Dolphins Eyes On TE As Combine Continues
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins still may bring TE Anthony Fasano back to Miami next year and that isn’t a bad thing. What will be a bad thing is if they do not address the position in the draft. In about five minutes, the Dolphins coaching staff and GM Jeff Ireland will have their first look at the rookie TE’s at this years Scouting Combine.
The offensive lineman just wrapped up and while speed was the talk of the day with 6 Olineman posting 40 yard times under 5 seconds, the real tape on the lineman lies on the collegiate athletes game film. The same could be said about the Tight Ends but the Dolphins will take a look at how they work in drills, timed 40’s, and with their hands.
Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame is the top TE draft prospect but as much as the Dolphins could use a top flight TE, it’s unlikely they would use their first two picks on the prospect and he will be long gone before the Dolphins select a 3rd player late in round 2.
This is where the Combine will help. Speed and agility along with an ability to catch with everyone watching will help separate a few of those TE’s who are grouped together. The second best prospect, Zach Ertz, will be on display this afternoon and the Dolphins will be watching.
Eifert ran a first 40 of 4.6 with a 10 yard split of 1.66. Ertz ran after Eifert and posted his first time of 4.72 with a 1.62 split. The third ranked TE, Gavin Escobar ran a first 40 of 4.88 with a split of 1.73. The Dolphins will likely take a long look at all three of them but reality will put Ertz and Escobar as more of a possibility as Eifert is simply rated too high for the Phins to draft.
Teams like the Dolphins can’t afford to spend high on a TE given the need for critical positions such as CB, WR, and LB. Still, the Phins have 5 picks in the first three rounds and could still add more between now and then end of April. The fact they have so many picks will allow them to take a player that is valued high who may or may not present a vital need.
Fans of course will argue that the Dolphins do have a critical need at TE given the lack of consistent production at the position over the years. The question is whether or not the right player who will solve that issue falls to the team at the right time. The Combine will at least give the team and their coaches the ability to talk with the players for the first time.
Eifert – 2nd 40 – 4.62 – 1.67 10 yard split
Ertz – 2nd 40 – 4.65 – 1.68 10 yard split
Escobar – 2nd 40 – 4.82 10 yard split 1.66
Best time in first round of TE’s – Chris Gragg – 4.44