The Miami Dolphins entered their offseason again loaded with draft capital, and now they'll be able to get a close-up look at some top prospects at the 2021 Senior Bowl.
Game officials announced Monday morning that the Dolphins and Carolina Panthers will be serving as the coaching staffs for the National and American teams.
The 2021 Senior Bowl will take place 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.
This also suggests the Dolphins will have a new offensive coordinator in place by the time they get to Mobile for the start of practices Jan. 26. The Dolphins, of course, have a vacancy after the team announced last week the resignation of longtime NFL coach Chan Gailey.
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:
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.