It's not a great mystery that the Miami Dolphins are looking to add a playmaker in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, and the reasoning of course is to try to help Tua Tagovailoa.
GM Chris Grier indicated Wednesday during his annual pre-draft media session that getting somebody with Tua in mind is not going to be the sole determining factor in who the Dolphins select.
But he did say, as one would expect, that it will be part of the decision-making process. And that's why we've been hearing the names of Kyle Pitts, Ja'Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.
“Especially when you're picking where we're picking, you're always looking at your team," Grier said. "Tua is a big part of that and so as we build around and what we're doing, yeah, you're always looking at what does your quarterback do best? But you're also looking at weighing that versus the best players available and what you do for your team because at the end of the day it's always about the team. It's not about one player, one pick, one person. You've heard Brian (Flores) talk about team-first players that fit right. For us, it's just looking for the right player, the right person, the right fit for our team, as well as the mesh with the quarterback.”
It just so happens that in the 2021 NFL draft, the best player for the team at pick number 6 very well might be a player who helps out Tua the most, making it a win-win situation for the Dolphins.
It's also why we've suggested that maybe the Dolphins could trade down a couple of spots in the first round in order to acquire more draft capital and still land a player who best helps the team — and Tua — at, say, number 8 or 9.
As we've explained, the latter scenario likely would involve Waddle or Smith, with Waddle being the strong preference from this vantage point.
Whoever the Dolphins land, and however much help the Dolphins are able to get in the draft, Grier expects Tagovailoa to take a big step forward in 2021.
"Our communication has been great," Grier said. "He's been around. He's working hard. He's been working with the receivers. He's a very competitive kid, as you know. Coming off the injury last year with no OTAs, no minicamp and being just thrown in right away, that's a hard transition. Especially coming off the rehab part of it that he was doing.
"I've seen a couple of videos, I'm not on social media very much. He's been working very hard and our guys have been around, they've popped in and out of here. He's been great with the players and the receivers have been working. He's going to take the next step. The kid has been a winner everywhere he's been. I'm really excited for him, especially to have an offseason under his belt. I think that'll be really important for him."