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The Dolphins, who want to add several defensive linemen through the draft process, have taken a keen interest in TCU defensive end L.J. Collier and have invited him to team headquarters for a pre-draft visit, according to a source.
In his only season as a starter, Collier started 10 games last season and produced 42 tackles (including 11.5 for loss), six sacks and four pass breakups. He was named first-team All Big 12.
Collier, who’s 6-2 and 283 pounds, had 14.5 sacks in 33 college games.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah places him 40th among all draft prospects.
“Collier has the size and skill set to line up on the edge or inside,” Jeremiah said. “He is extremely twitched up, and he jars opponents once he gets his hands on them. In the passing game, he uses a shake/bull rush move and he can also pop/separate from blocks while only using one arm. He can convert speed to power off the edge.
“He isn’t an elite bender at the top of his pass rush, but he still finds a way to finish. He has the strength to hold the point of attack against the run and his effort is solid. Overall, Collier isn’t the biggest name in this DL class, but it wouldn’t shock me if he emerged as the top player at the position three to four years from now.”
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein’s assessment of Collier: “A 4-3 base end who won’t wow teams with his frame or athleticism but who will pique their interest with his rugged play demeanor and surprising rush acumen. Collier is stout at the point of attack and will offer some value as a power rusher who is more likely to press the pocket than become an acclaimed finisher. If his attitude is right, he could develop into an average rotational defensive end.”
NFL teams are permitted to bring 30 nonlocal prospects to their headquarters for pre-draft visits. The Dolphins never announce their visits, but Collier will be one of them.
Collier previously met with Dolphins executives at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
The Dolphins re-signed linebacker Mike Hull, who has appeared in 43 games with five starts over four seasons with the team.
An ace on special teams, Hull missed the first eight games last season while on short-term injured reserve. He started one game last season and had nine tackles in eight games overall.
Hull joins Kiko Alonso, Jerome Baker, Raekwon McMillan, James Burgess, Sam Eguavoen, Quentin Poling and Chase Allen as experienced linebackers on the roster. Stephone Anthony is an unrestricted free agent.