Some Dolphins notes on a Friday:
▪ The Dolphins hope the Kenyan Drake/Frank Gore partnership will thrive not only on the field, but be beneficial to Drake off of it.
And Gore is very much on board with mentoring the third-year running back.
“I can show him a lot of things on and off the field,” Gore told the Dolphins' website. “The way to be pro. I can show him the way I work and why I’ve lasted so long to play this game at a high level. I think when I watched him he’s a very quick and fast guy. The one/two punch will be very nice for this team.”
Gore, incidentally, is thrilled to return to the city where he starred at the University of Miami.
“I feel great, happy, get to be back in front of my fans,” Gore said. “I was born and raised here. A lot of people look up to me. My kids get to see me almost every home game. I’m blessed. I work very hard and also love the game. That’s why I’ve been so successful.”
▪ ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. made three preferred picks for each team in the draft, and here are his three for the Dolphins:
Kiper's comment: "The Dolphins' offseason makeover is among the most drastic of any team. Ndamukong Suh, Mike Pouncey, Jarvis Landry, Jay Cutler, Cody Parkey, Damien Williams, Jermon Bushrod and Julius Thomas are among the players who were shipped out. While Miami has filled a few roster holes, some remain, including both linebacker spots, as well as at offensive guard and safety.
"The 11th pick is James' floor. I don't see the Dolphins passing on him [unless they trade up to grab a quarterback]. Washington could be another deep threat, while Baker is one of the top 4-3 outside linebackers in this class.
My take: There's no way to justify selecting Washington in the second round. Miami already has five experienced receivers on the roster.
▪ Here’s Todd McShay’s preferred picks for the Dolphins in the first three rounds on ESPN.com:
McShay’s comment: “The Dolphins have been linked to Mayfield, but if Allen was still available at 11, Miami would have to pounce. The Dolphins simply can't trust Ryan Tannehill to stay on the field. Phillips is a good run defender and would add depth to the defensive line. Even with the Josh Sitton signing, the Dolphins could use help at guard. Smith played 52 games at Auburn and has an elite combination of size [6-6, 315], speed [5.20 40-yard dash] and power [35 reps on bench press, tied for second-best among O-linemen at combine].”
My take: The Dolphins would be surprised if Allen is there at No. 11. And Miami must take a linebacker on the first two days of the draft.
▪ A couple of cornerbacks the Dolphins considered bringing in for visits: Cincinnati’s Linden Stephens and Villanova’s Trey Johnson. Both are potential priority free agents.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said Stephens “is a little light for an outside spot and may have to move inside into a slot cornerback role, but he appears to have the foot quickness needed to make the move. While Linden shows the necessary quick-twitch and athleticism to handle man coverage and make plays underneath, he could improve with better route anticipation. His experience as a core special teams member could swing a late roster spot in his favor.”
▪ After a scathing piece by Bill Barnwell a month ago, ESPN continues to criticize the Dolphins’ offseason.
Here’s ESPN’s latest piece on Miami’s offseason, in which it quoted league people anonymously on every team:
“They are going into the third year of a new coach and it's like they are starting over," an exec said. "I don't really understand that.
They have gotten rid of legit players. I'm not sure what to think of them."
Another insider noted that swapping out high-profile wide receivers will be nothing new for Dolphins coach Adam Gase. Denver and Chicago traded Brandon Marshall when Gase was with those teams. Denver also traded Brandon Lloyd in 2011, less than a year after he led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,448.
"I know Albert Wilson is athletic and we liked him at a certain price, but he has trouble catching and that is a real problem," another insider said in that ESPN piece. "He also has a little bit of the same role as Amendola, which is interesting."
The Dolphins look and sound like a team that was willing to sacrifice raw talent for a chance at improving overall team dynamics.
"They are getting rid of any attitude guys and trying to add some leadership guys so that it doesn't all fall on Ryan Tannehill, who is not a natural leader," an insider said in that ESPN piece.