Former NFL GM Mike Lombardi doesn’t understand how Chris Grier has a job

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When things start going poorly in the NFL, fans and the media alike start pointing fingers and looking for someone to blame. Satisfaction won’t come until the problem is resolved by either winning or getting rid of the root of the issue.

The Dolphins starting the season 1-3 for the second straight season and having some of their recent draft picks and free agents not pan out is forcing blame onto general manager Chris Grier.

Everyone is beginning to question whether he should still be in his position, including former league executives.

Speaking with WQAM’s Joe Rose this week, former Browns general manager Mike Lombardi ripped Grier as an executive.

“I don’t know how he does it,” Lombardi said, transcribed by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Chris [Grier] is a really good guy. He has had a lot of picks and hasn’t repaired the offensive line. I don’t know how you survive that. Unless someone else is making the picks, unless Stephen Ross really fell in love in Tua.”

Lombardi is spot on. In his six drafts with the Dolphins, Grier has used first-round selections on Laremy Tunsil, Charles Harris, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Christian Wilkins, Tua Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson, Jaylen Waddle, and Jaelan Phillips.

In those early years, Tunsil and Fitzpatrick were above-average players who were both moved before the end of their rookie contracts. Harris was traded for a seventh-round pick just three years after he was drafted. The jury is still out on the last five, but they seem to have varying results now.

The biggest question that Lombardi hit on was obviously quarterback. Tagovailoa has been fine, but having Justin Herbert go the next pick and look great has hurt the optics.

“There is no chance you would watch both of these players work out and pick Tua,” Lombardi explained. “One is bigger, stronger, faster, with a bigger arm. It makes no sense at all. But it is the power of the media. When you begin with the end in mind [drafting Tagovailoa] and violate the first rule of scouting, which is not beginning with the end in mind… that’s what they did.

“I don’t understand how it can happen. It’s the power of bias, the power of media, the power of the PR machine, the power of the Leigh Steinberg machine. There was a complete bias that was set up in this. Leigh Steinberg [one of Tagovailoa’s agents] is the greatest marketer of all time. He can spin a story and people buy it. You have people still buying it at the worldwide leader [ESPN]. I was reading something the other day that Tua is still going to be great. It’s unbelievable. You took a player who has been injury-prone his whole career.

“Tua can throw crossers, flats, and curls. But if he has to do anything more than that, he can’t. Is Tua going to be a top 15 quarterback in the league? If the answer is no, you need a [new] quarterback. Herbert is in the top five.”

Again, he hits the nail on the head. The moves Grier has made so far haven’t worked out, and, if Miami continues to go down this road, everyone will be calling for Grier to be fired by the end of the season.