With the 2023 NFL Draft approaching, Mike McDaniel and the Miami Dolphins are doing their homework.
The 40-year-old head coach was spotted at the University of Alabama’s pro day on Thursday.
— Garrett Joseph Franks (@garrett_franks) March 23, 2023
It sounds like the Dolphins are far from the only NFL team with representation at Alabama’s pro day, according to a report that came out Wednesday evening.
Tuscaloosa always biggest stop on spring scouting circuit.
Huge contingent of NFL decision-makers scheduled to be at tomorrow’s @AlabamaFTBL pro-day:
GM (12): BUF, CAR, CHI, DET, GB, LV, MIA, NYG, PIT, SEA, TEN, WAS
HC (10): CAR, CHI, LV, MIA, MIN, NE, NO, NYG, PIT, SEA pic.twitter.com/C4MtdWwXLp
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 23, 2023
Miami’s current roster, of course, has some major ties to Alabama. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jaylen Waddle are both Alabama products, and they’re just two of several Dolphins that fit that description.
The Crimson Tide are expected to have a ton of players drafted this year, but many will likely be out of reach for the Dolphins. Miami isn’t exactly loaded with draft capital this year, as the team has just four picks in total and none until the second round.
Still, Alabama has plenty of players that could fall into Miami’s lap. The Dolphins could certainly use some help at tight end, and Cameron Latu is a player that makes sense for Miami to target.
Over his last two seasons at Alabama, Latu had 787 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns across 25 games. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein broke down what fans can expect from the tight end.
“High-hipped pass-catching tight end with run blocking fortitude to mold,” Zierlein wrote. “Latu’s lean legs and angular frame aren’t made for drive blocking or neutralizing bigger players, but he does a nice job of sustaining move blocks in space. He changes route speed to open throwing windows over the first two levels. There are some issues with focus drops at times, but he plucks throws with good hand extension when possible. Latu could have roster appeal as an F tight end with an average ceiling.”
The Crimson Tide also have a couple of offensive linemen that may be worth keeping an eye on, including players like Emil Ekiyor Jr. and Tyler Steen.
“Overall, Ekiyor is an experienced offensive lineman with the combination of physical tools and temperament that should make him a starter early in his NFL career if he works on the finer details of his game,” Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez wrote.
Steen isn’t as highly rated as Ekiyor, but he’s also got some potential.
“Overall, Steen is an offensive line prospect whose best reps appear to be NFL starter-caliber, but his lack of technique makes him a prospect that is susceptible to being beaten by pass rushers who possess high-level athletic traits of size, speed, and power,” wrote Sanchez. “Steen’s improvement in one year at Alabama gives optimism to the idea that Steen can and will continue to develop on the next level.”
This year’s draft will take place near the end of April, starting on the 27th and running through the 29th. The Dolphins have been very busy this offseason, and while they only have a few picks in the upcoming draft, the team is surely still looking to use the event as a chance to fill in some roster gaps and perhaps take on some new projects.