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Did the Dolphins pull a fast one on Belichick in drafting Navy's Malcolm Perry?

Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry calls the signals during a game against Air Force at Annapolis, Md., in October, 2019. Perry was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

By DAVE HYDE | Sun Sentinel | Published: April 27, 2020

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — Bill Belichick’s love of the Naval Academy is well known. His father, Steve, was with Navy football for 33 years as an assistant coach and scout. Bill grew up watching his dad break down Navy film with Navy coaches. As the New England coach, Belichick has talked with the Navy staff and made the rare overture of having them into his Patriots meetings and practices.

So did the Dolphins pull a fast one on Belichick by drafting Navy star Malcolm Perry in the seventh round?

Or did they just prevent the Patriots from getting a player they might have liked at the end of the draft?

“The Patriots were definitely probably at the top,'' Perry said when asked what teams talked with him before the draft. "There’s a big tie with Navy and Coach Belichick. (I) talked to him quite a few times. They probably showed the most interest.”

Former Dolphins general manager (and executive of the year with the Saints) Randy Mueller tweeted about the pick: “And it keeps Patriots from developing another ‘slot WR.’ Great move by Miami Dolphins.”

Perry, as a seventh-rounder, would beat the odds to have an NFL career. But that’s where Belichick found the Julian Edelman, the former Kent quarterback who became a slot receiver and returner. That’s the role many see Perry attempted to create as a pro.

He lined up on occasion in the slot in college. He caught 22 passes for 470 yards (including 73- and 75-yard catches) for three touchdowns. As a kick returner, he ran back 20 for 491 yards (a 24.6-yard average) with a long of 58 yards.

He was a running quarterback most of all. He ran for a Navy record 4,146 yards with 40 touchdowns and threw for 1,254 yards. He now comes to the Dolphins, not the Patriots, to see if his talents transfer to the NFL.

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Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry warms up before a game against Air Force at Annapolis, Md., in October, 2019. Perry was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft.
JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

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