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Analysts assess new Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Tindall


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Georgia inside linebacker Channing Tindall (41) during the Bulldogs’ game against Austin Peay at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Photo by Jim Hipple)

Feedback on the Dolphins’ selection of Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall with the 102nd pick in the NFL Draft:

▪ NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: “Big time speed, 4.4 speed. Wasn’t a full time player at Georgia. So much talent on that defense. You can see his range. That speed is real. When he arrives [at the ball-carrier or receiver], he’s an explosive tackler. Ask him to spy the quarterback, this is where that speed [factors in]. That was a big factor in that [championship game] against Alabama, was able to close on Bryce Young.”

▪ ESPN’s Booger McFarland: “Some thought maybe he was the most talented linebacker on a loaded Georgia defense]. You talk about a guy that goes downhill, 6-2, 230 pounds. And simply put, he goes sideline to sideline. He still has to work on his coverage skills, but as far as keying and diagnosing, coming downhill and being shot out of a cannon, he shows up on tape. Explosive plays time and time again.”

▪ ESPN’s Louis Riddick: “His measurables are just stupid: 4.47 [in the 40 yard dash] , 42 vertical, 11 broad. This guy, if he does make a mistake with his initial footwork, he is going to make up for it because he can absolutely fly. These Georgia linebackers get off blocks. He can blitz, he can cover. He can play the mike, he can play the will, he can blitz. This kid, right here, I don’t understand [why he fell]. I know people don’t values linebackers, but this kid is a good player.”

▪ ESPN’s David Pollack: “This is one of the faster linebackers. He’s a blur. He was all over the field for Georgia. He can blitz. You saw in the Senior Bowl he did a good job blitzing and being physical.”

▪ ESPN’s Todd McShay: “It’s interesting. He’s not great at coverage because of change of direction skills, he doesn’t have great re-direct skills. But you get him on a straight line, he’s as fast as probably any linebacker in this class. He was also really good at spying quarterbacks when he came in the game.”

▪ NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein called Tindall “an inside linebacker who proved his toughness and dependability in Georgia’s stop unit. Tindall played in a great scheme surrounded by NFL prospects, so projecting his pro potential is a little trickier. He has average size and instincts for work between the tackles, but [possesses] the pursuit speed and tackling talent to run and hit from sideline to sideline.

“Play recognition versus the run and pass should improve with additional playing time. Tindall should be an early backup and instant four-phase special-teamer with the potential to eventually step into a starting role.”

Here are Tindall’s stats and more information from my April 11 story about Tindall, who visited team headquarters.

GRIER WEIGHS IN

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier mentioned the Dolphins have been targeting Tindall for weeks and like his speed, versatility, that he can play all three downs. Grier said Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the “arrow is still going up on Channing.”

He said the Dolphins inquired about moving up to take Tindall. But Miami didn’t want to give up any of its top 2023 draft inventory, which includes two first-rounders, a second round pick and two third-rounders.

Asked if the team will sit on its $20 million in cap space and carry it over to 2023, Grier said the team will continue to look, after the draft, for players who will help. So they’re not insistent on saving that space.

This story was originally published April 29, 2022 11:40 PM.

Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.





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