Playing Miami Dolphins GM compared to Chris Grier (Part 2)

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Mike Gesicki #86 of the Miami Dolphins is tackled by Jaire Alexander #23 of the Green Bay Packers during the second half of a game at Lambeau Field on November 11, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Mike Gesicki #86 of the Miami Dolphins is tackled by Jaire Alexander #23 of the Green Bay Packers during the second half of a game at Lambeau Field on November 11, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

For years Miami Dolphins fans have been saying “I can do a better job in the draft than that guy!” Would they do better than Chris Grier?

I count myself as one of those Miami Dolphins fans and yesterday I took on Chris Grier in year one as Dolphins GM. While he won the 2016 NFL Draft, let’s see how we compare for 2017 and 2018.

2017 Draft

My Picks (Number in parentheses is round selection.)

(1)  T. J. Watt, DE

(2)  Pat Elflein, C

(3a)  Montravius Adams, DT

(3b)  Cordrea Tankersley, CB

(4)  Julien Davenport, T

(5a)  Steve Tu’ikolatu, DT

(5b)  Keonta Davis, DE

(5c)  Jadar Johnson, S

(6)  traded to Rams for William Hayes

(7)  Anthony Auclair, TE

Grier’s Picks

(1)  Charles Harris, DE

(2)  Raekwon McMillan, LB

(3a)  traded to Minn in 2016 Carroo trade

(3b)  Cordrea Tankersley, CB

(4)  included in Carroo trade

(5a)  Issac Asiata, G

(5b)  Davon Godchaux, DT

(5c)  traded to Ealges for 5b and 6b

(6a)  Vincent Taylor, DT

(6b)  traded for William Hayes

(7)  Isaiah Ford, WR


(1)  Since I judged the 2016 draft based on stats versus production, it’s only fair to do the same here.  While Harris has 3 sacks and 3 starts in 27 games with the Dolphins, Watt has 21 sacks in 31 career games (all starts) with Pittsburgh.

(2)  A preseason injury cost McMillan all of 2017.  He bounced back well and put up 105 tackles last season but had very few “impact plays” (zero ints, zero sacks and only 5 tackles for loss but did cause 2 fumbles.)

Meanwhile, Elflein has started 27 games at center for the Vikings and helped them reach the NFC Championship game in his rookie season.

(3) Adams was selected by me with the pick given up in last year’s Carroo trade.  Green Bay has primarily used him as a DE in their 3-4 defense; with limited success.

Both Chris Grier and myself believed Tankersley was going to be better than he has shown so far.

(4)  Another pick surrendered in the Carroo trade brought Miami the raw, but talented, Davenport.  After starting only four games in his rookie season, Davenport started 13 at left tackle and 2 at right tackle last year for Houston.

(5)  Grier traded a 5th round pick and a 6th to move up two spots for Asiata; who has appeared in two games in two seasons in the exchange.  Godchaux showed flashes of greatness as a rotational DT in his rookie season.  Upon Suh’s departure, he started all 16 games last season and was part of the Dolphins 31st ranked rushing defense.

Stevie Tu’ikolatu has not seen the field behind the Bucs DT rotation of Gerald McCoy and 2018 1st round pick Vita Vea.  Is he failing to live up to his potential or simply a victim of a crowded/talented defensive line rotation?

Here. light. Related Story

After ending up on IR for all of 2017, Keionta Davis showed signs of success towards the end of 2018 with the Patriots and may see even more snaps in 2019 with the departure of Trey Flowers.

The selection of Jadar Johnson with my third 5th round pick turned out to be a waste because he ‘retired’ three months later citing ‘safety/health concerns’.

(6)  Vincent Taylor has so far been the mirror opposite of Godchaux.  Taylor’s impact was felt very little in 2017 but, in limited snaps, he registered two sacks for the Dolphins in 2018.  Not stellar output but showed signs of being a potential useful piece in the team’s future plans.

(7)  Despite being highly thought of by Grier, the selection of Ford turned out to be precisely what I envisioned; a wasted pick on a position (WR) that the Dolphins already had significant depth at.

In round seven, I took a flyer on a player at a position of need who wasn’t ready to play right away but had good ‘upside’.  TE Anthony Auclair still managed to start 13 games the past two seasons primarily as a blocking tight end in the Bucs offensive system.


I believe you can add this one to my win column.  McMillan and Godchaux have each started for one season while the rest of Grier’s selections have contributed very little coming into the 2019 season.

My draft, on the other hand, brought in a playmaker in Watt, our starting center of the future, a blocking tight end and a potential nose tackle (Tu’ikolatu) for the team heading into 2019.  Plus, Keionta Davis shows signs of providing good depth at defensive end.

2018 NFL Draft

My Picks

(1)  Justin Reid, FS*

(2)  Dallas Goedert, TE

(3)  Oren Burks, LB

(4a)  Will Richardson, T

(4b)  Jaylen Samuels, RB/FB/TE

(5)  Tim Settle, DT*

(6)  J. C. Jackson, CB

(7)  Eddy Piniero, K

Grier’s Picks

(1)  Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS

(2)  Mike Gesicki, TE

(3)  Jerome Baker, LB

(4)  Durham Smythe, TE

(5)  traded to New Orleans for LB Stephone Anthony

(6)  Cornell Armstrong, CB

(7a)  Quentin Poling, LB

(7b)  Jason Sanders, K

*  Dolphins take the trade offered by New Orleans to Green Bay last year and move from 11th pick to 30th pick and get a 5th in 2018 and a 1st rounder in 2019.


(1)  My bypassing Fitzpatrick in favor of a trade down is absolutely no reflection on him as a player.  He was every bit as versatile as advertised and looks to have a promising future in Miami.  That said, I also saw Reid as a first round talent and he was still available at 30.  For the record, Reid started 12 games for the Texans and grabbed 3 INTs.

(2)  If you want a reminder of my immediate reaction/evaluation of the Gesicki pick, feel free to click here.  Goedert was the more complete TE entering 2018 and looks like the better player after their rookie season.

Maybe Gesicki fulfills his potential now that Tannehill is gone; seeing as he couldn’t throw to the TE.  Either way, my 2017 pick of Auclair and this pick of Goedert freed up the 4th round pick spent on Smythe.

(3)  Once again, Baker had a relatively good season for the Dolphins as a coverage linebacker but, at 215lbs, he was a liability against the run.  I drafted Burks to start at SLB but the team that drafted him (Packers) moved him to ILB where he only started four games.

(4)  As stated above, the pick of Smythe isn’t necessary if Grier made better personnel decisions.  In his place, I was able to draft Richardson; who unfortunately ended up on IR early in the season.  Coming into 2019, he could compete for Ju’Wuan James’ vacated role at right tackle but, at worst, ends up in the guard rotation.

As for the second 4th rounder, Ballage and Samuels both put up decent numbers in limited action.

(5)  Settle is how I decided to use the 2018 pick acquired in the trade with the Saints.  At 6’3″ 328 lbs, Settle probably has a minor role in 2018 but he’s competing with Montravius Adams and Stevie Tu’ikolovatu for DT/NT snaps in 2019.

(6)  With four starts and 3 INTs last season, my selection of Jackson looks alot better than Grier’s selection of Armstrong (8 tackles, zero INTs).

(7)  Poling spent 2018 on the practice squad but Jason Sanders was 18/20 on field goals for the Dolphins last season.  Pineiro’s rookie season with Oakland was abruptly cut short when he suffered an injury before the first game of the season.


In the end, Grier and I picked many of the same positions but different players to fill those needs.  Through one season, it looks like Grier did better with Baker and Sanders while my selections of Goedert and Jackson look better at this time.  I am reserving judgement on Fitzpatrick vs Reid and Ballage versus Samuels.  It also should be noted here that I acquired an extra 1st rounder in 2019.

So there you have it!

Who did the better job as GM; me or Grier?