During Saturday’s Senior Bowl, an All-Star showcase for the best college seniors in the nation, there were several players who stood out as potential fits for the Miami Dolphins.
It’s obvious the Dolphins’ major needs are quarterback and explosiveness at the running back and receiver positions. Here are some of the guys who stood out in those areas and could be a factor come draft time.
Christian Ponder, QB (Florida St)
He’s a very intriguing prospect because of his diverse skill set. He has good size (6’2″, 220 lbs), great speed and agility for the position and a smart head on his shoulders. He doesn’t have a cannon, but his decision making and accuracy makes up for it. His arm is strong enough. How often does an NFL quarterback, especially one on the Dolphins, make 40-yard throws?
He would be a nice value pick in the second or third round. His biggest downfall revolves around his health, but he is reportedly at 100 percent right now. He also has experience in a pro set, which shortens the learning curve.
Colin Kaepernick, QB (Nevada)
He’s a freak athlete (6’5″, 220 lbs, 4.5 speed in the 40) who operated out of the pistol offense at Nevada. He will have to undergo major adjustments learning a pro system. It’s a different world footwork wise.
He has the monster arm, but not without inconsistent accuracy. He’s more of a project, but has the physical skills that wow you. Expect him to be off the board by the end of Round Two with the upside of a Dante Culpepper (pre-Dolphins form, of course).
Jake Locker, QB (Washington)
He has the big arm and athleticism that makes scouts salivate. But what has this kid done on the field to prove he’s even worth a first-round pick? He didn’t help himself on the field Saturday. He showed Henne-like pocket awareness, and that’s not a compliment.
Derrick Locke, RB (Kentucky)
The Kentucky product looked awfully impressive on Saturday. Locke has some Frank Gore in him with excellent burst and vision. He’s very shifty and can move well laterally before hitting the hole hard. He isn’t the biggest guy at 5’9″, 190 lbs, but he would be the ideal change-of-pace back with his home-run speed and explosiveness. I’d target him in the middle rounds as a speed back who can eventually handle more carries as he adds more weight to his compact frame.
Noel Devine, RB (West Virginia)
Here’s another small speedster (5’8″, 180 lbs) who can provide Miami with the speed they desperately need. He would be nice value towards the middle to late part of the draft and could double as a returner.
Titus Young, WR (Boise St.)
The Dolphins need more big-play ability on the outside, and Young has the elusiveness to give them a boost. He would also help in the return game, something that has been lacking for what, 15 years? He’s another guy who can be had in the second to third round area.
Leonard Hankerson, WR (Miami)
Miami fans are obviously quite familiar with this standout receiver, the all-time leader in touchdowns for the Hurricanes. He’s an imposing specimen (6’3″, 213 lbs), with nice quickness in and out of his cuts, monster hands and elite jumping ability. He isn’t what one would call a burner, but makes up for it with his intangibles. He’s a smart player who would be an upgrade opposite of Brandon Marshall. Hank figures to be off the board by the middle of the second round.