By: Jason Sarney
With just one week until the NFL Draft, Dolphin's General Manager Chris Grier told Miami reports Thursday afternoon, that whatever happens on April 23rd he will, “Do what’s best for the Miami Dolphins.”
In terms of the specifics of what player or what position, of course Grier played the hand as he has all year and that is steady, calm, and collected. In his answering of numerous questions ranging from process to player to potential trades, a few common denominators rang loud and clear.
The team concept is not just 53 players. There is a coach, his staff of positional coaches, regional scouts, national scouts, assistant GM’s and all the evaluators to go with them.
This is truly a team war-room, even if virtually together and not under the same bunker.
Grier not only compliments his direct scouting and coaching staff, but also goes as far as to shouting out the most important member of the Miami Draft team next week, the I.T. Department.
Communication is clearly key, in a time of uncertainty and teleconferencing unlike any other draft. Grier, similar to coach Brian Flores, seems to be prepared for anything. He even mentioned the team will be taking a “Dry-Run” at their communications for the draft process.
This is part of the confidence Miami Dolphin fans should have, as their General Manager seemed to have the confidence of a World Series of Poker champion, and frankly, no one has a clue what his cards are or what's coming on the flop, and turn with cards 1,2,3 and 4.
Did he tip a hand? Honestly – I don’t know.
He was diplomatic in his answers and while not specific, his message was clear. He has put in the work, as did his department, like most NFL organizations from now until the 23rd.
"In terms of moving up, trading up; teams call us, we call teams. Every team calls every team. Teams do their due diligence," Grier said.
With Miami being in the unique and beneficial situation of picking at #5, as well as two additional 1st round selection, Grier said with an even-keel demeanor, that having an early pick is something they can "take advantage of."
Does that mean he is holding a Full house? Couldn’t tell you.
But what I can tell you is what Grier told us, and that is, there are about 8 or 9 players they "feel really good about at #5.”
You can take that for what it is worth, as well as what players are worth to Grier and his staff. In terms of evaluating, Grier said plain and simple, "at the end of the day, it's what the guys do on film."
He never mentioned jersey sales or getting multiple national games on the television schedule.
Grier also has to factor in his current quarterback room of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. In talking about his veteran leader in Fitzpatrick, Grier says he has had a tremendous impact on young players as well as fellow veterans. He added that he is proud of Rosen for his progress and feels for him, having the unfortunate last few seasons of going from a top-10 pick to being traded.
Leadership and experience are important, as is relationships in this business within a game. Assistant General Manager Marvin Allen, is working with Grier now in his front office. Allen is a former Patriot with both player and personnel credentials. Grier and Allen go back a long way, and as a scout, Allen has “rarely missed the playoffs,” Grier referenced proudly.
The 2020 NFL Draft is arguably the franchises most important in it's existence. Grier thinks it is "very important" to hit a home-run in this year’s draft and even mentioned next year’s draft. He believes he can "build a strong team here, and be good for a long time.”
That isn’t just a goal of a home-run and going 1-4 the other at-bats. This is a seasonal, career and long-term plan. If Grier had any slip of a message to Dolphin fans, it was not in the form of a player, a position or a specific plan.
What he did “tell” us with his unseen hand, is that he is prepared, as are his scouts and coaches and even the guy to help defend the firewall is ready for anything. This front-office is locked, loaded, full downloaded, and ready to Draft.
The man to push the button on Thursday will do so with as much confidence as he has in his staff, and his coaches and his players.
You can follow Jason on Twitter @OrangeAquaman