If you are an NFL football fan, chances are pretty good that you have watched the 2014 football film Draft Day starring Kevin Kostner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, and slew of other notable NFL players, analysts and other recognizable sports related individuals.
The premise of the movie is that the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, Kevin Costner, is rebuilding his team through the NFL draft. The movie focuses much of its time on the team’s preparation for draft day, the team leadership’s internal struggles between Costner and the team’s head coach, Denis Leary, to agree on what the team needs are, and then the actual NFL draft.
By the end of the movie, the Browns General Manager, Costner, ends up gaining leverage on one of the other NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) and the Browns ultimately move from beginning the draft with one 1st round pick to ending the draft with three 1st round selections. The movie concludes with the Cleveland Browns appearing to have their roster in a significantly better place with their new additional players.
On Friday, the Miami Dolphins did their best Draft Day movie impersonation.
With Chris Grier being the Miami Dolphins version of Kevin Costner and Brian Flores taking the Denis Leary coach role, the Dolphins made some great draft day moves which in turn created significant value for the team with the eventual trade for quarterback Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals.
Although fans will most likely never know what conversations were held between Grier and the Cardinal’s General Manager, Steve Keim, the leverage was clearly in favor of the Miami Dolphins after the Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the first overall selection in the draft and after quarterbacks were selected by the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.
Imagine the phone conversations between Keim and Grier as the 2019 draft was about to begin and the Cardinals were set to pick Murray. “Rosen for the Dolphins first round pick?” “No thank you”. The Dolphins made a smart pick with Christian Wilkinson at number 13.
Then, day two of the draft begins and Keim calls Greir again wanting the Dolphins number 48 pick. “Rosen for the Dolphins second pick?” “No thank you.” Instead, a draft pick trade gets done with the New Orleans Saints to swap second round picks in 2019 where the Saints pick up the 48th pick and Dolphins pick up the 62nd pick and the Dolphins also pick up the Saints 6th round pick in 2019 and a 2nd round pick in 2020.
Then, Chris Grier’s phone rings again. “Oh, hi Steve”, he says. There was surely some haggling about what other compensation was to get moved in a draft trade for the Dolphins 62nd pick, but the final agreement was that the Dolphins send their 2019 2nd round pick and their 2020 5th round pick for Josh Rosen, who was a number 10 draft pick the prior year.
There are plenty of naysayers who think that Josh Rosen is a bust, which is completely understandable based on his rookie year performance. However, if you think about it, the Miami Dolphins will be paying him less money over three years than they are paying Ryan Fitzpatrick for two years. And, when the dust settled on day two of the 2019 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins only ended up giving up a 5th round pick in 2020 for a 1st round selected player from last year's draft. That’s a pretty good deal!
Obviously, the Dolphins did not gain three 1st round draft picks out of the whole deal, similar to the Draft Day movie, but what they did obtain is a quarterback that many analysts during the 2018 draft process called a top 10 draft talent with a very small monetary and draft capital price tag. And, the moves that the Miami Dolphins leaders made during day two of the NFL draft were nothing short of brilliant, similar to the Browns organization in the movie.
At the end of the movie Draft Day, the Cleveland Broward organization appear to be heading in the right direction. The Miami Dolphins appear to be doing the same!
This article was written by Ian Berger. Follow him on Twitter: @ian693
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