By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303
We are exactly one week away from making NFL history. Not only will the 2020 NFL draft be held virtually without fans in attendance due to health concerns over COVID-19 virus, but the Miami Dolphins (for the first time in team history) hold three picks in the first round.
How will Miami decide to use these picks? Do they utilize all three picks the first round or do they try and trade down for more picks?
These and many more answers will be answered in one week per Dolphins GM Chris Grier who addressed the Dolphins media today via video conference.
Right out of the gate, Grier was asked if Miami has some type of analytics or a higher grade on a quarterback not named Tua Tagovailoa. Grier started his response by thanking all the first responders on behalf of the Miami Dolphins Organization. “For all those first responders and those who work on the front lines during this national crisis, [he says] thank you and looks forward to the day things can get back to normal and they can continue a normal day to day process.”
He then responded to the question by saying Yes, they have analytics and predictions on all players during this process. [that they] Take[s] into account injuries vs never being injured. Then he referenced Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin who came out of college with the mark of often injured and then never missed a game in New England when drafted. Grier then credited his staff for during their evaluations and homework on all the players. At this time he is declining to say what players have higher grades then others.
Grier was then asked about the process of getting their board together during this social distance environment. Grier said it hasn’t been to different, aside from the fact that they aren’t in the same room together. He says this draft process started in December with much of the same type of analysis being used today. He said they feel very good about where they stand in the process and are all ready to go for Thursday.
Grier was asked about his thoughts about Tagovailoa and Herbert as draft prospects. “They’re both interesting kids,” he says. “We have gotten to know both of them throughout this process, really good people, good players both have won, very talented players.” Grier then went on to say that both players are put through the same process as they do with all players they talk to.
When Grier was asked if the Dolphins quarterback board has been set, he that their final board has not been set, and that it will most likely get done late this weekend. He was then asked about the possibilities of moving up or down. Grier responded by saying they are in the same process. Every year as teams call them they call teams. So there’s really no difference about this years draft even with the 3 picks in the first round.
With the Dolphins holding picks at 5, 18, 26 in the first round, Grier was asked how many players he thought would be worthy of being selected at that 5th spot. Without hesitating, he said that he could see 8-9 guys getting selected there. That goes along with what along with many other NFL experts are saying.
This draft is loaded with first round talent that we will see go deep into the second round. The Dolphins have the picks to make some serious noise in this Thursday’s first round.
One thing that I got out of this conference. The Miami Dolphins are still the top team to land Tua Tagovailoa if that is who in fact they are targeting at number 5.
Talk Dolphins with Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303