Who's visited the Dolphins among their 30 allowed non-local visits? Here's the majority of them; Mayock, Collinsworth on Dolphins; Local radio news
NFL teams are permitted to bring as many as 30 non-local players to team headquarters to meet with coaches and executives and do medical tests.
Local players, unlike non local-prospects, are able to work out at Dolphins headquarters. And unlike the non-local players, South Florida high school and South Florida college prospects don’t count among the 30 visits.
Last year, the Dolphins drafted three players who visited: DeVante Parker, Jordan Phillips and Cedric Thompson.
Unlike the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Dolphins (and most teams) do not confirm or announce their draft visits. I've independently confirmed 20 of the maximum 30 non-local players who have visited the Dolphins. Here they are, by position:
Ohio State’s Eli Apple
Houston’s William Jackson
Baylor’s Xavien Howard
Samford’s James Bradberry
LSU’s Rashard Robinson
Southern Cal’s Kevon Seymour
North Carolina Central’s Ryan Smith
Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott
Alabama’s Kenyan Drake
Utah’s Devontae Booker
Washington’s Dwayne Washington
Eastern Michigan’s Darius Jackson
Clemson’s B.J. Goodson
UCLA’s Thomas Duarte
California’s Stephen Andersen
Clemson’s Kevin Dodd
Texas A&M’s tackle/guard Germain Ifedi
Rutgers’ Leonte Carroo
Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant
Middle Tennessee State’s Kevin Byard
Note: A couple of visits reported elsewhere did not, in fact, materialize. One of them: USC safety/linebacker Su'a Cravens. He was scheduled to visit the Dolphins, but it was canceled because of a schedule conflict.... The Dolphins also conducted private on-campus workouts with a bunch of players they didn't bring to Davie, including UCLA linebacker Myles Jack.
Regarding our 20-player list, a couple of the aforementioned players broke the news of their own visits. A couple were first reported by NFL Net's Ian Rapoport and our friend Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post and Houston Chronicle. My esteemed colleagues, Armando Salguero and Adam Beasley, also mentioned interest in some mentioned above.
MAYOCK, COLLINSWORTH WEIGH IN
Here's what NFL Net's Mike Mayock told me today on a conference call, regarding the Dolphins' pick at No. 13: “If Elliott got to 13, they would have to be excited. He could go as early as 4 to Dallas, 10 to the Giants, 11 to Chicago. William Jackson and Eli Apple are both a little raw for different reasons. I think I know what they want down there. They want long press corners for Vance Joseph. Both of them [Apple, Jackson] can do that.
“William Jackson has got better ball skills than Eli Apple. Eli Apple tackles a little better. Is it too early to take either of them?
"Not really because there's going to be a run of corners. If they believe either can step in day one and compete, either would be really solid picks.”
• Cris Collinsworth, one of the investors in Pro Football Focus, did his mock draft for the site this week and has the Dolphins picking Elliott. His assessment:
"Elliott is the type of running back who can immediately take pressure off of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He's one of the few backs I've seen in recent drafts that you feel comfortable handing the ball to, throwing the ball to and having him stay in and block (he allowed just one pressure in pass protection in 2015).
"In today's spread offenses in college, it's just difficult to find guys coming out like that anymore. Miami still has weaknesses at the guard position that they need to address, but that's something they can do in later rounds and sometimes the best way to protect your quarterback is to run the football. Elliott would be a great replacement for departed free agent Lamar Miller, having ranked No. 1 in yards after contact per attempt in 2015 among this year's RB class."
• Please click here for more of what we've heard on the Dolphins' draft plans.
A few items on local radio:
• 790 The Ticket is still searching for a replacement for 1-3 p.m. co-host Eric Reed, who left the business recently, and there's interest in NBC 6 anchor Adam Kuperstein, who has been filling in on the show in recent weeks.
But here's the problem: Kuperstein has been named a co-host on NBC 6's new 4 p.m. newscast that will debut this summer. So Kuperstein couldn't do the show out of 790's studios. NBC 6 and Ticket GM Doug Abernethy are discussing the viability of Kuperstein hosting the radio show from NBC 6's studios.
"Great talent," Abernethy said of Kuperstein, adding that Kuperstein doing a show off-site "gives me cause for concern."
Abernethy said Leroy Hoard will remain the co-host regardless of who is selected to replace Reed.
• Abernethy said he is not ready to name Chris Wittyngham as Ethan Skolnick's permanent co-host in afternoon drive. But it's clear it's going to happen. "We're high on Chris and what he's done," Abernethy said.
• Abernethy isn't sure who would replace Wittyngham alongside Josh Friedman on the night show. And Friedman remains a candidate for the 1-3 show if the Kuperstein scenario doesn't work out.
• In the March ratings book that Nielsen shares only with subscribers (not sportswriters), 790 The Ticket beat WQAM 560 in the ratings book, with a 1.9 share to WQAM's 1.4 in the key demographic group for the sports radio genre (men 25-54).
From 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (the hours of The Ticket's morning program), The Ticket's show (Jonathan Zaslow, Brett Romberg) and WQAM (mostly Joe Rose) each had a 2.6 share in that men 25 to 54 demo. (Since then, Amber Wilson began work as Joy Taylor's successor on The Ticket's morning show.)
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Dan Le Batard's hours on 790), The Ticket had a 2.0 compared with WQAM's 1.8 (one hour of Rose, three hours of Orlando Alzugaray). Remember: Those are only Le Batard's local numbers and don't take into account not only his large audience from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. nationally, but also the millions who download Le Batard's show.
During the 9 to 10 a.m. hour, Le Batard has a 2.6, Rose a 2.2.
From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Marc Hochman's WQAM hours), The Ticket has a 1.7 share to WQAM's 1.5.
From 4 to 7 p.m. (Skolnick's Ticket hours), Skolnick had a 2.3 to WQAM's 1.4, which also includes an hour of Alex Donno or other 'QAM programming.
At night, The Ticket has a 1.9 to WQAM's 0.3, largely a function of there being more local interest in hearing Heat radiocasts than Panthers radiocasts.