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Players Dolphins like: Wide receiver edition

The Dolphins have paid a lot of attention to the wide receiver spot this pre-draft period and there has been speculation that's because general manager Dennis Hickey is wanting to trade someone or expecting to cut someone either this year or next year.

I've been told the reason for the due diligence is Dennis Hickey does his due diligence on every position and you can never have enough good wide receivers.

Hickey's looking at these guys with the idea of being prepared if the right one is available to add to a position that always begs more talent. Period.

Remember that last year the Dolphins got not one but two starting-caliber wide receivers hurt. Had the team made the playoffs, Mike Wallace and Rishard Matthews would have been the starting wide receivers in the playoffs and the No. 3 and No. 4 roles would have been pieced together somehow.

Joe Philbin doesn't want to be caught in that uncomfortable situation again.

And having said all that ... it is hard to fathom Miami going WR in the first round. Not with LB C.J. Mosley (my favorite) possibly there to help the terrible run defense. Not with such a huge need at right tackle. Not with the possibility that a trade down scenario would occur.

Still, here are some of the wide receivers the Dolphins have shown they like:

WR Odell Beckham  LSU: He's not really a deep threat with 4.5-4.45 speed depending on the track and the stopwatch. But he is a very good slot receiver prospect or No. 2 flanker prospect. He's got decent size at 5-11, he knows how to sink his hips and create separation with his body and has experience in a pro style offense (run by LSU offensive coordinator and former Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron). But his production was not consistent and while he's likely going to become a good player, there is not one thing about him that screams star.

WR Martavis Bryant  Clemson: His 6-4 height stands out but because he's very lean he doesn't offer the kind of physical target one might hope. He obviously is not as physical as shorter (6-1) teammate Sammy Watkins. Bryant feels like a second or third round player because he showed lapses in concentration (read drops) and often had to double-catch passes. He's got plenty of vertical speed 4.40.

WR Robert Herron  Wyoming: The Dolphins have been grinding on Herron the past couple of days with meetings and workouts with the player. He has solid (4.48) but not blazing speed yet is no stranger to the big play as he had five catches of over 40 yards last year and had one that went for 93 yards. He's only 5-9 and he's supposedly not a big fan of venturing across the middle of the field. He's not a first or second day player but fifth-sixth round? You betcha.

WR Aaron Hurns   Miami: Hurns has height but is another one of these kids that need to eat a sandwich every day to put on some bulk. He only runs 4.5 but having watched him at the University of Miami he seemed to play faster than his speed. He has a knack for making himself available to the quarterback and that is a good thing. Rounds 5-6-7.

WR Marquise Lee  USC: He comes from the tough part of town and is open about making decisions that siblings failed to make, thus costing lives. Lee is 6-foot so he's neither tall nor short. And he isn't necessarily the fastest guy on a track but has elite "football" speed in that no one ever seems to catch him on the field. He struggled some last year but USC was a turnstile for coaches. Is he another USC receiver flop? Or is he the real deal? Some teams have him graded in the first round, others in the second.

WR EriK Lora   Eastern Illinois: He's a faster Wes Welker type. I didn't say he'd produce like Welker but he's built similarly. He puts up big numbers last year with 123 catches for 1,544 yards and 19 TDs. He strikes me as a slot receiver. Some teams think he can play flanker. He's from Miami, Florida, so you know he can ball. He's a 6th-7th round prospect.

WR Donte Moncrief Mississippi: He's quite possibly the fourth or fifth best WR in the draft and might be the third best behind Watkins and Mike Evans in a couple of years. He's 6-2 and has a whopping 39.5 inch vertical leap. So he can play above the heads of defenders but for whatever reason (ball skills or desire or muscle) he doesn't win a lot of 50-50 passes. He does. however, combine his ability to get vertical with an ability to, well, get vertical up the field (as in behind the defense). His 4.40 speed at 6-2 is outstanding. He's a late first or second round pick.

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