What players the Miami Dolphins will be coaching at the Senior Bowl will be revealed position by position, and the quarterbacks were first Friday.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy announced via Twitter that the three quarterbacks who will be coached by the Dolphins will be Sam Ehlinger from the University of Texas, Feleipe Franks from Arkansas and Ian Book from Notre Dame.
None of them are considered elite prospects in the 2021 NFL draft, though the Dolphins obviously will gain more insight into whether they should take a late-round flyer on any of the three.
Player assignments to teams coached by either the Dolphins or the Carolina Panthers will continue to be announced every day until the players arrived in Mobile, Alabama, on Jan. 23.
In other college all-star game news, three Dolphins coaches were selected to participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Though the actual East-West Shrine Bowl, originally scheduled for January 23 in St. Petersburg, Florida, was cancelled because of COVID-19 considerations, the invited prospects still will participate in various virtual training/informational drills with current NFL coaches and members of the NFL Operations staff.
Three of those coaches will be Dolphins secondary coach Gerald Alexander, linebackers coach Anthony Campanile and assistant special teams coach Brendan Farrell.
At the conclusion of the 2020 NFL regular season, clubs nominated active assistant coaches who were reviewed by a panel of NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Bowl leadership and members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee to serve as coaches for this year’s event.
The 2021 Senior Bowl remains on schedule to be played Saturday, Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m. ET at the new Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama.
“The entire Miami Dolphins organization is excited to take part in this year’s Senior Bowl," head coach Brian Flores said in a statement. "In this unique run-up to the draft, the Senior Bowl will be a great opportunity for our coaches and personnel department to interact with these players for a full week. We look forward to working with these prospects as part of this premier event with a tradition of featuring top-tier talent."
Coaching staffs are invited to serve in the Senior Bowl based on the NFL draft order — without consideration to traded picks — but with the requirement that their staff be in place before arriving in Mobile, Alabama, site of the game.
The Dolphins have the third and 18th selections in the 2021 draft, but the third came from the Houston Texans in the trade involving tackle Laremy Tunsil.
That means that every team that landed in the first 17 spots of the draft (prior to trades) declined the opportunity or couldn't accept because their coaching staff isn't finalized.
The Dolphins last had the opportunity to coach at the Senior Bowl in 2010, and maybe it was just a coincidence but their four top picks that year played in that game — Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick, Utah linebacker Koa Misi, Mississippi guard John Jerry and Iowa linebacker A.J. Edds.
As it turned out, the Dolphins' best pick in that 2010 draft was fifth-round selection Reshad Jones, who didn't play in the Senior Bowl after ending the draft as an underclassman.
With the expectation that the Dolphins will be looking to add playmakers at running back and wide receiver in the offseason, here's a rundown of the players at those positions who already have accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, with the knowledge we'll find out in the next couple of days which ones will be coached by the Dolphins:
Trey Sermon, Ohio State; Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma; Demetric Felton, UCLA; Michael Carter, North Carolina; Larry Rountree III, Missouri; Kylin Hill, Mississippi State; Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana; Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech.
Cornell Powell, Clemson; Frank Darby, Arizona State; Amari Rodgers, Clemson; Trevon Grimes, Florida; Kadarius Toney, Florida; Nico Collins, Michigan; Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State; Shi Smith, South Carolina; Cade Johnson, South Dakota State; Josh Palmer, Tennessee; Austin Watkins Jr., UAB; D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan; Marquez Stevenson, Houston; Desmond Fitzpatrick, Louisville; Racey McMath, LSU; Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame.