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Notes From Jeff Ireland Press Conference

Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland conducted his pre-draft press conference today for the Miami media. These media gatherings are typically much ado about nothing, as Ireland is fairly vague with his answers and is obviously not going to tip his hand when it comes to his plans for the draft.

And if he does drop any information that appears insightful, chances are it’s nothing more than a smokescreen. So it’s vital to take everything Ireland said today with a grain of salt. But it is still fun to try to decipher what his quotes mean.

You can watch the whole press conference here at the team’s official website. Here are a few nuggets that I found interesting:

“We’re going to try to upgrade the offensive line as a whole.”

Ireland emphasized that the Dolphins want to upgrade the offensive line. He then backtracked some on those comments by hinting that he would feel comfortable with Nate Garner at starting right tackle, but we all know better than that. He mentioned that “If I get another Pouncey and a Jake Longs I’d do it again. I wish I had a whole team of Mike Pouncey and Jake Longs.” You definitely get the feeling Ireland wouldn’t hesitate taking a tackle or guard in the first, even though cornerback has been a popular pick in many mock drafts.

Speaking of corner…

Ireland said that newly signed cornerback Brent Grimes is “almost to the point in his mind” that he can participate in the team’s offseason conditioning program. He also talked about his position on taking a corner in the draft, hinting that he doesn’t feel the Dolphins must address the issue in the first or second round and that he can find quality players at the position as late as the 5th and 6th rounds. Which, of course, means he’ll be selecting a corner with the Dolphins’ first pick.

A lot of talk about trading up or down

Ireland mentioned several times that the Dolphins are in a position where they can trade up or down in the first round. He seems very open to the idea of trading up and taking a guy like Lane Johnson with the 6th pick or moving back in the first because no elite talents are left on the board. But this really isn’t anything new.

Ireland is high on receiving core

This may be a smokescreen (remember grain of salt), but Ireland praised the Dolphins’ receiving core several times and seems content with the unit moving forward, mentioning that the position is a “strength” of the football team. That could either be bad or great news for the Tavon Austin crowd. My gut tells me bad, though.

Ireland has three or four players in mind with first pick

Ireland talked about how he already knew by this time last year that he’d be drafting Ryan Tannehill. As for this year, Ireland hinted that there are three or four players that he is legitimately considering with the Dolphins’ first pick. Anyone care to take a guess on which three or four players that may be? I say, Lane Johnson, Jonathan Cooper, Tyler Eifert, and Ziggy Ansah.

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