Miami's linebacker play last season can charitably be called mediocre, and the Dolphins could turn to a "local" prospect to help shore up the position.
Ohio State's Ryan Shazier -- who grew up in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Plantation, about 20 minutes north of Sun Life Stadium -- met with Dolphins officials for about 90 minutes on Monday, the Miami Herald reported.
Shazier's father, Vernon, is the Dolphins' team chaplain.
Shazier (6-foot-1, 237 pounds) is seen as a first-round lock, with the question being how early he will go. A pick in the late teens -- and Miami picks 19th -- would seem to be his ceiling.
His skill set should intrigue the Dolphins, whose linebackers weren't consistent last season. Shazier has excellent speed and big-time athleticism, and can be used as a blitzer and also in coverage. And while he is not known as a big hitter, he is a solid tackler with a high football IQ.
Miami also is in the market for an offensive lineman -- the line needs a big overhaul -- and perhaps a wide receiver. The draft is deep in wide receivers, and there will be prospects available in the second and third rounds who can make an immediate impact. What it could come down to is whether Dolphins executives value Shazier more than the No. 5 or 6 offensive tackle on their draft board because at least four offensive tackles are expected to be off the board when the Dolphins make their first selection.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.