Dolphins pick Cal safety McMorris. And Grier discusses Saturday’s picks, vet free agents

Moments after selecting California safety Patrick McMorris in the sixth round on Saturday, general manager Chris Grier and Mike McDaniel discussed a day in which the Dolphins added four highly-productive college players. And he suggested the Dolphins will continue exploring veteran help in free agency.

McMorris - who had six interceptions and 23 passes defended over the past three seasons - was Miami’s second pick in the sixth round (198th overall). The 6-0 McMorris spent his first four seasons at San Diego State and last season at Cal.

Fourteen spots earlier, Miami took Virginia receiver Malik Washington - who led the nation with 110 catches last season.

Earlier in the day, the Dolphins traded up for Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright in the fourth round and drafted Colorado State edge rusher Mo Kamara in the fifth round. Wright was second in the nation in per carry average at 7.4 last season, while Kamara had 13 sacks.

Grier said he traded up into the fourth round for the running back Wright because of “his explosiveness on the field, his toughness. When Mike McDaniel started watching him, [he] was excited. Our scouts [too]. It was an ability to add a good player we really liked. An opportunity we couldn’t pass.”

Having two likely compensatory picks in the third round of the 2025 draft made it easier for Miami to trade its own 2025 third-rounder to Philadelphia in exchange for the fourth round pick used to select Wright.

“That gave us some flexibility to move around,” Grier said of the compensatory picks.

Grier and McDaniel addressed other issues:

▪ Grier said “we were kind of surprised” that Kamara “was there” and marveled at “how physical, how fast” he is. “He’s relentless, his motor. You feel that passion in him. He’s very prideful, feels he’s better than some people selected in front of him.”

▪ Asked about the notion that the team’s first- and second-round picks were more developmental players (edge rusher Chop Robinson and left tackle Patrick Paul), Grier said: “We don’t worry about what other scouts and other people say. We’re still trying to win this year. This is not about winning two, three years down the line.”

▪ McDaniel said “the part of Malik Washington we like the most is there are some players in that room he will have to compete against, and we identified him as a person who would be up to the challenge.”

▪ Asked about free agents Odell Beckham, Tyler Boyd and Dalton Risner specifically, Grier responded: “We’re always looking to have the most competitive roster we can. We will keep looking post draft and talking to people and see what happens.”

Pressed on Boyd, Grier said he spoke with Boyd’s agent earlier in process. The Dolphins hosted Beckham on a visit earlier this month but the sides haven’t been able to come to terms on a contract to this point.

Those are the top two receivers left in free agency.

Risner is arguably the top guard remaining in free agency; there has been contact between the parties.

▪ On the sixth-round safety McMorris, Grier said the coaching and scouting staff encouraged the Dolphins to “get this guy. Plays hard. We feel good about where he is in his development and competing for a spot.”

▪ Grier and McDaniel had no significant update on free agent center Connor Williams. He reportedly might sit out 2024 after a serious knee injury in Titans game, but he has never said that.

McDaniel said Williams is “spending time with his family and getting his body right.”

The Dolphins signed Tennessee free agent Aaron Brewer to be their center.

▪ Grier and McDaniel declined to offer projected timelines for Jaelan Phillips (off a torn Achilles in November) and Bradley Chubb (off a Dec. 31 torn ACL).

▪ Grier and McDaniel spoke before the team’s final pick, which is 241st overall.

Grier said Tua Tagovailoa’s brother, Maryland quarterback Taulia, “is on our board.”

Grier said the Dolphins had “one forty something” players on their draft board.