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One on one with Jeff Ireland

Following the last round of the draft on Sunday, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland agreed to speak with me privately after his open media availability.

This is how it went:

Mando: Your shining moment in this draft?

"Well, obviously I went after the player [Dion Jordan] I really wanted. That was the highlight, to go up and get the player we really wanted and really coveted and be able to get him at the price we got him was even a bonus."

Mando: Why him?

Jeff Ireland: "He jumps out at me. I don't like to compare players but we do a lot of that in our business. I've seen players like him that have great success. He reminds me of several players that have played that position. They're hard to find. The special ones are hard to find.

"And I think the guy can be special. I think that's why.

"And to follow up with your question, the draft is not only just trying to fill needs. I really don't go into the draft trying to fill this need, then this need and this need. I go into the draft building the board as equal as I can. I put the players up there that are the best football players and then marry needs into the best football players. I understand everybody thinks we have a tackle need. And I would say that's something we need to address whether it's a must or a need. But that player jumped out at me and I felt like I had to go get that player."

Mando: What are you going to do at tackle?

Jeff Ireland: "We'll see. The tackle position is an important position. It's an important position. But I feel like we have some flexibility. There are some options out there. I have some things up my sleeve that might work out. We're going to have to fill the need probably with a veteran guy on the street at some point."

Mando: At left tackle?

Jeff Ireland: "We'll see."

Mando: Why not do the trade with Kansas City for Branden Albert instead of drafting cornerback Jamar Taylor in the second round?

Jeff Ireland: "Because I didn't think it was the right thing for us."

Mando: Why?

Jeff Ireland: "Well, I'm not going into that because I'm not so sure it doesn't work it."

Mando: You mean down the road?

Jeff Ireland: "Yeah. Again, I never say never. I don't want to get into the details of that trade right now when it could or couldn't happen done down the road."

Mando: The moment during this draft you said, 'Dang it, I wish I hadn't done that?' Was it when you traded out of the 82nd pick and then had to trade back in?

Jeff Ireland: "You know, that was not a moment that I said, 'Ahh, crap.' I traded out and got the extra fours. And then there was a run. You have a certain number of players on the board and when you trade out you figure someone is going to be there. You have three or four and you think someone's going to be there. And then all of a sudden, five or six picks, boom, boom, boom, boom, guys went off. And it wasn't only in that round but there were rounds where players on our board were getting picked off like crazy. I felt like I needed to go back in there and get a player we really wanted versus settling on a player."

 

Comments

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Thanks Mando!

Good interview with good answers that make sense and seem honest

Nice Mando. You have had a great offseason of being connected and giving accurate insider info.

You were right about:
1. Wallace signing.
2. No Lane Johnson
3. No Xavier Rhodes

Many others too, I enjoy the scoopage.

J.Ireland and his scouting department did 1 helluva job this year, every pick was of good value and most importantly no reaches !! What a great job don't hate congratulate Ireland and his staff on a job well done !!

except trading back into the 3rd round for a guy prjected in the 5th

Not excited about this draft...

It is all talk at this point. Let's see how rookie and mini camp go.

UK fan commenting here, so please be gentle! I get the impression that given the dearth of genuine can't-miss talent in this draft, weren't we always going to be left slightly underwhelmed? I really liked the trade up for Jordan, if he plays like JT as well as looking like him, we'll all be overjoyed. Watching over here, my perspective was that Ireland did a really good job overall; of course we can all point to players that we wanted but didn't get taken (Eifert was mine), but looking at positional needs we have given ourself options. I really hope we aren't still considering the trade for Albert though, I'd pick up Winston and give Martin the LT role full time. But that's just me.

Great coverage by Mando! Mando had it nailed compared to the other local papers. So excited about this draft!

My theory on the open tackle position involves Will Yeatman. Any chance he's moved to RT, and Martin stays at LT? As a tight end, Yeatman would certainly be the athletic tackle type that Philbin covets. And maybe they like what they see regarding Martin's strength gains in the offseason.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry, Dallas Thomas or J. Martin start against Cleveland.

I am with Don Everett..I believe Yeatman will be in the mix but is still at least a year away which means sign Winston to a two year deal...We play in the Tom Brady division so getting Jordan was a plus...The Giants proved to beat Brady you have to hit him a lot and you dont necessarily need the best corners...Another thing about the tackle position remember that Tannehill was a WR and has good wheels, we can still get a tackle somewhere

Very, very pleased with the draft...It's been a great offseason...I've been bashing Ireland for years, saying he's too conservative...(Odrick, Pouncey, etc...) Never goes for a home run, just plays it too darn safe...Well, this year he did the complete opposite. Signed Mike Wallace, traded up to get one of hte top 3 players in the draft for a ridiculous 2nd rounder, signed Dustin Keller and Brent Grimes...I hear a lot of good things about Gillislee, hopefully he can come in and allow us to get rid of Daniel Thomas...What a stiff...Sims was also a very good pick...But man I would of loved Eifert...

Being that Dion Jordan played tight end, we should try him out in the red zone.

With his height, he's worth a look.

Good DJ interview on Joe Rose show...

Something tells me the boom, boom, boom, boom happens a lot to Ireland. May be why he blinked and traded up for Daniel Thomas and Pat White, however, these players probably would have remained on the board as Ireland lost several good players using his trade down philosophy.

I wouldn't be surprised if Dallas Thomas starts at LG...I mean, the guy is just awesome in pass protection...I could see Incognito moving to RG...Besides, if memory serves me right, he was a RG before he came to Miami...Lance Louis is also in the mix...Should be fun to watch but one thing is certain...We clearly have more depth now at guard than ever before...

I wish Ireland would get a couple of more receivers because this receiveng corps is nothing special seriously Wallace is no L.Fitzgerald or C.Johnson. Hartline is no J.Nelson and who are B.Gibson and R.Matthews ? This receiving corps doesn't scare anybody with a good defense !!

I would classify this draft as having a lukewarm feeling to what could have been an electric draft. It applies that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. If we would have stayed put at 12 and got Eifert this draft has a whole different feel to it. The missed opportunity for the organization is that....a missed opportunity to create excitement for a starved fan base looking to win. Can't win if we are still 27th in scoring and I'm not convinced that was addressed early and often enough. That's not complaining that's just the facts.

I would give Bryant McKinnie a one year deal...He wants to play here...He may be getting up there in age, but the guy is solid...I remember last year's playoffs, nobody touched Flacco...Sign him up for 1 year and let him compete with Martin...Nothing to lose...

Some of you are too concerned with "reaching" for players. If Tom Brady would've been drafted in the 4th round, Kiper, Mayock et al would've called it a reach.

Now don't misunderstand, there have been some boneheaded selections at the top of the draft. But I have no problem with Ireland getting the CB he wanted at the end of the 3rd.

The draft wasn't all sizzle but Rome wasn't built in a day. Let's hope Tanne keeps developing and Wallace pays dividends. I think the D will be fine.

Good quick iterview Mando. It gives us some insight into his thought process during the draft and what he intends to do with the OT need that remains after the draft.

I think many of us have rightfully questioned the existing OT squad and feel they are unable to provide starting NFL caliber level of play day one. Martin will be fine at RT and I think can develop at LT if he played the entire season there. So, that provides flexibility to Ireland who can navigate the pool of veteran FA's and land one that fits the scheme and Philbin 'style of player.'

Clearly we want to protect THILL as much as possible. But he is really mobile and does a pretty good job avoiding pressure. I also think the system provides for several quick releases which will give him and the OLINE help.

My first thought is whether we can get the Herald to install a "troll-ignore button" on the comment site. Having said that, even trolls make a cogent point once in a while. Sports should be about enthusiastic hope along with tempered-suffering a la' Cubbie's, Brown's, and Clipper's. Our Dolphins may not get to the Conf. play-offs this year, but we will be competitive. It's about time! Enjoy your reporting Mando', keep up the good work. Go Dolphins !!

I thought the middle round picks were solid...Thomas, Sims and Gillislee...Even Jones, the 7th rounder, is a sleeper pick...Should be a very interesting training camp...But like Armando pointed out (And that was an excellent article btw Armando) now it all falls on Philbin and Tannehill...Last year, a lot of people, including myself, defended Philbin and Tannehill by saying we had no playmakers...Not their fault we don't win...Well, now guess what...They have a lot more talent...No more excuses...Time to start winning some football games...

Great Post Mando.

I Like This Better Than That Senseless Diatribe Of Lebatard With No Real Meaning.

Thanks For Treating Your Audience. Instead Of Mocking Them.

12-4

Jeff Ireland: "You have a certain number of players on the board and when you trade out you figure someone is going to be there." You have three or four and you think someone's going to be there. And then all of a sudden, five or six picks, boom, boom, boom, boom, guys went off. And it wasn't only in that round but there were rounds where players on our board were getting picked off like crazy. I felt like I needed to go back in there and get a player we really wanted versus settling on a player."
======================================================
Armando, great job. This is the problem I have with Ireland even though he had a good offseason. Yes overall Jeff did a good job but he has this desire to trade down and get more players when there should have been an emphasis to get a higher talent with positions of need. Of course players start going off the board like crazy. Other GM's have their scouts working hard also.

The Dolphins are most likely looking for a hybrid OT/OG for their zone blocking scheme. Jake Long lost some athletisism to injury and never was a great lateral moving guy. Ireland not paying Jake Long as an elite OT and not overpaying or giving up picks for Albert were also good decisions by Ireland in my view.

Has Dan Carpenter been released yet?

promichael, thank God we didn't make that Albert trade...

We had already lost one of our 2 second rounders in the trade up for Jordan...Much smarter to draft Jamar Taylor than trading for Albert...

Hey couch this team ain't seeing no 12-4 bro, more 7-9-9-7'with their schedule the receivers are nothing to sneeze at !! Now I see why most of you fans wanted Eifert and Swope this receivers corps is again okay nothing special until proven otherwise !!

Mando: Why him?

Jeff Ireland: "He jumps out at me. I don't like to compare players but we do a lot of that in our business. I've seen players like him that have great success. He reminds me of several players that have played that position. They're hard to find. The special ones are hard to find.

__________________________________________________________________

This Explains Why You Go After Prototype.

GM's Would Like To Compare Players They Draft To Successful Players In The NFL. It Gives You A Benchmark To Gauge Your Prospect.

Else The Draft Is A Blind Crap Shoot.

I Know To The Novice Fan. The Draft Seems Like A Big Pin The Tail On The Donkey. But NFL GM's And Their Scouts Study All Year For This. They Compare And Project Players. To Say They Are Just Guessing For 3 Days. Is Preposterous. Asinine And Comical Really.

Wouldn't You Be Happy If The Player You Want Fits The Jason Taylor Prototype Instead Of E. Dumervil. Or A Wr That Looks Like R. Wayne, Instead Of D. Hall.

And Disclaimer Before I Get "You Talking About Me".

Dashi Is Talking To No One In Particular. Just Explaining My Point Of View.

GM's Prefer Prototype For A Reason. More Prototypical Players In The NFL. Than Non Prototypical Players. Why Is That?

I have not been in favor of a trade with the Chiefs for Albert from day one. Not because I do not think that Albert can't come in and do a decent job for us,but because of the cost,both in draft pick and contract. Let the coachs's make a final decision on starting Martin at LT. Remember,that was his position in college,and he was damm good at it. He came to us last year and was trained to be an NFL right tackle,and when Long went down (again) he was shifted to the left side, So it is really not fair to judge his perfrmance by the final games of last year. I'm in favor of JM being our starting left tackle if he can adjust to the speed and strength of the position in the NFL. Just sayin

What the heck does Ireland know? Nothing.

So....Tebow is now available and should be considered for the LT position.
Guys a gamer, has great feet and would be worth a look.

...Just kidding, but the Jets did cut him this morning.

Can Tebow play OL?

Curious to see what happens at T. Have to say looks like Martins job unless they do the trade with KC. No reason the guy can't play LT either, did well in college and hopefully improved in the offeason. Might see some guys moving around with the added players (at least they have some depth).

Was suprised by the Draft, shall see how it works out. A pass rusher to compliment Wake should make the DBs lives easier. IMO, the secondary is better today than it was last year as well. Want to see what impact the LBs have.

Dashi Is Talking To No One In Particular.


Posted by: Dashi | April 29, 2013 at 08:33 AM

----------------------------------------------------

Yeah, that's pretty much every post.

Here's the 2013 Dolphins Starting OL: LT- Martin LG- Thomas(R) C- Pouncey RG- Incognito RT- Jerry.

so they really wanted davis to give up 3 picks for him? That was the strangest move of the day. Davis would have been there in the 4. we didn't need to give up the 3 picks to get him. We could have taken swope with one of those picks.

Here's the 2013 Dolphins Starting OL: LT- Martin LG- Thomas(R) C- Pouncey RG- Incognito RT- Jerry.
Posted by: Eddie | April 29, 2013 at 09:00 AM

.

Tannehill will get killed behind that line! LOL

A guy can only do so much. Simply put the #1 goal for the offseason should have been to improve the weapons and players around T-Hill to make his job that much easier. That really hasn't transpired enough to say we're good on that side of the ball. That may come back to haunt this team.

BTW...This LT situation is just ridiculous and the Bess trade was hard to take. We pretty much shipped a weapon away for nothing and then drafted no WR's.

I like the draft, overall, and most of what Ireland has done this post-season. I do not like giving up three players (draft picks) to move back into the third. Those three players could have been a WR, another CB and S. In addition, we then wouldn't need to reach to draft a K so early. IMO a bad move. Whoever said Ireland makes these impulsive moves at times is correct. We can never know how good or bad they really are because we don't know who he would have picked otherwise. Only he knows.

I thought it was a good draft. Ireland was agressive in getting players he wanted, rather than panicing, and settling for best available.

Boulder,

Ireland is horrible at drafting. Didnt have to trade up to get Jordan either.

Should of grabbed Poyer when he was just sitting there. Eagles got a steal on him. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.Hope Jordan works out but as I mentioned before I live in Oregon and I just havent seen it. Hoping for the best but I am nervous. Top five for a tweener with a shoulder problem??? I woulda stayed at 12 and toook Eifert, kept my 42nd pick. Rest of draft was solid.

How does Ross continue to allow Ireland to do the drafts? Its just mind boggling.

Pretty good draft for this year and better draft for future years.

Pretty obvious that Ireland/Philbin decided to focus on fast great athletes with good character whose deficiencies were mainly those of experience and technique - limitations now but things that could potentially be coached away - high upside players but not necessarily starters. Judged from that perspective;

1. We probably got three starters - Jordan at DL or OLB, Sturgis as kicker (or he goes to practice squad while we see if Carpenter got his act back together) and Taylor as a CB.

2. The rest of the players are likely solid backups who can grow to become starters (unless something bad happens to a starter or they surprise us). Thomas is a versatile backup, jack of all trades and master of none, a backup. Davis is inexperienced as a CB and will get torn apart in the pros but has the talent to someday start or to be a nickel CB. Jenkins is a solid backup and situational coverage LB. Sims is a blocking TE and player in a two TE offense who has the potential if he works his butt off to become a Gronkowski someday. Gillisbee is a change of pace nifty RB to use if Martin is injured or fails to perform but not a speedster. Don Jones is a super athlete but inexperienced, a special teams player who could emerge for use in a nickel or dime package.

All in all the draft was good but does not appear great - although if these players mostly live up to their ability and respond to coaching there is an outside chance that it could come to be seen as a great draft in retrospect.

Did you guys see the Jets draft?! LMAO! They took a one dimensional defensive tackle that would have been there in the 2nd and a backup QB with their first round picks! rofl, Can't wait to see the Dolphins defense knock the crap out of another Jets QB. What losers.

Didnt have to trade up to get Jordan either.
Posted by: AtlFin | April 29, 2013 at 09:05 AM

Wrong

Oavery,

Agreed.

With The Exception. D. Thomas Is Also A Starter.

The Guy Rated In The 98% AS A OG.

HASN'T GIVEN UP A SACK IN 2 YEARS.

And Philbin Said The Kid Is Playing The Left Side. Tackle Or Guard. He Will Let Camp Decide.

Jordan
Taylor
Thomas
Sturgis

Should Start Or Be Major Contributors This Year.

Buh bye Teblow, another great Jets move. Bring a guy in to create a circus, alienate your starting QB, then release him the following year. YEP! That's got Jets written all over it. And they signed Sparano as an offensive coordinator! ROFL And now they have already tied the hands of their GM by forcing him to keep Rex Ryan who will be fired by January and Sanchez who they have already ruined. Things are looking up for the Jets!

Tebow waived!!!

If the guy would commit to possibly playing Tight End I would sign him.

Good pressing interwiew, Armando.

This team is VERY comparable to the 2011 team. Replace Brandon Marshall with Mike Wallace, replace Henne with Tannehill, replace Reggie Bush with Lamar Miller, replace Jake Long with Jonathon Martin, and replace some linebackers. You can even argue that this current team has WORSE talent than the 2011 team. It all depends on Tannehill I guess to see if he can elevate the team. That 2011 team went 6-10 after starting 0-7. Unless Tannehill takes a HUGE step forward and becomes elite, I see for this team a 5-11 record, unfortunately.

Bwaaahahahahahah back to the cellar for another ten years Jets fans, just like we predicted. Blew their wad and didn't even make it to the big game. Now they will suffer the consequences of signing bad contracts and old veterans. That team is a mess, I can't wait to watch the Dolphins beat them twice this year, mark it down, two easy wins right there.

Nice Job Mando!! Great work over this draft - i keep logging on to get my fins fix, and you always have something posted so i can read the article then scan the comments for fan reaction. Mando draft grade - A+

I Don't Like This New GM The Jets Have.

The Guy Makes Sense With His Moves.

Getting G. Smith

Trading Revis

Cutting Tebow

More Than Likely Getting Rid Of Sanchez.

He Has Done More In 1 Offseason, Than Tannenbaum Did The Last 5.

You can even argue that this current team has WORSE talent than the 2011 team.

Posted by: Glenn | April 29, 2013 at 09:31 AM

No you can't, unless you're ignorant and know nothing about the Dolphins. No one will read anymore of your posts after this latest turd, time to change your name and try again.

No you can't, unless you're ignorant and know nothing about the Dolphins. No one will read anymore of your posts after this latest turd, time to change your name and try again.

Posted by: The Jets suck | April 29, 2013 at 09:36 AM

I agree with the basic premise of your retort. But the fact remains that you have not disputed what I claimed with any facts. Please present a cogent argument and we might have some meaningful banter.

Respectfully yours,

Glenn

Jets cut Tebow and there left with Sanchez who's got mind problems, and rookie taken in the 2nd rd.(good luck with that) I wish the Dolphins had room for him, Tebow is nothing but a winner and who wants to win? Most Media type hate him cause hes a Christian and the Hearld is no better. He took a lowly Broncos to the AFC championship game, on his back. No one can take that away from him,,,
Yo Mando, when you gonna release the names of college free agents signings???
Anytime this yr?

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