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Dolphins Want To Be Opportunistic On Draft Day

Posted Apr 19, 2017

Eight days before the start of the 2017 draft, the consensus is the same this year when it comes to the Dolphins’ biggest needs, but Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tannenbaum said it would be a mistake to suggest they have to go with defense early in the draft.

The Dolphins have a pretty simple philosophy when it comes to selecting players in the draft: Rely on all the work that’s been done over the past several months above anything else.

Specifically, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum and General Manager Chris Grier both said Wednesday during the Dolphins’ annual pre-draft press conference they will rely on the draft board the team’s personnel department and coaching staff has put together after all those months of player evaluations.

“Being around guys from Dick Steinberg to Bill Parcells, everyone that I’ve worked with that have had a good track record, talking to Ron Wolf about all this stuff, you get in trouble when you start drafting for need and reaching around your board,” Grier said. “We’ve tried to stick with that. You try and stay as disciplined as you can to your board.

“We’ve done too much work over the last eight months of this to just throw that out and just go with something. For us it’ll always be the board over need.”

For the perfect example of what Grier talked about, Dolphins fans only have to go back to last year.

The consensus heading into the 2016 NFL draft was that the Dolphins clearly needed help on defense more than on offense, yet they simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use the 13th overall selection on tackle Laremy Tunsil when he became available just weeks after being mentioned as the potential first overall pick.

“We had talked about a lot of defensive players at that point in time and there were stlll a couple of players we were interested in then, but the opportunity to take Laremy for us was too great to pass on,” Grier said. “You really have to stay with your board and be very disciplined and we’ve tried to stay with that philosophy.”

Eight days before the start of the 2017 draft, the consensus is the same this year when it comes to the Dolphins’ biggest needs, but Tannenbaum said it would be a mistake to suggest they have to go with defense early in the draft.

“We want to be opportunistic,” Tannenbaum said. “To go in and say, hey, this is just going to be a draft defense, we’ve been around it too long to say that because you don’t know what’s going to happen. We set the board and we rely on the board to make those decisions. A lot of those decisions we’ll have made well before. Once the board is set, that’s really what we rely on to make our decisions. Last year was probably the best example, where we didn’t think we were going to be drafting a left tackle, but when there’s a guy that’s so much higher-rated than anything else, those are easy decisions.”

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