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The Miami Dolphins had a long wait on Saturday afternoon to get into the action with the 2021 NFL Draft. Miami, who made five selections in the first three rounds between Thursday and Friday night, endured the full wait on Saturday that they were scheduled for — and then some. Miami picked last at No. 81 overall before coming on the clock at No. 156, but the team ultimately decided to trade out of that pick all together by transitioning to a 2022 4th-round draft choice in a swap with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Miami, who made the board with a few lingering needs remaining in the draft, would ultimately go on to selection twice more in the 2021 draft; landing a running back and an offensive tackle in the 7th-round.
And while Dolphins fans may have been disappointed by the sudden decision to come off the board with that 5th-round pick, the Dolphins left Saturday sounding thrilled with the decision.
General manager Chris Grier, in his recap press conference alongside Brian Flores, called the opportunity “too good to pass up”.
“We were just going through the process, as always, with the board and the draft as it’s going. A team called and was willing to move up. So Pittsburgh called and they offered a fourth next year, and for us, with where we were at the point in the draft and our board, we thought the opportunity to acquire a fourth-round pick next year was too good to pass up,” said Grier.
“That was just really the genesis – looking at our board and where we were in terms of our picks thus far and the roster. That’s just kind of where we decided the fourth-round pick was really good value for us at that point.”
Miami had initially entered the draft with an extra 3rd-round draft choice in 2022 as a part of their trade down the board with San Francisco, but one of those two 3rd-round choices in 2022 was surrendered when Miami leapt up the board to draft Notre Dame tackle Liam Eichenberg on Friday night.
The Dolphins initially paid that price with a future pick but eventually paid it in full with their major gap between picks on Day 3 — but Grier seems to think the way his board fell dictated the right decision to move out.