The Dolphins privately have conveyed strong interest in drafting a quarterback if one of the top four quarterbacks is available with the 11th pick of the first round.
And two of those are spending quality time with the Dolphins at their headquarters this week.
Not only is Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield visiting the Dolphins on Thursday, but Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is visiting this week, according to NFL.com’s Albert Breer.
Of the top four quarterbacks in the draft, the Dolphins also have met privately with UCLA’s Josh Rosen in California. Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to be long gone by Miami’s pick at 11.
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The Dolphins do not expect any of those four to be available at 11. But they want to be fully prepared if any of them do fall to 11.
The Dolphins are using at least three of their 30 permitted non-local visits on quarterbacks. Washington State’s Luke Falk, a potential second day pick, also is visiting, I reported last week.
And the Dolphins also have brought in two local players - Louisville quarterback and Boynton Beach High alum Lamar Jackson and FIU quarterback Alex McGough.
The Dolphins previously spent time with Allen at the NFL Combine. Though Allen has good size (6-5) and a strong arm, there’s concern about his accuracy.
He finished 72nd in the country in passing efficiency by completing just 56.3 percent of his passes (152-of-270) for 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns against six interceptions. Allen struggled against Power Five teams Iowa (23-of-40, 174 yards, two interceptions) and Oregon (9-of-24, 64 yards, an interception). He missed the last two regular season games with an injury to his throwing shoulder but returned for the Cowboys' bowl win over Central Michigan (11-of-19, 154 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions).
Allen threw 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2016, as a junior.
“The physical comparison to Carson Wentz is amazing,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said. “He’s coached by the same college coach that coached Carson Wentz. His talent is every bit as good as Carson Wentz.”
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said of Allen: “Likely be the biggest boom-or-bust quarterback prospect in the draft. Allen's size and arm talent are prototypical for early first-round picks, but it's rare to find a quarterback with such a low college completion rate become a successful pro. Allen's receivers struggled to separate, but there were plenty of times where his lack of anticipation and post-snap plan did him in. Allen can make some truly special throws, but his ability to improve the mental part of his game will determine whether he's a good NFL starter or just another big, strong-armed guy.”
Here’s my Wednesday post on some running backs the Dolphins are eyeballing in the draft, including one who was an All-American.
Here’s my Wednesday media column with lots of football nuggets.