Mike McDaniel ‘pounding the table’ for the Dolphins to draft Xavier Worthy wouldn’t surprise a prominent agent

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Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Miami Dolphins will have several options with the No. 21 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, but one prominent agent said that using the pick on a quarterback is “very unlikely.”

20-year-old wide receiver Xavier Worthy is seemingly one prospect to keep an eye on for the Dolphins, however.

“Well, I think the Dolphins are gonna take the best available player,” Drew Rosenhaus said. “I know they’re lookin’ at a center, Graham Barton, who can also play tackle. He’s from Duke [University] and a really talented, versatile guy that can help the offensive line at multiple positions.

“I know they’re lookin’ at pass rush. I’ve heard Jared Verse’s name from Florida State [University] and [Laiatu] Latu from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

“Certainly in the first round, it wouldn’t shock me if they even took a receiver if there happened to be a guy that they loved, just because Mike McDaniel can’t get enough speed. A guy like Worthy, who set the combine record (in the 40-yard dash). I wouldn’t be surprised from what I know about Mike McDaniel if he’s pounding the table for that guy if he’s on the board at 21.

“But those are some of the names that I would throw out there that I think Dolphin fans will probably see quite a bit of come next Thursday.”

Told that the mock draft of Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt has Miami selecting University of Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 21, Rosenhaus dismissed the idea that the Dolphins will use their first pick on the position.

“I think it’s very unlikely,” Rosenhaus said of the Dolphins possibly taking a quarterback in the first round. “I mentioned the Dolphins would take the best available athlete. I think that running back, quarterback are probably two positions that I wouldn’t anticipate them using a first-round pick on.”

The current contract status of Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is causing speculation that the team might be looking to draft his replacement. With the 26-year-old in line for a very lucrative new contract despite never winning a playoff game in his first four NFL seasons, the thinking goes that Miami could instead have a quarterback of similar ability while also saving money at the position.

Klatt has said he believes Penix would give the Dolphins an “immediate upgrade” over Tagovailoa, even though he led the NFL in passing yards last season.

Coincidentally, Penix’s playing style is often compared to Tagovailoa’s, with his passing accuracy more a hallmark of his game than arm strength. In addition, both players throw left-handed and have a similar body type.

There are several big-name quarterbacks expected to be taken at the top of the draft, which begins Thursday. Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye are widely projected to be among the top three picks, with J.J. McCarthy also a possibility to land in the top five. Bo Nix is another possible first-round selection, along with Penix.

Around the league, rival scouts reportedly believe the Dolphins will prioritize an offensive lineman, which is where Barton would fit. After losing defensive lineman Christian Wilkins this offseason, and Bradley Chubb recovering from an ACL injury, a pass rusher like Verse or Latu might be a worthwhile selection.

Miami also reportedly has been looking for another wide receiver to join stars Tyreek Hill and Jayden Waddle in the offense, which is why Worthy out of the University of Texas could be the choice.

The Dolphins also hold the No. 55 overall pick in the second round but currently don’t hold another selection until the fifth round, plus two in the sixth round and one in the seventh round of the three-day draft.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.