The Senior Bowl brings the top collegiate talent to Mobile, Alabama for a week of practice, and more importantly, opportunity to show NFL teams, including the Miami Dolphins, that they can perform under NFL coaching.
Miami may not have a first round pick, but still has five other draft selections, and will look to add depth to a team that made the playoffs last season.
Through my week in Mobile, I was able to take a look at some of the top prospects in the country, and a few stood out as potential fits for the Dolphins in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Miami Dolphins Draft Targets from the Senior Bowl
Tyjae Spears, RB Tulane
Named the Player of the Week by NFL executives, Spears was electric in practice each of the three days. His explosiveness and start-stop ability were evident in one-on-ones and team drills, having several plays that elicited oohs and aahs from those in attendance.
Spears is certainly quick enough for Mike McDaniel’s outside zone scheme, and has the versatility out of the backfield that Miami typically looks for. The Tulane product was dominant in his route-running reps vs. linebackers, including a double move that has broken #DraftTwitter over the last few days.
With incumbents Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert entering free agency, it’s possible we see Miami look to the draft to select a running back, and Spears has the traits needed to succeed as a lead back.
Jake Haener, QB Fresno State
After multiple strong performances at practice throughout the week, Fresno State’s Jake Haener won the MVP of the Senior Bowl Game on Saturday, and for good reason.
From practice to practice, Haener consistently showed that he can be a high-floor backup and spot starter from day one. His progressions are some of the best in this class, and was the most consistent in Mobile.
If Miami loses Teddy Bridgewater to free agency this spring, they will certainly be in the market for a backup quarterback. Furthermore, Tua’s injury concerns may force Miami’s hand to select someone who is more pro-ready, and Haener looks to be exactly that.
Will Mallory, TE Miami
Another potential position of need, and another top performer throughout the week in Mobile. This time, however, it comes in the form of Hurricane’ tight end Will Mallory.
Mallory had a strong last two days of practice, showing sure hands and sound technique blocking in the run game. Contested catches were the story of the week, and Mallory had several, including a diving catch up the seam.
Mike McDaniel preaches versatility, and the tight end position is no different. If Miami is looking for a tight end on day three, it’s possible we could see Mallory stay in the same stadium to start his pro career.
Jammie Robinson, S Florida State
With Vic Fangio coming to town, the Dolphins’ defensive principles have changed. Post-snap rotations are common place, and Miami is expected to run much more two-high safety coverages. Thus, the need for safety may be necessary.
Among the top performers at safety, the versatile Jammie Robinson stood out to me. At only 5’10” and 194 pounds, he plays (and hits) far bigger than his size. Box play and versatility were his strong suits at Florida State, but in Mobile, we had the chance to see some different traits.
Specifically, Robinson excelled as a high safety in red-zone situations, flying around and making plays on the football. Miami already has one ball hawk in Jevon Holland, and if Robinson continues to improve in this aspect, it’s possible he could form a dangerous duo with the Oregon product.
Mekhi Blackmon, CB USC
It is another DB who makes the last spot on the list, and Southern Cal’s Mekhi Blackmon is no slouch. He proved himself as a smart, instinctual corner who has a knack for playing the football.
While Blackmon isn’t the most athletic corner in the class, he held his own against some of the most dangerous receivers at the Senior Bowl. Namely, Jayden Reed, who named Blackmon his toughest matchup during a media breakfast interview with ATB’s own Luke Krumich.
Size may be a concern for Blackmon, who is only 182 pounds, but if he’s available come day three, the Miami Dolphins could look to the Senior Bowl corner build depth on a position that saw several key injuries in 2022.