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Miami Dolphins Senior Bowl preview

1/19/2015

With a two-week break until the Super Bowl, many NFL decision-makers will meet this week in Mobile, Alabama, for the 2015 Senior Bowl.

This is a huge scouting opportunity for all 32 teams to see some of the best prospects in this year's NFL draft. I will be there this week to check out every practice, and interview incoming rookies.

Here is a preview of things I am looking for throughout the week as it pertains to the Miami Dolphins:

  • Defensive help: It’s no secret the Dolphins need help on defense. This is a group that absolutely collapsed in the final six weeks under defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. Miami could use help at all three levels, including defensive tackle, linebacker and cornerback. One big name I’m keeping a close eye on is Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton. He could be a target for the Dolphins at No. 14 overall. Miami's run defense was ranked No. 24 in the NFL, and the team could lose starter Jared Odrick in free agency.

  • Local flavor: Seemingly every couple of seasons you hear of a big NFL talent that was discovered in South Florida who got away from the Dolphins. Recent examples include New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and Indianapolis Colts Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton, who played at nearby colleges but were overlooked by Miami. This year’s local talent includes four players from the University of Miami: tight end Clive Walford, linebacker Denzel Perryman, receiver Philip Dorsett, and cornerback Ladarius Gunter. The Hurricanes (6-7) underachieved this past season, but had good talent. The Dolphins should know these local players as good or better than any other team.

  • Quarterbacks: The Dolphins do not have a backup quarterback under contract. Veteran Matt Moore, who made $4 million last season, is a pending free agent in March, and Miami doesn’t have a legitimate prospect behind starter Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins could look to the draft to find their No. 2 quarterback. It wouldn’t be a high selection. But several middle- or late-round quarterbacks are in this game, including Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Oregon State’s Shane Mannion, and Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson. These are not big names, but the Dolphins will be in the market this year for quarterback insurance.

Remember to keep it locked on ESPN.com’s Dolphins page throughout Senior Bowl week as we bring you all the latest from Mobile via articles, video reports, and more.

Also, feel free to check out my first mock draft for Miami this offseason and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s pick for the Dolphins in his first mock draft.