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10 a.m. Thursday: Kiper's pick for Dolphins; UM announces early enrollees; Heat linked to Lopez; Marlins sign reliever

Quick 10 a.m. note: ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have the Dolphins selecting the same player at No. 14 in their first mock drafts: Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson.

Kiper, on ESPN.com, says "the great thing about" the 6-2 Thompson "is he's not just a freak in the athletic sense. He's also a freak in his football instincts. This is a kid who has played safety, linebacker and in 2014 was every bit a future NFL running back when the Huskies asked him to help out there for a few games. Ideally, he ends up at weakside linebacker, perhaps in the Lavonte David mold, using sideline-to-sideline speed to disrupt attack angles and chase down ball carriers and underneath pass-catchers. He can also use his big-time explosiveness as a gap blitzer and coming off the edge. There's developmental work to be done here, but maybe not much because the football instincts are so good."

Kiper has Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton and Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley being chosen with the two picks before Miami's selection, and West Virginia receiver Kevin White and Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes in the two picks after.

Also, Kiper has Jameis Winston going first to Tampa Bay and UM offensive tackle Ereck Flowers 19th to Cleveland. His entire first mock draft is available on ESPN.com's "Insider" package.


A six pack of notes on a Wednesday night: 

### UM had hoped for six to eight early enrollees in this recruiting class. As it turns out, the school confirmed that only three scholarship players are enrolling this week --- all four-star prospects. UM announced three walk-ons also are enrolling early.

The early arrivals on scholarship are Bradenton-based defensive end Scott Patchan (a well-regarded prospect coming off an ACL injury), Killian safety Jaquan Johnson and junior college tight end Jerome Washington.

Here’s how ESPN assesses each:

On Johnson: “Overall Johnson grows on you the more you watch him. At first glance he can be a bit difficult to appreciate his movement skills, but he consistently makes plays with the ball in his hands. There are a variety of roles in which this prospect could bolster a roster. As a cornerback he would have to see significant reps to prove he belongs there, but his skill set and talent level indicates this could be a nice fit. Very exciting prospect. Needs to get in the weight room.”

(UM will play him at safety; the staff likes his instincts and intelligence. In interviews, he comes across as a conscientous young man who spends ample time studying film.)

On Patchan: “Athletic prospect with good length and could potentially be a player who could drop into coverage depending on the defensive scheme. Will need to add size and strength to be a consistent defensive end with his hand in the ground but has the upside with size and growth potential.”

On Washington, who has been playing for a club team in New Jersey: "Interesting prospect. Possesses some very good raw, natural tools and can come to a program with a good deal of time to develop. Hasn't faced high level competition and will need to develop. But a tight end with nice upside. Initial contribution may be limited but could grow into a highly production and real good FBS tight end."

The three walks-on: Vinny Testaverde’s son, Vincent, who completed 15 of 26 passes for 116 yards for Texas Tech last season; Joel Evans and Marcus Lugo.

UM provided no information on Evans or Lugo, but Lugo is a former tight end at Cypress Bay. Rivals.com and ESPN list Evans as a running back from Durham.

### Less than three weeks after orally committing to UM, four-star Towson, Md.-based receiver Lawrence Cager told rivals.com that he’s also considering Alabama, which is recruiting him but is waiting to see if it can fit him into its 2015 class.

“Alabama and Miami are really the only schools in it,” he said.

But later, he said: "I still feel good about Miami." Auburn also is pursuing him.

### According to ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk, the Heat has shown a “strong interest” in Nets center Brook Lopez, who is reportedly being shopped.

Lopez, 7-0, would be appealing because his contract expires after next season (the Heat wants a ton of 2016 cap space) and because he’s an offensively-skilled big man.

But his history of health issues (feet, ankle, back) would be cause for concern. Since playing in all 82 games in his first three seasons, Lopez has played 5, 74 and 17 games the past three seasons. He has missed 10 games this season.

Lopez, 28, is averaging 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds after averaging 20.7 and 6.0 in 2013-14.

Lopez is earning $15.7 million this season and has a player option next season at $16.8 million.

Unless the Heat was willing to part with Luol Deng, acquiring Lopez would require dealing three to five supporting cast players to make the deal work from a salary cap perspective.

The Heat cannot package its $2.65 million disabled player exception with other assets in a trade.

### Though Joe Philbin hasn’t fired any coaches, he also has declined to say that all of his assistants will be asked back. Once Philbin is comfortable saying that Kevin Coyle is definitely going to return, the Dolphins are expected to convey that publicly. To this point, that hasn’t happened. According to multiple reports, defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers is the top candidate to join new Jets coach Todd Bowles as New York's defensive coordinator.

### Though every Dolphins receiver beyond Jarvis Landry stands at risk, there’s no indication that any is asking to leave at the moment.

Rishard Matthews’ former agent conveyed to Dolphins management in August that Matthews preferred to be sent somewhere where he would play more than he would here, but the matter was quickly dropped when Dennis Hickey said that wasn’t going to happen. And Matthews’ new agent hasn’t made that request.

And though the Dolphins haven’t committed to keeping Mike Wallace, Wallace told me in December that he very much likes playing here and the lack of deep balls hasn’t made him re-assess that.

### The Marlins continued to add bullpen arms, signing veteran reliever Nick Masset to a minor-league contract. The right-hander is 18-14 with a 4.02 ERA in six seasons.

He was 2-0 with a 5.80 ERA in 45 innings for Colorado last season after missing the previous two seasons with shoulder problems and thoracic outlet syndrome. Before that, he had a 3.05 ERA in parts of four seasons with the Reds.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz