As a Miami Dolphins fan, blame has been going around these last couple of bleak weeks. Most of the Miami Dolphins community has been crying for Chris Grier to be held accountable for the many underperforming high drafts picks selected over the last few years. Also, many draft picks are no longer with the team since he had been involved with the front office for 22 years before his promotion to GM.
In his initial draft as General Manager for the Miami Dolphins in 2016, only Xavien Howard remains. But if you look at the realities, his aggressive pick of Laremy Tunsil, given the uncertainty surrounding him, paid off huge, so counting on Howard as a home run hit in 2016 would be severely disrespectful.
Chris Grier’s 2017 Draft does leave plenty of doubt in his colligate scouting abilities. First-round selection, 22ndoverall Charles Harris was a colossal bust while wearing aqua and orange. He never could rush the passer or set the edge during run plays. To make matters worse, TJ Watt was available as he was selected 30th overall. Unlike the 2016 draft class, there are no players left on the roster from the 2017 draft class.
But all these wasted picks do not spell doom for General Manager Chris Grier. He selected players that fit the mold of former head coach Adam Gase. Schemes and playing style could not be more different between Adam Gases Miami Dolphins and Brian Flores Miami Dolphins. So the difference in scheme and player fit makes the exodus of players from these drafts understandable.
In 2018 Chris Grier selected eight players. Three of which are starters (Gesicki, Baker, Sanders), 1 is a constant contributor on offense (Smythe), and one was traded for a 1st round selection (Fitzpatrick). Three are no longer on the team (Ballage, Armstrong, Poling).
2019 Draft Grier selected six players. Four are starters (Wilkins, Deiter, Van Ginkel, Gaskin). Two are no longer with the team (Prince, Cox).
2020 Draft Grier selected 11 players. Five are starters (Tagovailoa, Jackson, Hunt, Davis, Ferguson). Three have starting experience (Igbinoghene, Jones, Kindley). Three are no longer on the team (Strowbridge, Weaver, Perry).
2021 Draft Grier selected seven players. 4 have already started games (Waddle, Phillips, Holland, Eichenberg).
Chris Grier’s job is to stock the cupboard with as many talented football players as possible. So objectively looking at recent drafts, Grier seems to be finding players to contribute early. What appears to be happening every Sunday is there are players not being used by the coaching staff, not in the best position for that player, or not used at all.
Head coach Brian Flores was a fan favorite heading into the 2021 season. Miami’s Head Coach had just led the way to a 10-win season, and Miami had appeared to load up on young players that were thought to be sure-fire upgrades to players who started during the 2020 NFL season.
With such drastic improvements from year 1 to year, two fan speculation was playoffs or bust for the 2021 Miami Dolphins. But at 1-3, what went so wrong?
Miami coaching staff has regularly put players in a position to fail. Austin Jackson, who does not move well in space and is constantly beat around the edge with speed, doesn’t possess the athletic ability to play left tackle in the NFL.
Austin Jackson is also beat occasionally with a bull rush, so he would have to improve play strength to a man in one of the two guard positions, but on tape, it is clear that Austin Jackson is not being played in a position to succeed.
Another head-scratcher is the severely underused Myles Gaskin. He is the only Miami Dolphins running back, averaging more than 3.7 yards per carrying. Salvon Ahmed is averaging 1.8 yards per carrying, And Malcolm Brown is averaging 3.6 yards per carrying.
Gaskin is averaging 4,9 yards per carrying but has only 29 rushes in 4 games this year. This Miami Dolphins coaching staff has not put their best runner in a position to succeed.
Lastly, Liam Eichenberg. This year 2nd round selection played well in week one at his natural left tackle position. He is only credited with one pressure playing his natural position of left tackle. Still, since moving to correct tackle, he has been surrounded by two additional pressures, three sacks, and three penalties.
So as everyone is calling for Chris Grier’s head, maybe this is on the offensive coaching staff for putting the wrong players in the bad positions and head coach Brian Flores for allowing it.