Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier held his annual pre-draft press conference on Wednesday. This is what he said:
▪ Grier read a prepared statement about the George Floyd verdict on Tuesday to open his press conference.
“Yesterday’s verdict was a very emotional day for me,” Grier said. “For me as an African-American there was a sense of relief and sadness. George Floyd was senselessly taken from family and friends.
“It’s 2021 and yet people of color are still asking for equality and justice. The jury in Minnesota served notice that police brutality is unacceptable and people will be held accountable for their actions … The justice system worked for people of color yesterday. However we cannot forget a life was lost,” Grier said.
As to football …
▪ Grier said “we’ll always listen to any offers that may or may not come,” in saying when the Dolphins are on the clock he’d be open to trading down if the right scenario plays out.
▪ Grier called the running back draft class this year “a good group of backs,” and dismissed the idea of devaluing those players based on their position.
▪ Grier said in making the trades he made so far this year — trading from No. 3 to No. 12 and then back up to No. 6 — he doesn’t worry about those exchanges weakening the Dolphins’ 2021 draft position.
“I don’t think we view it like that, we still have four picks in the first two rounds,” he said.
He called that idea a “difference of opinion” although it is a fact the Dolphins did not add draft resources this draft despite ultimately dropping from No. 3 overall to No. 6 overall.
The club did pick up a No. 1 pick in 2023 and No. 3 pick next year in the exchanges.
▪ Grier addressed the idea of drafting smaller players and how that is more possible now than in the past. “It’s all part of the evaluation but every player tells his own stories … The league has changed as well. I just think the game has changed a little bit and these smaller players are given more room to display their talents.”
▪ Grier said the Dolphins will not hold the fact some college players opted out in 2020 against them in their draft evaluation. “For us to sit here and judge players for their reasons why is unfair and I think is unrealistic.”
▪ Grier said quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is “healthy now” and “he’s been working very had.” Grier added the Dolphins starting quarterback “is going to take the next step” this coming season.
▪ Grier said the Dolphins will be back in their draft room, following NFL protocols, but “things are still different.”
The Dolphins will have one person at the draft and the 10 people NFL maximum in the draft room.
▪ Grier said Kyle Van Noy did a good job for the team in 2020. “But for us, we have some young players we’re developing that need to get on the field.”
Grier obviously was talking about Andrew Van Ginkel, who he said took a big jump in his second year. He also talked about “always upgrading” and that suggests the draft can also help the pass rush as well as the back end of free agency.
▪ Grier said that the change in offensive coordinator to George Godsey and Eric Studesville from Chan Gailey last year would not hinder the team’s ability to find talent. “We know what they’re looking for,” he said.
Come back in a bit for updates as this post will expand …