Chris Grier did not address the Miami Dolphins big needs in the 2023 NFL Draft but instead, is banking on his ability to evaluate roster needs and talent.
There has been plenty of time when Chris Grier looks like a genius but then there are times you wonder if he left to go to the bathroom and someone else made the decisions for him.
This year, the needs were pretty cut and dry, tight end, offensive line, and linebacker. He added a corner, a scatback runner, a WR, and then finally an offensive lineman that will not likely challenge for a year or two.
The moves do make sense, to a degree. The draft board was a mess by the time Miami was on the clock in round two. De'Von Achane is another speed football player. Grier didn't reach on day two. He stuck to his guns and his beliefs and stayed true to his board. But that is also part of the issue.
Cam Smith wasn't a bad option but Grier didn't read the market in the draft. He avoided tight end in free agency leaving a gaping hole at the position. He told the media after day two that they were more concerned about TE and OL than the team was. Egotistical maybe but clearly he isn't worried. Should he be?
In round six, Grier took another shot at drafting a player that he believes can convert to the hardest position on the football field, TE. Elijah Higgins as a lot of upside and potential but he will need to convert inside and it is often tough for 4-year collegiate TEs to acclimate to the NFL.
Grier believes that Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson can be the players he expected them to be when he drafted them but again, he drafted Eicheberg who was more suited to right tackle and plugged him into left guard. Many believed that Jackson was better suited to play guard and Robert Hunt was the better option for right tackle. Yet they both played the other.
Even Mike Gesicki can't be overlooked either. Grier gave him $10 million guaranteed as a franchise tagged player only to watch him sit on the bench. Mike McDaniel may have said, "hey let's see what we can do with him" but Grier should have said, "no, he can't block and you need someone who can".
It's hard to see a plan in place for the Miami Dolphins. The offense is all speed and the defense is really an unkown until we see how Vic Fangio puts the pieces together.
From players with injury histories and health concerns, Grier spens money in odd locations looking to get a steal from a player with those types of concerns while overspending on players that have struggled or had one solid season.
So far, the Dolphins are at least trending upward and the 2023 season should bring another playoff chase to South Florida but if we step back and look at the entire picture, we realize that Grier is gambling in several areas and believes that he can fix a lot of things with one-year deals. Why? Because he has to after giving big contracts to players that in some regards shouldn't have received them.