In just one week’s time, the National Football League’s annual draft will kick off in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2022 NFL draft will begin its opening two rounds without the Miami Dolphins on deck for a pick, at the moment.
The good news is that the Dolphins’ first two draft picks in this year’s selection process went to the Kansas City Chiefs along with a fourth-round pick, and a fourth and six-rounder in the 2023 draft, to compensate for a perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver – Tyreek Hill.
The compensation sent to the Chiefs to bring in one of the most electrifying players in the NFL leaves Dolphins general manager Chris Grier to jokingly plan a relaxed start to the draft eat Thursday.
Following this mega-deal during perhaps the wildest NFL offseason ever, Miami will begin their pick process as it stands now at No. 102. This is the late third-round pick that comes from the San Francisco 49ers following the picks trade that landed Jaylen Waddle.
In what’s a strange occurrence, and not shocking at all with the number of transactions Grier has made, all four of Miami’s 2022 picks were not originally their own.
After their initial pick, that’s set to be next Friday, Dolphins fans will have to call it a day and wait until the third day, where No. 125 awaits, should Grier hold his current hand. Fans need not settle in here, as the next round for the Dolphins will be the draft’s last, as Grier will close with a pair of seventh-rounders, No. 224 and No. 247.
So, with the clock starting in the third, it seems fitting to take a trip down memory lane in Grier’s general manager tenure. Sure, he’s been in the building since 2000 as a scout, but he officially took over for Dennis Hickey as general manager in 2016.
Grier’s inaugural selection overall was, believe it or not, Laremy Tunsil at No. 13, who’s essentially netted Miami a treasure trove of players from a pick package that after other deals, led to Jaylen Waddle, Jevon Holland, and their newest acquisition, Hill.
The end result also led to draft picks Noah Igbinoghene and Solomon Kindley. Two of Miami’s 2022 picks were from results of the Tunsil Trade, and they even have a 2023 pick from San Francisco after all the smoke cleared.
Following the Tunsil pick, Grier bested himself with cornerback Xavien Howard. We all know that story, but let’s appreciate Grier’s start to his draft career as head man. His third pick from him was a player that gave Dolphins fans one of their greatest football memories ever, in one of the craziest endings to any game in NFL history.
Kenyan Drake, a running back from Alabama, was pick No. 73 overall selection and the first third-round pick for Grier. Drake was the touchdown scorer during the famed “Miami Miracle,” when the Dolphins stunned the New England Patriots in a buzzer-beating walk-off win, following a few laterals and a poorly negotiated angle by Rob Gronkowski.
After a bit more than two seasons in Miami, the Arizona Cardinals made a deal with the Dolphins to acquire Drake for a conditional 2020 fifth-round pick. That pick ended up going to non-other than San Francisco in exchange for fellow running back Matt Breida.
Drake finished his Miami career averaging 4.6 yards per carry and scored 15 total touchdowns for the team, including that memorable miracle.
Grier will look for more magic in seven days when his latest opportunity could net a key player at No. 102. This is unless, of course, Grier gets crafty and moves up should he see a player he covets. Either way, a smart bet is to keep watching throughout the long weekend, as Grier has made early draft weekend trades in each of the last three years in some form.