« Analysts break down Fins' draft picks; How Cavs' move affects LeBron;Canes decline overtures | Main | Wed. night update: Fins mull decision; Story of how player slipped to Fins;Heat, Canes »

Tuesday update: Fins bringing in three more tackles; NBA announces Heat date; Canes

Quick Tuesday update before we post a full buzz column later this evening:

### The NBA announced that the Heat will begin its next series next Monday, regardless of whether the Brooklyn-Chicago series ends Thursday in Game 6 or Saturday in a potential Game 7.

The Dolphins will continue their parade of free agent tackles on Wednesday when they bring in free agent tackles Tyson Clabo, Eric Winston and Winston Justice for visits.

Clabo was cut by the Falcons this offseason, and Winston by the Chiefs. Justice started 12 games for the Colts last season.

Winston visited the Dolphins in March, but the Dolphins at that time were unwilling to give him a deal any better than one year at low money.

Bryant McKinnie visited the Dolphins on Monday, then flew to San Diego to visit the Chargers.

The Dolphins had shown zero interest in McKinnie or Clabo until this week.

The Dolphins plan to add a veteran tackle as soon as they decide who's the best fit - both in terms of ability and financially.

###################################################################################

Some Monday notes:

### Veteran offensive tackle and former UM star Bryant McKinnie completed a one-day visit with the Dolphins this afternoon, and dialogue between the sides will continue in the coming days.

The Dolphins, San Diego and Baltimore are all possibilities for McKinnie, and there's a good chance he will visit San Diego in the next couple of days. The Ravens have discussed the possibility of re-signing him.

McKinnie met with Jeff Ireland and Dolphins coaches during his visit. 

McKinnie, 33, said two weeks ago he would welcome overtures from the Dolphins. Miami didn't contact him in the weeks before the draft but decided to consider him after failing to acquire a tackle during the draft and after declining to give the Chiefs a second-round pick this past weekend in exchange for Branden Albert.

McKinnie came to camp with a back injury last July - suffered when he fell down stairs at his South Florida home - and didn't start a game in the regular season. But he started at left tackle throughout Baltimore's run to the Super Bowl, when the Ravens offense was rolling.

He started every game for Baltimore at left tackle in 2011, and Pro Football Focus ranked him 42nd among 66 tackles that season.

### Jeff Ireland feels very good about his collection of cornerbacks: Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Richard Marshall, Nolan Carroll, a couple of young holdovers (including DeAndre Presley) and draft picks Jamar Taylor, Will Davis and Don Jones.

“I think there is a lot of competition,” Ireland said. “You’ve got some real good veterans that have played very good football in their career. Obviously, we had some guys that didn’t finish the season  but have shown a lot of productivity in their careers. Then, you have some young guys we’ve drafted.

“We’ve got some core special teams players and guys that have had some highlights in their careers as well. I feel good about the position. I think we’ve got a lot of talent over there. We’ve got to get these guys healthy, which, I think, a majority of them they are, and I look forward to seeing how that position plays out. But I think there’s a good mix of vets and young players that can fill out the roster from the cornerback position.”

### Ireland’s final assessment on the third day of the Dolphins draft: “I feel really good about it. Jelani Jenkins is very quick, very athletic, very versatile. He’s a great kid, very educated, smart. He’s going to be a core special teams player for us. He’s going to compete for obviously an outside linebacker position. I think he’s pretty versatile. I think he can back up inside and outside, but I think the guy’s got a chance to be a starter in the future.

“[Michigan State tight end] Dion Sims is a very intriguing prospect. He’s physical. He’s got very good hands. He’s a former basketball player. Very intriguing. He played at probably a little heavier weight in college than what we saw here in the last spring and that’s what really intrigued us about him is he lost some weight, showed us some discipline in that regard and moved around very well in the spring."

More Ireland: “I really like Mike Gillislee. He’s got a very good skillset for the running back position. He can pass protect. Kind of paid his dues there at Florida. He was a one-year starter. He catches the ball well and he pass protects. He runs it very well as well. He’s tough.”

Ireland said rookie Caleb Sturgis and veteran Dan Carpenter “are going to be in pretty good competition in camp and we look forward to that.”

Ireland, on the team’s final draft pick, Arkansas State’s Jones: “This kid really jumped out on the screen for us with his speed and physicality. He played kind of a nickel back for Arkansas State, kind of a hybrid safety position. We brought him here on a visit and got to know the kid. He was a non-combine workout guy and really kind of liked the kid. We’re going to try him at corner and see if we can put him over there. He’s played corner and safety in his career, so looking forward to that transition as well.”

### Gators coach Will Muschamp spoke to Dolphins writers today about the three Gators picked by the Dolphins. Among the highlights:

Muschamp said: “They got three great people, three great guys in the locker. Jelani Jenkins is an every down linebacker. The guy can really run and play in space. He has improved his physicality. He can play every down. In a spread league, you have to have guys who can play in a box and play every down. He can do that.”

He said Caleb Sturgis “is the best kicker I’ve ever been around. Accurate, strong leg. No issues. The confidence level I’ve had in him, I’ve never had in a kicker.”

He had three kicks blocked last season, but Muschamp said: “One was a snap issue, one was a protection issue. And the one blocked in the Missouri game wasn’t his fault because he had an ankle injury.”

On running back Mike Gillislee: “He was nowhere on the radar at this time last year. Good lateral quickness, can get vertical in a hole quickly. Can play every down, because he can protect. He’s got really good lower body flexibility and good punch and power on all blocks. Tough, hard nosed runner. Gets stronger as the game goes.”

### Among undrafted Canes players, Epicagents.com said two of its clients will join teams this week: linebacker Ramon Buchanan signed with Seattle and offensive lineman (and former defensive lineman) Jeremy Lewis will attend Tampa's rookie minicamp.

Receiver Kendal Thompkins will attend Chiefs’ rookie minicamp, and punter Dalton Botts was invited to the Saints’ rookie minicamp.

### The Heat is now 12-2 this year without Dwyane Wade and 29-7 without Wade since LeBron James joined the franchise.

### With Shane Larkin leaving, what will the UM backcourt look like?

“Ask me in November, because right now we don’t know the answer to that,” coach Jim Larranaga said. “We’re not finished recruiting. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle we have to figure out.”

Rion Brown assuredly will start, and incoming DeAndre Burnett likely will play a lot. Garrius Adams can play small forward or shooting guard.

Comments