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Dolphins appear very interested in defensive ends for draft

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said during the NFL Scouting Combine that he would probably address his team’s need for an edge rusher both in free agency and the draft.

Well, he certainly did address that need in free agency, but many wonder if he might have overpaid when he re-signed Andre Branch, he of the 19.5 career sacks, to a three-year, $24 million deal.

Just in case he did, it seems Grier may indeed be gearing up to double down on the position in the draft, where the ‘Fins are at least doing some defensive end window shopping.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Dolphins are among the teams slated to meet in the next few days with Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton (above), who should be available when Miami’s pick comes up in the first round.

We wrote earlier this week that Miami and Charlton would already be meeting. It’s not clear whether that visit did not happen yet, or this is a subsequent meeting.

The Dolphins pick at No. 22 overall, so unless they make a blockbuster trade up they probably won’t have a shot at getting either Myles Garrett or Solomon Thomas, the top two ends in this year’s class.

Charlton wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize at all, though. He had a tendency to be a little inconsistent while with the Wolverines, but scouts love his blend of size (6-6, 277 pounds) and athleticism (4.92 40).

They like it so much in fact that the Dolphins may have to trade up just to get Charlton, who as Rapoport tweeted, has already visited the Cowboys and is believed to be vising the Lions today.

Dallas picks six spots after Miami but Detroit picks one spot ahead of the Dolphins and they’re looking for an edge rusher, too, though some believe they’re targeting either Charles Harris of Missouri or Takkarist McKinley of UCLA.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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