Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the days continue to countdown towards the annual NFL Draft, the game for writers and fans is to try to figure out who the Dolphins will pick based on who the team has checked out.
So far, the Dolphins haven’t given any overt tip as to who they may be considering with the number eight overall pick, or if they’re even interested in staying at eight. The Dolphins seem to be focusing more on defense with draft visits and evaluations, based on the list of players so far who have been checked out by the team.
The two biggest exceptions to the rule are Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler. Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin both personally attended the pro day of both signal-callers.
Tannehill is a definite first-round pick while Osweiler is likely to go somewhere in the second to fourth round. Tannehill may not make it to the Dolphins at number eight if the Cleveland Browns decide to pursue him.
Outside of Tannehill, the other possible top ten picks the Dolphins have either met with or worked out include a pair of defensive ends and a very athletic defensive tackle.
According to Scout.com, the Dolphins have worked out South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram and North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples. Before last season, Coples would have been the hands down pick. But Coples showed questionable effort and had a subpar year while Ingram flourished.
LSU defensive lineman Michael Brockers is the only other player who could be considered a top 10 pick by the Dolphins the team has met with so far. Brockers is 6’6” and weighs 322 pounds. He’s a redshirt sophomore coming out and had 54 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and two sacks last season.
Given Brockers’ size, he could play either defensive end in a 3-4 alignment or defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment. The Dolphins will likely use a hybrid of both defenses in the coming season.
Another player the Dolphins may take a look at in coming weeks is Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw. He would instantly fit either on the inside or outside of the linebacking corps and could possibly line up at defensive end if needed.
If Tannehill is off the board and the Dolphins decide to go another direction, there are a few more possibilities they could focus on.
The Fins have a perpetual hole on the right side of the offensive line and Riley Reiff of Iowa could plug in and play on the outside, as could Stanford guard David DeCastro, though eight is too high for a guard to be drafted.
In a perfect world, the Fins will draft Tannehill in the first round and then either a defensive end, offensive tackle or guard, or wide receiver/tight end in the second round. But it appears the Browns are locking in on Tannehill, or at least trying to convince everyone they’re locked in on him.