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Dolphins take Houston tackle Patrick Paul in second round of NFL draft

MIAMI GARDENS — After the edge defender Thursday came the offensive tackle Friday for the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins selected Houston’s Patrick Paul in the second round of the NFL draft, pick No. 55.

At 6-foot-7 1/2 and 331 pounds, Paul is an experienced left tackle with 44 college starts who was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection three years running.

Paul tested well at the NFL scouting combine, running a 5.13-second 40-yard dash and bench pressing 30 reps. With his long arms, he is scouted as having pass-blocking skills that are ahead of his run blocking.

“He was the highest-rated player on our board left,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said of the team’s mindset once on the clock. “His athletic ability for a guy as big as he is. … Even when he’s not perfect with his technique, he can still block people.

“We think he has another level he can take it to and he wants to, and that’s the important part, that he wants to be good and wants to be coached.”

Grier and coach Mike McDaniel noted an exuberance from Paul in the team’s multiple interactions with him between the Senior Bowl, combine and a visit at team facilities.

“He was very enthusiastic about intentionally wanting to play here,” Grier said.

It was evident when Paul spoke with reporters via web conference later Friday night.

“It was amazing, really getting to spend time with them,” said Paul, who told the Dolphins brass they were his top destination. “I knew that I wanted to be coached by Coach McDaniel and (offensive line) coach Butch Barry. It was something I knew from the minute I started talking to them that I wanted to be a Miami Dolphin, so this is a blessing.

“I’m going to bring a resilient player who handles business, someone who’s great inside the locker room, outside the facility. Someone who’s going to come in every day with the same mindset, and that’s to work. That’s to come in every day, and I’m going to bring it every day. I want to end my career with the Miami Dolphins. That’s my goal.”

With Terron Armstead already contemplating retirement this offseason, Paul could be a potential replacement in the future at left tackle, but Grier said that wasn’t necessarily the thought process for the organization, which will focus on developing Paul once coaches get to working with him.

“We don’t really chase positions, trying to draft out of need,” Grier said. “This is a player we liked at a position that can add depth and come in and grow and compete for a role here in the future.”

Paul will benefit from being under Armstead’s tutelage, though.

“He’s a legend of the game,” Paul said. “He’s a master of the game. He has a gigantic bag. Just learning from him, learning the game, learning how he’s had such a long career, it’s going to be a blessing. I can’t wait to get into the O-line room and start digesting all the knowledge from all the different guys there.”

Grier said he feels comfortable having Paul swing at both left and right tackle. The Dolphins are set with starters for 2024 with Armstead on the left side and Austin Jackson at right tackle. They also have veteran reserve swing tackle Kendall Lamm returning next season.

After eight offensive tackles were taken in the first round of the draft Thursday, Paul was the first one selected in the second round. It began a run on offensive tackles, with Notre Dame’s Blake Fisher, Washington’s Roger Rosengarten and BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia taken within eight picks to follow.

Paul shares an agent, Leah Knight of Roc Nation, with Dolphins running back De’Von Achane, who had a phenomenal rookie season in Miami after he was a third-round pick in last year’s draft.

“He’s a great player,” Paul said of Achane. “I watched him throughout his college career. We don’t have a relationship yet, but that’s going to be my dog. I already know.”

Paul is the brother of Washington Commanders guard Chris Paul. Their grandfather was the head of state and major general in the army for Nigeria, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who was assassinated in 1966.

Thursday night, Miami kicked off its draft with Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson as the No. 21 pick.

Currently without a third- or fourth-round pick in their 2024 draft, the Dolphins have 103 selections between picks, next going at No. 158 in the fifth round Saturday. After that, they have two picks in the sixth round and a seventh-rounder.

Grier said they still will look into trading into a Day 2 pick. The Dolphins are without a third-round selection as part of the penalty from tampering violations with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton.

Miami’s second-round pick was announced by Dolphins great offensive lineman Richmond Webb.

This story will be updated.

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