Even if they wait until 2020 to draft their quarterback of the future, the Dolphins would like to add at least one quarterback in the draft process - during or immediately after.
And beyond meetings with the players considered by many to be the top five QB prospects (Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, Will Grier), they’ve also been spending private time with others.
A source confirmed that the Dolphins sent officials to Buffalo to do a private workout with University of Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein calls the 6-foot-7 Jackson an “intriguing developmental quarterback who puts check marks in the ever-so-popular ‘size’ and ‘arm talent’ boxes. Jackson’s right arm is more shotgun than rifle with scattershot accuracy and a lack of touch that prevents him from finding a rhythm from the pocket. Jackson clearly has talent and his ability to make flash throws will be alluring to a team hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, but without sustainable accuracy, average backup could be his ceiling.”
Jackson, who considered transferring to UM before turning pro, threw for 3131 yards, 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season and was named Mid American Conference Player of the Year. But his completion percentage dropped to 55.3 from 60.3 the previous season.
NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline told me he would consider Jackson in the fourth or fifth rounds, as well as North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley.
The Dolphins have spent private time with several other under-the-radar quarterback prospects, including Boise State’s Brett Rypien (nephew of former Redskins QB Mark Rypien) and Mississippi’s Jordan Ta’mau.
Rypien threw 90 touchdowns and 29 interceptions in his college career. Ta’amu had 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season.
The Dolphins also have closely studied North Dakota State’s Easton Stick and sent three officials to his Pro Day.
They tried to arrange a private workout with Oklahoma State’s Taylor Cornelius, but a canceled flight scuttled that. (It might be rescheduled.).
Cornelius threw for 3978 yards last season, with 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
They’ve met with Baylor’s Jalen McClendon, who threw only 91 passes last season after transferring from North Carolina State impressed at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
And Miami also has closely evaluated Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham.
Pauline suggests some are underestimating Stidham and could justify a second-day selection.
“Stidham has NFL starter’s potential,” Pauline said. “It’s a matter of getting him where he was in 2017. I am believer in Stidham. Stidham didn’t play well last year but was terrific in 2017. A lot had to do with system at Auburn. And he didn’t play well. I have Stidham ahead of Will Grier.”
Stidham completed 66.5 percent of his passes in 2017 but 60.6 percent in 2018. He threw the same number of touchdowns each season (18) and his interceptions dropped from six to five in 2018.
As for the Dolphins, Pauline cautions against picking a quarterback in the second or third rounds just to say you picked one.
“If there are other good players available in round 2 or 3, I can see not just picking a quarterback for the sake of picking a developmental quarterback,” Pauline said. “You would take Stidham because you see something in him.”
According to NFL Network, the Dolphins brought Marquise Brown, considered one of the top receivers in the draft, to team headquarters on Friday. But because he grew up in Hollywood and attended Chaminade Madonna High, he will not count among the Dolphins’ 30 permitted pre-draft visits.
Brown underwent Lisfranc surgery on his foot in January but follow up medical exams have been “excellent,” according to NFL Network. His Dolphins visit will allow Miami to check out his foot.
Brown caught 75 passes for 1318 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and could go in the second half of the first round of the NFL Draft.
Zierlein said Brown “is a skinny but speedy receiver with game-breaking potential on every snap. His ability to race past cornerbacks and separate deep will require specific coverage and safeties ready to help. His thin frame is a liability when faced with contested catches both short and deep, and long-term durability is a legitimate concern. However, his ability to threaten deep with long speed and short as an elite run-after-catch talent gives him a chance to become the most impactful wideout in this draft.”
TAYLOR TO VISIT
UF offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, considered the best tackle in the draft, will visit the Dolphins on Monday, his agent Drew Rosenhaus said on his weekly segment on WSVN-Fox 7. Mel Kiper and Todd McShay project him to go seventh overall to Jacksonville. Miami picks 13th.
Michigan’s Devin Bush, the inside linebacker form Flanagan High,also will visit, Rosenhaus said. He’s also projected as a first-rounder.