The Miami Dolphins have five picks in the first three rounds and 10 overall, so starting Monday there will be some serious notes being taken by General Manager Jeff Ireland and his scouts. The hope is to find the equivalent of a Doug Martin or an Alfred Morris, two running backs that exploded on the scene during the 2012 regular season, while also identifying some depth.
Three players from last year’s game made it into training camp with Miami – Missouri tight end
“The Senior Bowl was good. It was the first time that we were able to work with NFL coaches and meet with NFL coaches,” said fourth-year linebacker
As it turned out, the experiences Misi had that week in Alabama helped him make the transition to the NFL at an unfamiliar position because he had played exclusively at defensive end for Utah. At 6-foot-3 and 257 pounds, the NFL scouts saw his body as a better fit at linebacker.
During his first three seasons with the Dolphins, Misi struggled as 3-4 outside linebacker going up against bigger offensive tackles. Last year under defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, he flourished in the 4-3 scheme and realized how far he had come from that Senior Bowl.
“It was the first time I had played linebacker,” Misi recalled. “They had me playing linebacker at the Senior Bowl and they also threw me in there a couple times at defensive end. That was an experience to play linebacker – it was just different than anything I had done before. But it was a good experience overall.”
Getting a chance to practice for a week with NFL coaches and learn a new position aren’t the only benefits of participating in the Senior Bowl. Players invited to the prestigious all-star game also get to meet with coaches, scouts and general managers and feel out the interview process before going through it again in Indianapolis in February.
“It actually made the Combine process a lot easier,” said Clay of his Senior Bowl experience. “A lot of the interviews I would have had there I did at the Senior Bowl. But it was fun just getting to meet a bunch of guys. It’s funny because I play against a lot of the guys on Sundays. The friendships that we have are a good thing.”
Come April when the Dolphins are on the clock, Ireland and company will surely look back to this week in Mobile and possibly add more hidden gems to the roster.