With a new head coach and three first-round picks in the upcoming NFL draft, Miami is poised to put up prolific numbers again on both sides of the ball. Grier’s moves might not be flashy or glamorous at this point but they could pay off big time down the line.
The “miami dolphins news” is a question about whether or not the Miami Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier’s aggressive moves will pay off in the long run.
12 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques
MIAMI, Fla. — On Nov. 3, a day after the NFL’s trade deadline had passed, Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier entered a tiny room with as many media as the league’s COVID-19 regulations would allow.
This was his first public appearance before the local media since the NFL draft in 2021, and although he may be considered as quiet and reticent, he has been everything but as GM. Grier has arranged the second-most trades (26) in the NFL since the start of 2019, according to ESPN Stats & Information analysis. He’s moved All-Pros like Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil, sold quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and brought in divisive players like quarterback Josh Rosen.
However, after all of the back-and-forth, it’s uncertain if Grier’s bold initiatives will pay off.
Since Grier took over as GM in 2016, Miami has gone 40-49, with the majority of his transactions focused on acquiring draft capital in order to prepare for the future. Prior to the 2019 season, he trimmed down the squad, losing payroll and stockpiling draft selections, and the result was a promising 10-6 finish in 2020.
However, Miami has limped to a 2-7 start in 2021, the year everything was meant to come together, as it prepares to visit the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network).
Grier’s job isn’t under danger right now, but that may change if Miami can’t turn things around and finish strong.
Grier said, “We’re all upset.” “In the second part of the season, we’re aiming to turn things around.” However, we’ve added several talented young players.
“We’re pleased with where they’ve arrived and believe they’ll continue to improve.”
In the last three rounds, Grier has had 13 top-90 choices, but his decisions at quarterback and offensive line might define his Miami career.
Tannehill, who was acquired in 2019, has led the Tennessee Titans (7-2) to the best record in the AFC. In 2020, Grier selected quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall selection. The judgment on Tagovailoa is still out with a 7-7 record, 18 touchdown passes, and 10 interceptions.
Grier’s decisions looked fine on paper ahead to each round, according to ESPN NFL draft expert Jordan Reid, but his usage of four top-90 picks on offensive lineman over the last three years (Liam Eichenberg, Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, and Michael Deiter) hasn’t worked out. According to Pro Football Focus, Miami has the lowest pass block win percentage in the NFL (44.6%) and has allowed the most pressures.
“The offensive line is something he always misses,” Reid said. “I believe that is what has slowed down the rebuilding process.”
Here’s a look back at Grier’s six picks as Miami seeks to turn its season around in the second half.
Overview: Grier’s first year as GM was a success, as he traded down and still landed a future Pro Bowler in the first round (Tunsil) and Howard in the second. Grier also selected Drake in the third round and Grant, a potential second-team All-Pro returner, in the sixth. Only Howard remains on the club from this eight-man selection class. Grier sent Tunsil to Houston in exchange for a 2020 first-round selection (QB Jordan Love of the Packers), a 2021 first-round pick (QB Trey Lance of the 49ers), and a 2021 second-round pick (safety Jevon Holland of the Dolphins). Grier also shipped Grant to Chicago in exchange for a sixth-round selection in 2023. In free agency, Drake signed with Arizona, while third-round selection Carroo, whom Miami moved up to get at No. 86, was out of the league by 2019.
The Dolphins, who finished 10-6 in 2016, seemed to be on the rise. Given that guard Joe Thuney (78) and safety Justin Simmons (98) were selected after Drake, they may be considered misses, but they are nothing compared to what happened the next year.
LB is my pick. OL Isaac Asiata (164), DT Davon Godchaux (178), DT Vincent Taylor (194), WR Isaiah Ford (No. 22), LB Raekwon McMillan (54), DB Cordrea Tankersley (97), OL Isaac Asiata (164), LB Raekwon McMillan (54), DB Cordrea Tankersley (97), OL Isaac Asiata (164), LB Raekwon McMillan (237)
Miami’s starting lineup: none.
CB Tre’Davious White (27), LB T.J. Watt (30), and OT Ryan Ramczyk were among the players they passed on (32)
Reid’s point of view: “[Passing on Watt] was a huge blunder. Many people were shocked when Charles Harris was selected in the first round, given his lack of productivity at Mizzou. I believe it was a major overachievement on Miami’s part; it’s one of the worst decisions they’ve ever made.”
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Tannehill tore his ACL during training camp, Hurricane Irma caused the Dolphins to reschedule their home opener, and starting linebacker Lawrence Timmons went missing before Week 1.
Apart from that, Grier’s worst draft class was without a doubt this one. It all began when he chose Harris over Watt, the Defensive Player of the Year for 2020. Grier also passed on All-Pros White and Ramczyk, but it was the Harris choice that hurt the most since the Dolphins had been scouting the pass-rusher for over a month before the selection.
“Everyone in the building — from staff to coaches — if you look at the footage in the room, everyone is going wild,” Grier said after the selection.
The draft didn’t get much better after that. After three injury-plagued seasons, McMillan was dealt to the Raiders in 2020, while Tankersley played 11 games as a rookie but tore his ACL in 2018 and never fully recovered, finally being released in 2020. Only Ford, a seventh-round selection, is still with the organization.
DB is my pick. RB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11), TE Mike Gesicki (42), LB Jerome Baker (73), TE Durham Smythe (123), TE Durham Smythe (123), TE Durham Smythe (123), TE Durham Smythe (123), TE Durham Smythe (123), TE Durham Smythe (123), TE Durham DB Kalen Ballage (131). Cornell Armstrong (209) is a linebacker with the Los Angeles Dodgers. K Jason Sanders (227), Quentin Poling (229)
Gesicki, Baker, and Sanders will start for Miami.
QB Lamar Jackson was a player they passed on (32)
Reid’s point of view: “Lamar wasn’t going to be for everyone, and what I mean by that is that you had to put all of your eggs in Lamar’s basket in terms of people. I simply don’t know whether Miami was capable and willing to do it in the same way that Baltimore was.”
Grier’s finest draft class, in my opinion. In Fitzpatrick, he got three current starters and a potential All-Pro in exchange for first-round (Austin Jackson) and fifth-round (DE Jason Strowbridge) selections in 2020, as well as a sixth-round pick (traded away) in 2021. Baker earned a three-year deal in 2021 for his performance, while Gesicki has been Miami’s finest player this season. After the season, he will be an unrestricted free agent.
A strong draft, however, did not convert to success on the field, as the Dolphins missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. Because of Lamar Jackson’s MVP season in 2019 and Tannehill’s departure from Miami the following year, passing on him stands out.
DL are my picks. Christian Wilkins (No. 13), offensive lineman Michael Deiter (78), linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (151), offensive lineman Isaiah Prince (202), running back Chandler Cox (233), and running back Myles Gaskin (234)
Wilkins, Gaskin, and Van Ginkel are the starters for Miami.
DE, DE, DE, DE, DE, DE, DE, DE, DE, DE Brian Burns is a writer who lives in the United States (16)
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“They made a mistake because they could have chosen a Penei Sewell or a Rashawn Slater, and even if they didn’t play tackle, having them on your offensive line would have been beneficial. Jaelan Phillips will be a fine player, but if you spend a high draft selection in Tua Tagovailoa, I’d rather have offensive linemen guarding him than that defensive end.”
After the regular season in 2020, Grier seemed to be a genius. Not only did the Dolphins go 10-6, but the selection he got from Houston in return for Tunsil ended up being the third overall pick. He sold the No. 12 selection to San Francisco in exchange for first-round choices in 2022 and 2023.
On the same day, he made another risky move, trading the No. 12 selection and Miami’s first-round pick in 2022 to the Eagles in exchange for the No. 6 overall pick, which he used to choose Waddle, Tagovailoa’s college teammate. It’s too early to judge this year’s class, but Miami’s 2022 choice is presently set at No. 3, with San Francisco’s (which Miami owns) at No. 9. If the Dolphins had remained at No. 3 in the 2021 draft and chose Ja’Marr Chase, who is third in the NFL in receiving yards for the Cincinnati Bengals, they may have had two top-10 selections in 2022.
On the plus side, this class produced Holland, who has teamed up with 2020 third-round selection Brandon Jones to create a solid safety duo.
Flores remarked of Holland and Jones’ progress, “It’s good.” “We’ve got a lot of young growing players that are gaining a lot of playing time and experience, and I believe those two guys are definitely two of the hardest workers we have.”
What comes next?
Given the excitement surrounding the Dolphins before the year, the 2021 season has been a significant step back for the squad. Grier was successful in selling a long-term strategy, but Miami is on track for its fourth losing season in five years.
There are, however, beacons of optimism. Three of Miami’s defeats this season have come on game-winning field goals, implying that the Dolphins aren’t as poor as their record suggests. In 2022, they are expected to have nine draft selections, including one in the top ten and two more first-round picks in 2023. This offseason, they are expected to have the most cap space in the NFL (more than $93 million).
Grier will have the resources to change the roster in almost any way he wants. The quarterback problem will be the first item on his to-do list. As Grier considers whether to make a trade for a new quarterback or continuing developing behind Tagovailoa, speculation regarding Watson is sure to heat up again.
It seems to be his most crucial choice to yet.
The Miami Dolphins are a professional football team that is owned by Stephen Ross. The team has been struggling for the past few years and has recently fired head coach Joe Philbin and replaced him with Adam Gase. This move was made in order to change the culture of the team and bring it back to its winning ways. Reference: who owns the miami dolphins.
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