2012 Senior Bowl: Dolphins Targets

January 26th, 2012

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MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen

With the Dolphins having hired head coach Joe Philbin last week, rumors have begun swirling this week that Mike Sherman is going to be brought in as offensive coordinator. Like Philbin, Sherman formerly worked in the Green Bay organization as head coach, and recently coached at Texas A&M for 3 seasons.

The two of them paired together provides an interesting glimpse into what may be the future at Quarterback for the Dolphins, Philbin’s familiarity with free agent Matt Flynn, and Sherman’s relationship with incoming draft prospect Ryan Tannehill. One, if not both, quarterbacks could find their way onto Miami’s roster in the coming months.

While that simmers in the background, the Senior Bowl is going on in Mobile Alabama, and several reports have surfaced that the Dolphins have been following around North Carolina DE Quinton Coples. Coples has the measurables to warrant a top 10 investment in him even after having a “down” senior season in 2011. Coples had 7.5 sacks his senior year after finishing with 10 sacks his Junior season, and 24.5 overall in his four years of college. Simply put, Coples knows how to chase down a quarterback, and pairing him opposite Cameron Wake in Miami could be a potentially dominant defense front for the Dolphins.

Other names at the Senior Bowl that could catch the Dolphins eye are WR Jeff Fuller, Tannehill’s teammate at Texas A&M, and another player Sherman has firsthand knowledge of. Fuller is a possible mid round pick but if Tannehill is chosen early by Miami, and Fuller later on, he could adjust to the NFL very easily with a QB and coach that he knows very well.

TE is a position the Dolphins really need to upgrade in the new NFL era of franchise Tight Ends. If Miami misses out on any of the bigger names early in the draft, one potential sleeper has caught some attention in Mobile and could slip to the later rounds in TE DeAngelo Peterson from LSU. At 6-4 235, he’s built like a Wide Receiver and could play a similar role to that of Jermichael Finley whom Philbin worked with in Green Bay.

Another possible TE for Miami to look at is Ladarius Green, 6-6 235 out of Louisiana-Lafayette, a true Red Zone matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Green is another mid round type selection and would fit in well.

If Miami takes Coples in the first round, they may be passing on an elite underclassmen in OG David DeCastro who would help solidify the offensive line immediately. They could then look later in the draft at Mitchell Schwartz from Cal, a projected Right Tackle who measures in at 6-6 320 lbs. He could take the place of an aging Marc Columbo and help upgrade the offensive line even without taking DeCastro.

Tags: Brandon Weeden, Jeff Fuller, Quinton Coples, Ryan Tannehill, Senior Bowl

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