The Miami Dolphins recently put defensive tackle Xavier Cooper and quarterback Connor Halliday through private workouts following the Washington State pro day several weeks ago. This news comes courtesy of Simon Clancy, Deputy Editor of BBC Radio 5 Live Sport.
Jeff Hyde (Twitter: @Jeff__Hyde), an analyst for the PhinManiacs Draft Guide, says that Cooper is a guy that teams will likely draft and immediately begin working on improving his strength. Hyde says that he has a great body type for the position, but seems to lack to explosiveness that he looks like he should have. He is good against the run, but won’t make any tackles in the backfield. He displays good instincts vs. the run and keeps his eyes focused on the ball carrier allowing him to make some good tackles up the middle.
His ability to gain good leverage off the snap is key. If he can overpower the line, he’ll be able to push/collapse the pocket, draw some double teams or even develop some pass rushing skills to be an effective pass rusher. But as it stands currently, Cooper doesn’t have that elite power in his upper body. Fortunately, he has a good body frame and can afford to bulk up and get stronger. The ideal draft round for Cooper, according to Hyde, is the fourth.
While the Dolphins were at Washington State, they also worked out quarterback Connor Halliday. Justin Capriotti, analyst for the PhinManiacs Draft Guide, says that Halliday should go undrafted as he feels that Halliday has reached reached his full potential as a quarterback. He’s a tall pocket passer that lacks arm strength and relied on a system offense in college. His accuracy and ball placement is very good from a clean pocket. He threw a few interceptions, but he’s a quick decision maker and most of his turnovers come from him tipping the defenders off.
Capriotti questions his ability to go under center in the NFL because his footwork will need to be turned around. He also has a very lanky build and may measure in less than 200 pounds. When the play breaks down, the play is over. With the recent signing of Josh Freeman, it appears the Dolphins are set at quarterback and I would be surprised if they even looked at any quarterbacks during the draft because of this.
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