Well... this has been a unique draft experience for me. On the one hand, the draft went as normal and unexpected picks came through - nothing unusual about that. However, on the other hand, I spent more time this year looking into draft prospects, considering needs and generally invested time in this draft than ever before. The Dolphins' rebuild and extra draft capital certainly contributed to that, and with the pressure on for this rebuild to be a success, my anticipation was higher than ever. So it was that I, much like many others, went into this draft with a number of expectations. They weren't anything odd. There was a general consensus on the Dolphins' needs, and then debate about which players would meet those needs. I had my own preferred players, of course, but I wasn't especially tied down to any one player. I went in excited. Then the draft happened - and so much of it was unexpected and disappointing. However, I have to ask myself why. Why was it disappointing? Because my hopes or expectations weren't met? That's hardly reason for complaint. So I decided it might be time to reset my expectations. To pull back to a wider perspective, see things afresh, and get a different angle on this draft - where maybe what Grier and Flores did might be better than what I had wanted them to do. So, dropping all thoughts about what I thought they should have done, I started by looking at what they did do. I wanted to see it as if I'd been oblivious to the draft the past few months and just now wander in and see what we've done. Here's how that looks: The #3 pick turned into a top tier WR (who they say was their top guy) and a 2023 1st. The #18 turned into the consensus best DE in the draft - albeit with a gamble on his health - and whatever intel the Dolphins have, we're not privy to it. The #36 tuned into an apparent scheme fit on a good, smart, safety. The #50 pick & an extra pick from the #3 trade, turn into the #42 pick and a OL talent in Eichenberg. The #81 pick grabbed the consensus best traditional TE. The 5th round pick turned into a 2022 4th rounder. Then two sevenths on an RB and tackle. What does that look like? It looks like investment in giving Tua weapons - a top tier receiver and a big TE. And with a focus on generating separation. It looks like a chance to improve two weaker areas of the defence - DE and S. It looks like an investment in the OL with two linemen, a starter and a prospect. And a prospect at running back. On closer inspection it also looks like Grier was targeting players offering intelligence, toughness and versatility - so they stuck to type/plan. It also looks like they tried to maximise value, having one eye on future drafts, and being cap conscious, and also, developing the run game by means of scheme, WR talent, and OL improvement. Viewed that way, it makes sense. Some picks are debatable. But everything seems to make sense, and the overall goal seems to be hard to argue with. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. Was Grier right to offer this solution to the Dolphins' problems and develop the team? Only time will tell. It at least feels good that they have a plan and they're sticking to it. Do I have a right to feel disappointed with these picks or this strategy? Not really. I'm free to have an opinion and Grier is free to do what he wants. In fact, he had better do what he wants. No one needs a GM who just follows everyone else. All I really care about is that the Dolphins improve and become regular contenders. So, where does that leave me? Hopeful. The draft always throws curve balls. A number of the top selections will not pan out. A number of hidden gems will start to shine. Some players will get injured. Things won't go to plan. That's football. We have no choice but to wait and watch, and so, now, I'm okay with that. This wasn't a brainless draft. It was a focused draft. My attention now goes towards training camp and see who these players become and seeing what year 3 of the rebuild looks like. I knew the rebuild was a long term project and that we'd be seeing evidence of construction around for a while before things begin to look pretty. This definitely looks like Grier and Flores have a solid blueprint for the team they're building, and it's going to plan. I'm excited to see how it turns out. Essay over! Now, a few resources that have helped. Lots and lots of people like our draft. I find that interesting. More than that, I like having opinions and perspectives to consider. Broadening my horizons in football is a good thing. The Phinsider have a summary of media takes on the draft at this link - 2021 Miami Dolphins draft grades: Miami has top-five draft in NFL - The Phinsider Media Consensus: College Wins Above Average added in the draft: Athleticism added: Second, some real Dolphins fans who know the team, its history, have some positive things to say too. That's nice to hear right now. So, if you're looking for some takes on the Dolphins as they stand following the draft, from people who think they can tell what's going on and what we should look for, check these out: Travis Wingfield - DriveTime - Spotify – Drive Time with Travis Wingfield | Podcast on Spotify Kyle Crabbs - Locked on Dolphins - Spotify – Reacting To The Miami Dolphins' 2021 1st-Round Draft Haul - Locked On Dolphins - Daily Podcast On The Miami Dolphins | Podcast on Spotify Ace Above Head - (23) Miami Dolphins Continue to Draft According to the Plan | 2021 NFL Draft - YouTube I'm out! Fins up!