Dolphins bring in under-radar cornerbacks, eager for another gem late in or after draft

The Dolphins, during the past decade, have shown a knack for identifying and developing undrafted cornerbacks, with Nik Needham and Kader Kohou at the top of the list and Ethan Bonner hoping to join that list.

And Miami’s search for under-the-radar corners — either those picked on the third day of the draft or signed afterward — will continue this week.

Colorado State’s Chigozie Anusiem, a cornerback who intrigues the organization, was flown to team headquarters last week to meet with top Dolphins officials and coaches, according to a league source.

Anusiem played three seasons at California and the last two at Colorado State.

In 2022, he permitted just 22 of the 47 passes thrown in his coverage area to be caught, for 228 yards (10.4 per catch), per Pro Football Focus. Factoring in one touchdown allowed and no interceptions, that equals a 68.4 passer rating. PFF named him an All-Mountain West corner in 2022.

Last season, the metrics weren’t quite as good: 31 completions in 48 targets for 330 yards (10.6 per reception), four TDs and one interception. That’s a 103.6 passer rating in his coverage area.

Against the two best quarterbacks the Rams faced (ex-Washington State and UM QB Cam Ward and Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders), Anusiem permitted 7 of 10 targets to be caught for 75 yards.

Anusiem was named All Mountain West honorable mention last season.

Some evaluators believe the 2022 tape was more reflective of the skill set.

Jimmy Williams, an assistant scouting director for the Hula Bowl, gave this scouting report to

“Anusiem is a smart, physical man corner that is capable of locking down No. 1 receivers and willing to support in the run game. He projects as someone who can step directly into a 2 deep for a professional team and grow into an NFL starter by the end of his rookie contract…

Primarily utilized as a boundary corner at CSU but occasionally rotates to safety. Lean, muscular frame with thick lowers. Elite height/weight and looks to have very high-level length. Listed 40 time is sub-par, but game speed looks adequate. Quick, twitchy player. Exceptional reaction speed…. Best fit for an aggressive defense that allows him to jam receivers and play tight man coverage.”

FSU cornerback Jarrian Jones and CFL cornerback Qwan’tez Stiggers were among other cornerbacks brought in by the Dolphins for ‘30’ visits. Teams can bring as many as 30 non-local draft prospects to their headquarters for pre-draft meetings and medical checks.

The first round of the draft will be held Thursday night, with the second and third rounds on Friday night and the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday.


With Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II and edge rushers Jared Verse (FSU) and Laiatu Latu (UCLA) off the board in his seven-round mock draft, ESPN’s Jordan Reid — one of the network’s four primary draft analysts (with Mel Kiper Jr., Field Yates and Matt Miller) has Miami taking Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims, a player the team has studied closely, with the 21st overall pick.

“Miami could start planning ahead at offensive tackle, especially because it lost key players off the O-line in free agency,” Reid said. “Mims arguably has the most upside of any offensive tackle in this class. The problem is he has only eight starts to his name, so the sample is small.

“Even so, Mims’ movement skills, lower-body quickness and power are all off the charts. Ability isn’t the question; it’s durability. If Mims is able to stay healthy, he’s more than capable of playing on the left side in the NFL and giving the Dolphins a successor to Terron Armstead.”

Among the players Reid bypasses at 21: Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton, Texas receiver Xavier Worthy and Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton, all of whom he has going later in the 20s.

At 55, Reid has Miami taking FSU defensive tackle Braden Fiske, adding: “Fiske has aced every step of the pre-draft process and would fill a major need for the Dolphins after the exit of defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in free agency. Fiske had a 4.78-second run in the 40 at the combine, showing his overall quickness, and he finished last season with 10 run stops and six sacks.”

Reid’s other picks for Miami: Texas A&M guard Layden Robinson at 158, Michigan edge player Jaylen Harrell at 184, Washington safety Dominique Hampton at 198 and Georgia State linebacker Jontrey Hunter at 241.

Incidentally, of the three corners mentioned earlier in this piece, Reid has FSU’s Jones going in the fifth round (157th), Stiggers going with the third pick of the sixth round (179) and Anusiem going undrafted.