Dolphins pick Houston offensive tackle Patrick Paul in second round. Grier explains choice

After adding an edge rusher in Round 1, the Dolphins on Friday found what could be an eventual successor for left tackle Terron Armstead by selecting Houston’s Patrick Paul with the 55th overall pick.

As a senior, Paul allowed only one sack in 565 pass-block situations and had the highest pass-blocking grade among tackles nationally at 91.5, according to Pro Football Focus.

He allowed just two sacks in 1,053 pass-block situations during his final two seasons, after allowing three sacks in 2021.

Paul, who is 6-7 and 331 pounds, played all of his college snaps at left tackle – 964, 901 and 777 the past three seasons. He made 42 starts in college.

General manager Chris Grier said he was impressed by “his athletic ability for a guy as big as he is” and that he can play left tackle or right tackle.

“Even when he’s not perfect, with that length, he can block people when he’s not right,” Grier said. “You can see the growth in the player and wanting to get better. He wants to be good and wants to be coached.

“He was the highest-rated player on our board. Even when he’s not perfect, the length allows him to recover at times. He can add depth and compete for a role in the future.”

Paul came to South Florida for a pre-draft 30 visit.

“When he came on his visit, he filled up the hallway,” Grier cracked of his long arms. “He’s someone we spent a lot of time with. Met with him at Senior Bowl and Combine and had him on a 30 visit. He was enthusiastic about wanting to play here. He knows he has some things to work on. A very talented player.”

Grier said Paul indicated “he didn’t want to be anywhere but here” in Miami, and that Paul’s agent texted Grier all morning Friday saying the player “wanted to be here.”

PFF gave him a run blocking grade of 69, which is average, and well below his pass blocking grade.’s Lance Zierlein called Paul a “long, athletic left tackle prospect whose pass protection is much further ahead of his run blocking. Paul’s hands are more active than well-timed or accurate in pass protection, but he does a nice job of muting rush challenges with a decent anchor and an adequate mirror around the top of the arc.

“He’s high-cut with a tendency to bend at the waist into contact. He struggles to sustain and finish as a run blocker but that doesn’t appear to be an issue in pass protection. Paul should continue to add play strength, but he also needs to display better effort and full-time grit if he wants to square off against NFL run defenders and become a well-rounded left tackle.”

Armstead is guaranteed no money beyond the 2024 season. So if the Dolphins decide to move on from Armstead, Paul could step in.

Austin Jackson, the Dolphins’ starting right tackle, signed a three-year extension during the 2023 season.

Paul could compete with veteran Kendall Lamm for the No. 3 tackle job.

Evaluations varied widely on Paul. Some projected him as a mid first-round pick.

But ESPN rated him 18th ranked tackle in the draft.

“The personnel department was way in front of this,” Mike McDaniel said. “He shared some exuberance about wanting to be a Dolphins. He’s a giant man with a giant strong handshake. He’s very hungry and capable and excited to have some of his game worked on through coaching. He’s eager to make steps in his game.”

The Dolphins do not have picks in the third or fourth rounds. They have one pick in the fifth round, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Grier said he had conversations about moving up and had “a bunch of offers for our pick. A couple were enticing but not enough to move” and “not take Patrick.”

Grier and McDaniel expressed their appreciation for how much effort Armstead puts into helping mentor young offensive line teammates and anticipate he will do the same with Paul. Armstead, 32, considered retirement earlier this offseason.

“We didn’t need to communicate with him,” Grier said when asked if the team informed Armstead that it would be taking a left tackle. “He’s always like, ‘take offensive linemen.’ The cool thing about him is he loves to mentor these guys.”