What Miami Dolphins think of this NFL draft class

Heisman winner Baker Mayfield has swagger and moxie, they say. (Getty Images)

DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins are slotted to draft 11th in the upcoming NFL Draft and of course they may move up and of course they may move down. But do they feel good about 11 players in this draft class?

“I was joking with (general manager) Chris (Grier) about this,” Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannebaum said Wednesday. “If you have the 11th pick there’s eight guys you love. If you’re at the eighth pick, there’s five. That’s just one of the axioms. And look, maybe we end up trading back, you just never know. So I think we feel really good about our preparation and we’ll see how it goes.”

The Dolphins need a starting linebacker and starting tight end. Which begs the question: how does Miami feel about those groups in this draft?

“I think it’s balanced,” Grier said. “I think there is depth at both those positions. Every draft you have guys you like at the the top. You can find value. The tight end group is a deep group this year. And there are some good linebackers in the mid to late rounds, as well.”

Linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith must be considered, if available at 11. Tight ends Dallas Goedert and Hayden Hurst must be considered, if available in the second round.

Grier conceded that for Miami, the phrase “best available player” has built-in positional need considerations.

“When you build your board you are always expecting it to build your team,” Grier said. “The film really takes precedent. That’s going to tell you really what he is. And you build all the other stuff. When we say best player available, we still look at our roster. Because we’re building it for the Dolphins.”

If one of the top four quarterbacks in the draft — Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen, in some order — were to slip to 11, nobody with Miami has been shy to concede there will be serious consideration. Though not to start immediately.

“Ryan Tannehill is our quarterback,” Grier said. “We feel good about Ryan. We’re excited to have Ryan back. For us, you’ve heard this before. Competition. We love to draft at every position. It doesn’t matter who it is. Come out and find one? We are not going to reach and overextend. We’re going to keep evaluating the roster.”

Make no mistake. Miami would like to draft at least one quarterback. Miami likes these quarterbacks.

“I think the biggest thing with getting to know all these guys is they are all very smart kids,” Greir said. “And so they all have personality. They’ve all been successful. And so they all have a chance to be good players in the league. We’ve been fortunate to spend time with all these guys and we liked them. Everyone is looking for leadership, intelligence, the ability to process information, accuracy, is the guy a winner. Is he durable? All those things, everyone is looking for the same traits.”

In an ideal world, Miami’s top two draft choices would be key contributors, if not immediate starters, this season.

“You want to have a vision, so early on, these guys can contribute,” Tannenbaum said. “And hopefully, like in previous years, the first few picks will play a significant amount come the fall.”

With the exception of course, being any quarterback taken by Miami in the first round.

“With this class, not just the quarterbacks, there is poise with these first-round, top-round players,” Tannenbaum said. “They are very polished. You can tell they are used to the spotlight. They’re coming in and they handle themselves as pros. For some, their transition will be very easy.”

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