The Miami Dolphins are counting weeks instead of days until the NFL Draft and their board is probably still changing. With multiple needs Miami could draft in a lot of different directions.
It’s hard to know what Miami’s “thinking” is with this draft. While Mike Tannenbaum has a certain type of history from his days with the New York Jets, he has hardly had enough time to develop a consistency in Miami that might give clues to his direction.
This is because he is no longer running the show by himself. He relies on general manager Chris Grier as well as Adam Gase. Miami has made it clear that they are working free agency and the draft as a group and not simply a one man show.
For the Dolphins this years draft could help fill some gaping holes. Specifically at linebacker and defensive end as well as guard, safety, and corner back. Today we are going to look at the Dolphins drafting history at the defensive end position.
The last time a Dolphins general manager or VP of operations drafted a defensive end was in 2014 when Miami drafted Terrence Fede in the 7th round. To be fair DE hasn’t been a major priority for the Dolphins but they haven’t looked to address the eventual departure of Cameron Wake or someone to play opposite him in their scheme. Why? Because for four years they had Olivier Vernon to hold that spot and rotated their DE’s.
Vernon was drafted in the 2012 draft in round three but he wasn’t the highest drafted DE in the last ten years. Miami dedicated that selection to Dion Jordan number three overall in 2013.
Prior to Vernon however you have to go back to 2010 when Miami drafted Jared Odrick late in round one. That year they drafted two DE’s but Chris McCoy, a 7th rounder never made the roster.
In 2008 the Dolphins drafted a pair of DE’s early. Phillip Merling in round two and Kendall Langford in round three. Both came to Miami with a solid college pedigree but neither really met the expectations and growth that was expected.
Miami hasn’t had great success with the drafting DE’s. While Odrick was good he was better as a DT. Vernon was good but Miami didn’t see the same value in him as he saw in himself. Langford and Merling were not longterm solutions either.
The list of failures is pretty high as well. Matt Roth in round two of the 2005 draft. The aforementioned Dion Jordan bust as well as a few other late draft picks that simply didn’t pan out. Miami has had success with free agency signings including Cameron Wake.
Of course with Wake coming via free agency and the drafting of Jason Taylor in round three of the 1997 draft, the bar was set pretty high.
The Dolphins could make defensive end a priority this year including the possibility of drafting one in round one and possibly more than one in the draft. Many experts believe this is a very deep draft for defensive ends. With some projecting starters as last as round three.