2018 NFL Draft

Dolphins special teams coach meets with draft’s top kicker, who’s a Miami native

When Adam Gase met with reporters at the NFL’s annual meeting last month, he joked that Darren Rizzi was in Vancouver, scouting kickers.

Turns out, the best option to replace Cody Parkey might be in his backyard.

Rizzi on Monday dined with talented University of Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro — giving him one last kick at the specialist the Dolphins are considering taking in this weekend’s draft.

Pineiro makes sense for the Dolphins in a bunch of ways. He’s got a big leg (check out this video of him drilling an 81-yarder in practice). He’s accurate (he connected on 88.4 percent of his field goals and 96.6 percent of his extra points in college). And he’s local (Pineiro attended Miami Sunset Senior High).

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com projects him as a fifth or sixth-round pick. The Dolphins have no pick in the fifth round, but do have the 35th selection in the sixth.

“Pineiro has just two seasons of collegiate kicking, but his consistency and accuracy from 50-plus yards will immediately open NFL eyes,” Zierlein wrote. “Pineiro’s ability to handle kickoff duties and bang touchbacks only strengthen his cause.”

Pineiro and Auburn’s Daniel Carlson seem to have impressed Rizzi the most during his nationwide tour scouting kickers, our Barry Jackson reported last month. Rizzi flew to Alabama a few weeks back to work out Carlson, who made 13 field goals of at least 50 yards in his career.

 

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