consistent production in the SEC could foreshadow an ability to find a role as an NFL backup if his medicals pan out.”
▪ There are a bunch of other major college prospects coming in, too, including Wisconsin cornerback Derrick Tindal, South Carolina defensive end Chris Lamonns and Arkansas safety De’Andre Coley.
Among UM players invited to the Dolphins’ local day, running back Mark Walton and defensive tackles Kendrick Norton and Richard McIntosh Jr. would be interesting mid-round options at need positions.
The Dolphins are deep at defensive end and receiver, making Chad Thomas and Braxton Berrios less likely.
UM tight end Chris Herndon, who has received consideration from the Dolphins, visited the Dolphins March 23 instead of coming to their pro day this week because he will be flying back from Baltimore on Friday after visiting with Ravens officials.
The Dolphins are interested in getting a look at FIU quarterback Alex McGough, who has attracted some interest around the league. He completed 65.4 percent of his passes last season with 17 touchdowns and eight picks.
Among other FIU players who will be in attendance: linebacker Treyvon Williams, the team’s leading tackler.