One notable thing that Chris Grier is doing, in character. And Dolphins draft chatter

Several of Chris Grier’s proclivities have become obvious during his tenure as Dolphins general manager.

He values position versatility with offensive linemen. He’s willing to be patient to wait out a player in negotiations when he has a particular, specific price point in mind for that player. He likes to take chances on tight ends who played another position in college.

There are many others, but here’s one more: Even when the Dolphins seem set at a position, Grier always investigates other options. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; the no-stone-unturned due diligence is to be admired.

On the surface, the Dolphins are set at running back with Raheem Mostert, De’Von Achane, Jeff Wilson, Salvon Ahmed, Chris Brooks and fullback Alec Ingold.

And yet they’re still spending a lot of time on the position — including flying at least two draft prospects to team headquarters for “30” visits: Marshall’s Rasheen Ali (who scored an NCAA-high 25 touchdowns in 2021 and has been timed at nearly 22 mph on some runs) and Louisville’s Isaac Guerendo, who averaged 6.0 yards on 132 carries last season.

On the surface, the Dolphins seem set at tight end with Durham Smythe, Jonnu Smith and two young players they really like: sixth-year tight end Jody Fortson (who caught four TDs on 18 targets from Patrick Mahomes, in five seasons with the Chiefs) and second-year player Julian Hill, who earned coaches’ trust as a blocker last year. (Developmental tight end Tanner Conner also remains under contract.)

And yet, they have spent considerable time with multiple tight ends in the draft process.

We hear they have taken a strong liking to Texas’ JaTavion Sanders, who met with Mike McDaniel and offensive coordinator Frank Smith and tight ends coach Jon Embree recently in Austin.

If the Dolphins took Sanders at 55, they would be getting a very intriguing and talented prospect. But they also would be adding to one of the few positions on the roster that seems set.

It’s worth noting that Grier reiterated this week that when he makes picks in the first two rounds, he’s drafting the best player on Miami’s board, not picking for need.

The 6-4 Sanders caught 45 passes for 682 yards last season.’s Lance Zierlein calls him a “talented pass-catching tight end with an exciting floor if he can handle the rigors of the pro game. Sanders possesses an average build, but he has room for more muscle. He flashes as a run blocker, but he isn’t consistent at the point of attack. He can get up the field from in-line or from the slot, beating man coverage at his route stems or separating quickly from turns.

“He is able to dig in and win combat catches underneath and has proven to be highly effective running the seam or catching intermediate throws into zone pockets. Teams looking for a tight end with a more complete game might pass on him, but his potential to open up the passing game and become a highly productive pass-catcher should be hard to pass on.”

As for Guerendo, ESPN’s Louis Riddick lists him among his five favorite sleepers in this draft class, with this comment:

“Every year, we see a Day 2/Day 3 pick wind up being a really talented NFL running back for a good team, and everyone asks where he came from. Well, Guerendo is going to be that guy in 2024.

“At 6-foot, 221 pounds, he has the skills to be a three-down back. And after dominating at the Combine with a 4.33-second run in the 40-yard dash and an eye-popping 41.5-inch vertical jump, it’s clear that Guerendo has prototype traits for the position. He plays with a low center of gravity, good change-of-direction skills, exceptional acceleration and game-breaking top-end speed. And you can see his standout field vision and instincts on tape.

“Guerendo ran with better authority and physicality late in the 2023 season than he did in the early going. He still needs to become more physical and nastier in pass protection, but if he turns up the dial on his contact explosiveness to selectively punish linebackers/defensive backs at the second and third levels of the defense, Guerendo will burst onto the scene for some team in 2024.”

Another of Riddick’s five sleepers, Iowa tight end Erick All, also took a ‘30’ visit to the Dolphins.

Here’s what Riddick said about All: “After Georgia’s Brock Bowers, I believe All is the second-best tight end in this draft. And had he not been dealing with back and knee injuries over the past two seasons, I think we’d be talking about All as a Day 1 prospect.

“He can cause problems for NFL defenses with his size [6-foot-4 and 252 pounds], play speed, blocking ability, excellent route running and surefire hands. All is very explosive both as a blocker at the traditional Y alignment or from the U alignment, but he’s much more than that. All can stretch the middle of the field as a receiver, regardless of whether he is set up inside or flexed out as a slot.

“The stats won’t wow you — he caught 21 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns last season — but his tape is fantastic. And All is super tough after the catch. In fact, 135 of his 299 receiving yards came after the ball was in his hands. It shouldn’t be too shocking that we have a good tight end coming out of Iowa (though he was a transfer from Michigan), and I fully expect to see All on the field dominating this fall.”


NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, on a conference call this week, said if the Dolphins draft an interior lineman at 21, Duke’s Graham Barton “has legit five-position flexibility, can move around, play left tackle. I think he’s best at center, but I think he can survive at tackle if you need him to. I think he’s fully capable of playing guard, as well. But he’s the best in space, at change of direction, just overall athleticism. He’s really, really talented.

Oregon center “Jackson Powers-Johnson, he’s just bigger. He’s 328 pounds. He’s going to be more set a firm pocket. You want more of a mauler, brawler in the run game. He’s not a polar athlete. He’s just not the athlete that the other two guys are out in space, but he’s a physical, strong, sturdy presence there in the middle, who you’ll be able to set a nice deep pocket with him.”

Weeks after free agency, you’ll occasionally hear about players that who Dolphins poked around on but didn’t sign.

Among those players from this free agent class: former Miami Columbus High and Florida Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson, the 2020 Jaguars first-round pick who signed with Houston on a one-year, $3.25 million deal.

He started 17 games and had two interceptions over the past two seasons, and the Dolphins did a good deal of work - and asked several questions on him - early in free agency.

Instead, the Dolphins ultimately shot higher and landed Kendall Fuller, who has a better career body of work, while also re-signing Nik Needham.