The Miami Dolphins drafted wide receiver Erik Ezukanma in the 4th round of the NFL Draft on Saturday and it seems Wes Welker was the reason.
The Miami Dolphins released transcripts of the weekend’s interviews with players, Chris Grier, and Mike McDaniel and we learned some more fun facts about how the Texas Tech wide receiver became a Dolphins receiver. If he fails, we can blame Wes Welker.
According to McDaniel and Grier, Welker was sent to Texas Tech to watch the Red Raiders’ pro days. The former Raider was more than happy to oblige and he fell in love with Ezukanma. So much so, that he pestered his GM and HC throughout the draft process.
With WR not being a huge need for Miami entering the draft, some were moderately surprised by the selection. Grier confirmed what fans were thinking, the Dolphins kept to a “best player available” approach and that meant, Ezukanma was heading to Miami.
"“Yeah, I think with us, we always go down the board and always talk about the best players available. We got to that pick and he was a player we had talked about, we had visited with him, spent some time."
The clarification on BPA approach wasn’t surprising given Miami’s lack of true need across the team. No single position stood out as needing to be upgraded with starting talent as opposed to building quality depth.
"Wes (Welker) worked him out, went there and he was on Mike (McDaniel) from day one about getting a Red Raider receiver in here. (laughter) We dealt with Wes all spring talking him up."
Grier went on to say that the Dolphins worked him out privately and got to know him a bit as a player. He said that when it got to their pick and they looked at their draft board, they knew he was a fit for what they wanted to do.
Welker is a very talented WR but his transition to coaching has been good as well and he will get to work closely with Ezukanma now as his position coach.
At first, the idea of Miami drafting a WR was a head-scratcher but given the lack of real depth at the position, it was good Miami had the foresight to address it this year.