Barry Jackson

The Miami Dolphins scheduled a pre-draft visit with Big 12 receiver who’s on the rise

Grier: The ultimate goal is to win Super Bowls and championships and be a consistent winner,

Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL
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Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL

Dolphins draft chatter on a Monday:

Though wide receiver is one of the Dolphins’ strongest positions, Miami is open to adding another one or two to its 53-man roster this upcoming season and has invited West Virginia’s Gary Jennings, a rising draft prospect, to team headquarters to meet with Dolphins officials.

Jennings will be one of the team’s maximum permitted 30 pre-draft visits, according to a team source.

Jennings, 6-1, became a starter in 2017 and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after ranking fourth in the country with 97 receptions (for 1,096 yards and a touchdown).

He caught 54 passes for 917 yards, a 17.0 average, and 13 touchdowns in 11 games (eight starts) last season despite dealing with a high ankle sprain during the second half of the season. Jennings sat out the Mountaineers’ bowl game to rest his ankle and prepare for the draft.

In four seasons, he caught 168 passes for 2294 yards (a 13.7 average) and 17 touchdowns

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says Jennings is a “possession receiver with an impressive combination of size, speed and contested catch toughness. Jennings was one of the fastest players at the Senior Bowl, according to Zebra Technology tracking, and his 4.42 combine time and huge numbers in explosive testing are sure to push him up draft boards. He needs to play faster and sharpen his routes to become more than a traits-based backup.”

Jennings returned punts his first two seasons, producing a modest 3.2 average on 34 returns. He also returned kickoffs his first two seasons, averaging 20.7 yards on seven returns.

Walterfootball.com rates Jennings as the 12th best receiver in the draft and a potential third- to fifth-round pick.

The Dolphins are showing interest in Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom, whom ESPN”s Mel Kiper has going 21st to Seattle.

The Dolphins have met with him three times and sent three team officials (including offensive line coach Pat Flaherty) to work him out privately in the Boston area on March 18, the night before his Pro Day, according to a source.

Kiper said Lindstrom, who is 6-4 and 308 pounds, “is rising after his combine workout — he ran a 4.91 40-yard dash and tested well athletically — and he’s getting some first-round buzz.”

Zierlein said: “Lindstrom is one of the most athletic interior lineman in the 2019 draft with a rare ability to match movement quickness with anyone across from him. His quickness can place him in position to make blocks on both the first and second levels and he has an impressive ability to cover lateral space and protect his gaps as a pass blocker. Lindstrom is scrappy at the point of attack but lacks the length, mass and strength some teams will want. His final destination could be as a guard/center in a zone scheme where he can become a long-time starter.

NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis, who’s also Fox’s No. 2 NFL game analyst, said from what he’s hearing, he doesn’t expect the Dolphins to take a quarterback at No . 13.

“Based on what I’m hearing, I’m guessing Drew Lock is not a possibility,” Davis told me. “That’s rumor mill, that they might not be as interested in a quarterback at 13 as we might have thought.”

The Dolphins believe they can find their quarterback of the future in the 2020 draft but have been open-minded to drafting one in 2019 if the right one emerges.

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