Some scoffed when I said a year ago that three quarterbacks could be selected in the first four picks of the 2020 draft; it ended up being three of the first six. With just three weeks remaining until the 2021 draft, it’s increasingly looking like the first three picks will all be quarterbacks, and that at least one of the two picks directly ahead of Miami’s sixth slot, the Atlanta Falcons’ 4th pick or the Bengals’ 5th selection, could well end up being traded to a quarterback needy team, as well, for a total of four of the first five picks being used to select QB’s.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? And it probably is, but that’s life in today’s NFL. With defenses getting better at stopping the run, and the lopsided manner in which officials are choosing to call offensive holding — in essence, you can practically tackle a defender if you’re pass blocking but have to be textbook perfect on running plays — it’s little wonder that many coordinators have abandoned the run almost entirely. As a result, even teams who have average quarterbacks are seemingly turning over every stone and beating the proverbial bushes in attempt to find that ever elusive franchise guy to run their offenses.
All of which leads us to a man whom many Dolphin fans seem reluctant to want to give much credit to: Miami GM Chris Grier. A couple of weeks ago, Grier pulled off an absolutely Houdini like move, by dropping only three total slots, from number three to number six, yet still getting another first rounder in 2023. Lest you think it would have been better to amass additional draft capital this year, with all Miami’s young players already on the roster, coupled with the even younger players they’ll be adding yet again in this draft, having an ace in the hole two years from now, when they’ll be better able to assess the talent they’ve recently acquired was nothing less than brilliant, in my opinion. What’s more, just a few years ago, Cleveland moved down a whopping 21 spots, from 6th to 27th in round one, yet only received a first, a second and two fourth round picks in return. Even Mike Florio, of Pro Football Talk, who has been less than enthusiastic about many of the Dolphins’ moves in the past, said he thought Philadelphia should have asked for more than just a first next year for Miami to move back up, from 12th to 6th.
Of course, the Miami Herald has reported recently that Grier’s wheeling and dealing may blow up in his face, if Atlanta and Cincinnati stay Put and take two of the premium non-QB’s available, such as Penei Sewell and Kyle Pitts, but I wouldn’t count on it. I believe that at least one of those picks is likely to be traded, and even if those two players are already off the board when the Dolphins are on the clock, that still leaves guys like Micah Parsons, Rashawn Slater or Jamar Chase still available, and of course, Grier could still choose to trade back yet again if he wants. This was a classic example of maximizing the value of a high draft pick (originally the 3rd pick, overall) in a year when the Dolphins knew there would almost certainly be a run on quarterbacks at the top of the draft. Staying put at three, when they knew that at least one of the guys they were targeting would still be available at six, made little sense, and I think Chris Grier deserves kudos for recognizing this and then having the guts and resourcefulness to pick up an extra first rounder in the process. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.
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