You made it through April with no NFL Draft. Now here we are in draft week. The bad news is that we had to wait two extra weeks. The good news is that the lull between the Draft and the start of training camp is now two weeks shorter. Thursday night will kick off the 2014 draft and there is a lot of speculation about what Miami Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey will do with the pick. A better question might be what kind of influence over that selection will Joe Philbin have?
The Dolphins almost lost their coach this past off-season if the rumors about his disgust around Mike Sherman’s firing are true. The story goes that he was so upset over being forced to fire his long time mentor that he was willing and ready to walk. It was Sherman who convinced him to stay by letting him know that other coaches would be out of jobs too. As part of the management overhaul that started with Jeff Ireland’s firing, it’s understandable that Philbin will have a little more authority over his team.
To what extent is unknown.
Ultimately the final decision rests on the shoulders of Dennis Hickey, a first year GM. Hickey could use his own desires to make his selections or he could allow Philbin to exercise his input into the matter. Many fans believe that the Dolphins should wait to draft an offensive lineman while others believe it should be their top priority. But what if Hickey want’s a new WR? Or a new linebacker? What if he views the offensive line as something that can be fixed in later rounds while Philbin wants a lineman early?
The only tangible evidence we have of Philbin regarding these matters is his Hard Knocks appearance where he was asked about players by Jeff Ireland only to respond with, “what do you think?”. It’s not necessarily a case of Philbin not exerting his opinion. He was a rookie HC that year and a year later he pulled the power card and got Ireland fired. He may not be as passive as we sometimes might believe.
For the most part everyone is asking what is Dennis Hickey’s draft day plan but reality could be what is Joe Philbin’s plan and who will have the most input into that plan? While it’s hard to tell right now, you can believe that it will be a unified front come Thursday night or Friday afternoon when they face the media. We won’t know who’s selection/s it will be until someone is out of a job. For all of the Dolphins fans out there, let’s hope whomever makes that selection makes the right one.