Monday, September 26, 2022

Chris Grier’s breakthrough in third round draft: LB Jerome Baker


On Thursday, the National Football League made its annual NFL Draft debut in Las Vegas, Nevada. While eight teams do not have a first round selection, the Miami Dolphins are included in a subgroup of three teams that will remain inactive in the pick department until the third round. Of course, if that doesn’t work, because for the time being, the Dolphins choose the number 102 and number 125 and then keep a gap until the seventh round.

Chris Grier’s tenure as Miami general manager has had a good third round. Since 2016, Grier has had a solid track record, and is led by linebacker Jerome Baker, with Miami still remaining in the current third round.

The Ohio State product was drafted by Miami as the number 72 overall pick in 2018. He and Xavian Howard are the two longest-lived members of the Dolphins’ Defense. Baker has been a pretty solid player for Miami, even earning a contract extension last year.

Baker is coming off a 92-tack, 5.5-sack season and was career-high for losses with nine as well as quarterback hits. Baker also played admirably in pass coverage, compiling four passes for defense including one interception. The opposing quarterback completed only 69.6% of passes when throwing his way.

Baker, like most of the Dolphins defense in 2021, got off to a slow start, but in the second half of the season, he was a major reason Miami won seven in a row. Baker had 4.5 sacks in December, as his blitz rate increased from 4.1 rushes per game in his first six games to 7.3 rushes per contest in his last nine.

Baker, the team’s captain since the 2019 season, is a consummate leader both on the field and in the community. He heads into 2022 after being named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month last December, as he looks to build on that momentum from the end of the year.

The former Buckeye led a Miami linebacking crew that included Jaylen Phillips, Andrew Van Ginkel and Alandon Roberts as principals, with Duke Riley, Brennan Scarlett and Sam Aguavone as role players.

Miami could certainly use an inside linebacker in this year’s draft, and the third round is the perfect spot. Historically, the Dolphins have succeeded in positioning in the third round, apart from Baker, that group includes players such as Olivier Vernon, Morlon Greenwood, Channing Crowder and Derek Rodgers.

Since Baker, Grier has wisely used his third-rounder on guys like Michael Deiter in 2019, Brandon Jones in 2020 and Hunter Long last year.

While the jury is, of course, still out of the last three third-round picks, Center Dieter and Safety Jones have the potential to play consistent opening roles for the Dolphins, while Long was used less in his rookie year. The development will be helped along by newly hired tight-end assistant coach John Embry.

Dolphins fans can have faith in Grier with pick number 102, coming late on Friday in the third round. However, as it has done in the past, going up or down will always be in play.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.

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