- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey held his pre-draft news conference on Friday. As with most GMs this week, Hickey avoided specifics on players he’s interested in taking with the No. 19 overall pick. But there were several interesting nuggets.
Here are some things that stood out with Hickey’s meeting with Miami’s media:
When asked if it’s better to have more picks or higher picks in this year’s draft, Hickey said “I always like more picks. I always want more picks.” This is perhaps a clue into Hickey’s philosophy for next week. There has been speculation that Miami is interested in trading down to acquire more picks. Hickey also said he’s interested in moving up and down the draft board, but it appears getting more picks is more likely.
Hickey said Miami’s draft board is pretty much set, especially in the early rounds. There is some flexibility over the next week to change some things in the later rounds and with potential rookie free agents. But most of the work is done.
The extra two weeks has been mostly a positive, according to Hickey. He said the Dolphins have taken advantage of the extra time before the draft to further evaluate the medical situations for players. Miami hosted 30 pre-draft visits at the team’s facility, and updating medicals was a part of it. “There's a lot more opportunities for injured players that maybe in the past with two weeks or a week ago they may not [have] been able to work out," Hickey said. "Now they're able to work out."
Hickey said he’s not concerned with mistakes of previous years and previous general managers. Hickey is in his first draft as general manager, and the Dolphins are in win-now mode. There is pressure on Hickey to hit on his first group of draft picks and get an immediate impact.
Finally, Hickey said the Dolphins continue to work in conjunction with the NFL on the playing status of Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. But there is no definitive word on his availability for Week 1 following Pouncey’s involvment in Miami’s bullying scandal last season.
The NFL draft starts at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday and will be televised on ESPN.