Much like all of the teams coming out of the NFL draft process, the Dolphins projected that they were thrilled to be able to grab Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 11th overall pick on night one.
It’s not uncommon or surprising that afterwards, the truth (in part or whole) begins to come out not only in Miami, but elsewhere, about how teams really felt. And also importantly, what they were trying to do in and around the draft time for their team.
So, that brings us to a report in the Boston Globe Sunday, that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was not on board with picking Fitzpatrick with the 11th overall pick.
Respected NFL writer, Ben Volin of the Globe, had a blurb in a lengthy item on the NFL draft:
ICYMI, NFL Notes on what teams told us with the draft, Bad week for the NFL with legal/off-field issues, Dolphins draft room drama, and morehttps://t.co/vqcAnQKXP5
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) May 7, 2018
It’s important to note, Volin’s report that an owner might be unsure of taking a player in the position where the team is about to take him, is hardly new or uncommon. In fact, it may have gone on a dozen to 20 times over the course of Thursday night and Friday night for the 32 teams in the first three rounds.
Owners spend hundreds of millions of dollars to own a team, and they want to have input, as to what the team is doing, when and why.
It’s also important to point out that Ross was advocating, once Miami was not able to trade up and get one of the star young quarterbacks, he believed the better strategy was to trade down and get more picks. Again, that’s something numerous teams did over the course of the first two nights at the draft, too.
It’s a fascinating add-on to a story that we wrote about right after the draft, when a source familiar with the Dolphins discussions in their War Room revealed they were absolutely trying to swing a trade to move up and grab one of the four prominent quarterbacks. However, they could not pull it off, when the Bills, who had an extra first and two extra second round picks this year, made a deal with the Bucs at #7. They took Wyoming QB Josh Allen.
And also, the Cardinals traded right in front of Miami at the 10 spot with Oakland, only giving up only a third round and a later pick to do so. And, they did so to take UCLA QB Josh Rosen.
Both players that Miami was interested in having.
So you put all of that in context, and put the Dolphins on the clock next at number 11, and you can understand why there was some anxiety and frustration for Ross.
Further, Fitzpatrick may end up helping the Dolphins secondary and turn out to be a good if not great NFL player, but it’s not one of the quarterbacks or an electrifying player. Certainly, it’s not going to help the Dolphins market anything or sell additional tickets in the short-term.
Again, that’s the kind of pick an owner is looking for especially on night one near the top of the draft. And, it would make him shrug his shoulders, if they aren’t getting one.
Ultimately, Ross let VP of football Mike Tannenbaum and GM Chris Grier do their thing and pick Fitzpatrick.
He still believes in what they are doing.
However, that can change soon, too.
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