Laremy Tunsil’s fall in 2016 remains one of the most memorable NFL draft moments in recent memory.
The former Ole Miss tackle was expected to be an early pick, but he landed to the Miami Dolphins at No. 13 overall after video of the player wearing a gas mask with a bong attached was posted to his Twitter account shortly before the NFL draft began. In addition, Instagram posts appeared on Tunsil’s feed of alleged screenshots of text messages that showed the player appearing to ask John Miller, assistant athletic director for football operations at Ole Miss, for money to pay rent and his mother’s bills.
Recently, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel spoke with Dolphins vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum about the process of selecting players in the NFL draft. Tunsil’s situation was revisited, and it was revealed that an area scout played a large part in reassuring Miami officials that the former Ole Miss offensive lineman would be a worthy pick.
Here’s more from the story:
Tunsil free-falled out of the top 10, which at that point led Tannenbaum to bring in Matt Winston, the area scout who’d worked the most on Tunsil, into the draft room. Winston told the group, which included owner Stephen Ross, that there weren’t any glaring character red flags. The Dolphins drafted Tunsil, which turned out to be a solid pick for the franchise.
Tannenbaum went on to tell Thamel, in referencing Tunsil’s fall, that “never in our wildest dreams did we think that was going to happen.” Tannenbaum also credited Miami general manager Chris Grier for Tunsil’s selection.
It was smart of the Dolphins to trust the scout and select Tunsil, who has turned out to be a solid addition for the franchise. The NFL draft can produce surprises. But Miami officials were wise to follow a trusted voice and take Tunsil in 2016.