April 27 (UPI) — The Miami Dolphins fielded calls from other teams, but decided to stay put in the 2018 NFL Draft and select Minkah Fitzpatrick with the No. 11 overall pick Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Speculation swirled at the Dolphins’ training facility in Davie, Fla. after just two quarterbacks were selected in the first six picks. Then the trades started happening. The Buffalo Bills moved up to snag Wyoming gunslinger Josh Allen with the No. 7 overall pick. The Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders held picks before the Dolphins, but none of those franchises had a need at quarterback.
It looked as though prize prospect Josh Rosen would be available for the Dolphins’ pick at No. 11. Then the Arizona Cardinals traded up for the Raiders’ pick and scooped up Rosen.
The Dolphins then snagged the Crimson Tide defensive back at No. 11, adding to their defense.
“Really, the way it all played out, we didn’t think any of the quarterbacks would make it to us,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said. “For us, we talked to a couple of teams about maybe moving up or down but nothing real serious. For us, at the end of the day, if one of those guys was there, we would have talked about it; but we just didn’t think anybody would be there.”
Grier said talks with other teams “didn’t get very serious.” He said those other parties were requesting “a lot” in return, if the Dolphins wanted to move up in the opening round.
“For us, at those spots and the opportunities, we just didn’t really take it very far. Again, Ryan [Tannehill] is our guy,” Grier said. “We believe in Ryan. He’s going to be our starter.”
A source told NFL Network before the draft that the Dolphins made it “clear” to Tannehill that he would be their starter in 2018. The AFC East franchise talked to Tannehill before the draft about the possibility of trading up for a quarterback.
Tannehill, 29, hasn’t played in a game for the Dolphins since Dec. 11, 2016, due to several injuries.
Fitzpatrick — who was sporting multiple championship rings during his first interview with the South Florida media — joins Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald in an improved Dolphins secondary.
The former Alabama star said that he only talked to the Dolphins two or three times before the draft and did not visit the team’s facility or workout for the franchise.
“I know Miami is a great team, a great program, a great state and a great city,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s going to be an awesome opportunity down there. I’m going to go down there and work my hardest and just try and win championships down there.”
The Dolphins’ offseason program began on April 16.
Tannehill is signed through 2020. The six-year veteran restructured his contract in March. Tannehill is expected to be ready for organized team activities (OTAs) after recovering from ACL surgery in August. Dolphins OTAs are from May 22 to May 24, May 29 to May 31 and June 4 to June 7. Mandatory minicamp is from June 12 to June 14 in Davie.