Part of Dolphins’ NFL Draft vetting: Can players handle Miami?

South Beach has a lot of distractions for NFL players. (Getty Images)

PHOENIX—The Dolphins have an extensive criteria for evaluating NFL Draft prospects—few things carry more weight than the medical evaluation—but one component of their process differs from, say, the Lions.

When this organization’s staff sits down to interview a potential draftee, one part of the evaluation is determining whether that player can handle living so close to Miami.

“It is something that we have to talk about—because it’s real,” coach Adam Gase said. “South Beach is far enough away, but it’s close enough—if that makes any sense. I’ve seen some guys get caught up in things down there where all of a sudden you have a guy go M.I.A. and you’re trying to figure out your next step.

“Can guys handle being down here? Because there’s a lot of things do to. That’s why when you don’t win in Miami, it gets empty real fast. There’s a lot of things going on.”

The team trains in Davie, and most of the players live in the area. It’s at least a 45-minute drive from there to South Beach.

But, as Gase said, it’s close enough. While the Dolphins don’t intrude on players’ lives much in the offseason, there is legitimate concern about rookies showing restraint during the season with temptation so easily within reach.

“We do factor that in, in the draft especially,” Gase said. “When you’ve got these young guys coming in, they can pulled on direction really quickly. And in Fort Lauderdale, there’s a lot of things to do around there. It’s not like we’re too far away. There’s so much going on around there.”

[Dolphins submit a few requests to NFL regarding their 2017 schedule]

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