Dolphins explore potential first- and second-round receivers, bring one to team offices

A six-pack of Dolphins nuggets on a Wednesday:

The Dolphins, who so far have been unable to come to financial terms with Odell Beckham Jr. or a highly accomplished No. 3 receiver, have spent considerable time exploring potential wide receiver options at picks No. 21 or No. 55.

And that time investment includes bringing University of Washington receiver Jalen McMillan to team headquarters for a visit last week, a league source said this week. McMillan met with top Dolphins coaches and officials during the visit.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. mocks McMillan 51st —- four slots before Miami picks.

Injuries limited McMillan a bit last season; he caught 45 passes for 559 yards (12.4 average) and five touchdowns.

In 2022, he caught 79 for 1,098 (a 13.9 average) and nine TDs.

His career numbers in 38 games at Washington: 164 receptions, 2,143 yards (13.1 average) and 17 touchdowns.

“He’s a dynamic slot receiver,” Kiper said.’s Lance Zierlein calls the 6-1 McMillan a “slot target with good size and production over the last two seasons. McMillan is a long-striding field-stretcher who is at his best with momentum routes in a West Coast passing scheme. He lacks aggression and play strength and could labor against press or when faced with contested catches.

“McMillan has adequate build-up speed to create opportunities down the field but needs the ball on target. Teams will need to determine if McMillan was a product of the impressive Washington passing scheme, or if he’s a stand-alone talent outside of UW.”

A four-star recruit out of Fresno, California, McMillan’s other offers out of high school included Notre Dame and Alabama.

If the Dolphins draft a receiver at No. 21, LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. and TexasXavier Worthy would be the top options. Coach Mike McDaniel and general manager Chris Grier watched Worthy in person and spent time with him at Texas’ Pro Day.

There are a dozen receivers projected for the second round, including McMillan and Washington teammate J’Lynn Polk and Oregon’s Troy Franklin. For details on those second-round receivers, please click here.

The Dolphins also have shown interest in more than a dozen receivers projected to go on the third day of the draft or sign after the draft.

That group includes Oklahoma receiver Drake Stoops, who caught 84 passes for 962 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Stoops, the son of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, was first-team All-Big 12 last season.

The Dolphins very likely will add one or more receivers. The door remains open for Beckham — and perhaps another pedigreed free agent receiver such as Tyler Boyd or DJ Chark —- if they’re willing to come for a contract less than what they’re accustomed to making.

For now, Miami’s depth behind Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle includes Braxton Berrios, Erik Ezukanma, River Cracraft, Anthony Schwartz, Braylon Sanders and Matthew Sexton.

Tight end Mike Gesicki had a very good relationship with Tua Tagovailoa in their three years together, staunchly defended him and watched Tagovailoa blossom in his first year under McDaniel.

So it was certainly no shot at Tagovailoa when Gesicki told the Bengals team website about Joe Burrow: “I’ve… never been in the huddle with that kind of talent.”

Though the Dolphins loved Tagovailoa coming out of the draft, they called Cincinnati about trying to trade up for Burrow. The Bengals weren’t receptive.

For years, ESPN’s Kiper and Todd McShay did a fun exchange in which they alternated picks in a mock draft every April.

With McShay having been dismissed in ESPN’s latest round of layoffs last summer, Field Yates took over much of McShay’s duties — including the alternate pick draft with Kiper.

That draft, posted on this week, has Kiper bypassing Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims, Texas receiver Worthy and Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton — among others — in order to take FSU edge player Jared Verse for Miami at 21.

Kiper said: “I would have gone with [Duke guard/center/tackle Graham] Barton if he were available, but Verse is a stellar backup plan for Miami. He is a balanced pass-rusher who can set the edge in the run game.”

Kiper then has Miami taking Kansas State guard Cooper Beebe at No. 55, noting: “I went edge rusher for the Dolphins in Round 1, which means I have to fill their need at guard with this pick. Beebe, who played left guard the past two seasons, has the experience and tools to be an early starter.”

The Pro Football Focus two-round mock draft has Miami taking Duke’s Barton at 21, noting: “He is projected all over the line at the next level. A left tackle at Duke, most expect him to move inside to guard, or even to center, with some believing he can stay outside.

“For Miami, he is an immediate starter at guard and should upgrade a line that is still a weakness on paper.”

PFF has Miami taking Worthy at 55, though it seems highly doubtful he falls to that point in the draft.

Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead offered insight on Tagovaloa during a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen show, including details about Tagovailoa’s first interaction with former Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees.

“So I connected Tua and Drew kind of soon as I got there” to the Dolphins, Armstead said. “And they talked for a while, but Drew came down to training camp [in 2023] And they spent some time together and Tua ran over to me. He’s like, ‘Yo, T-Stead, I’m taller than Drew.’

“He was like, so excited. Forget everything else they talked about reading defenses and all that anticipation; he was happy that he was taller than Drew.

“But as far as similarities, the accuracy, the precision is scary to see. Drew is Hall of Fame, one of the best ever to touch a football for sure. Tua’s accuracy and his ability to manipulate and move defenders with his eyes, footwork, it’s incredible. It’s Drew Brees, and I know that’s a tall comparison, but he stands up to it. He is an impressive thrower of the football.”