Miami Dolphins were right to pass on former Alabama LB in 2017 draft
By Brian Miller
When it comes to the Miami Dolphins and more specifically the executives who make draft decisions, fans are quick to criticise their failures.
For years, decades even, the fan base has been quick to tell the front office just how wrong they are. From Ryan Tannehill to Chad Henne and Jake Long, criticism runs deep. While the Dolphins drafting success has really not been great for the better part of that decade and a half, there is one thing we can say. They used their knowledge to avoid a big time problem in 2017.
Many players drop in the draft for a myriad of reasons. Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers both had epic falls. Laremy Tunsil had a shorter but still surprising fall in 2016. Even Dan Marino fell to the bottom of the ’83 draft.
Whether it is a character issue, an injury issue, or drug issue, players fall all the time and for the common fan it is shocking, surprising, and leaves us dumbfounded. But there is always a reason and more often than not, it is justified.
In 2017 the Miami Dolphins biggest need was linebacker. They chose a defensive end instead. When the Dolphins time on the clock began to tick, the Dolphins passed on the biggest linebacker in the draft, Reuben Foster.
Fans were not thrilled and when Foster was finally taken by the 49’ers, it was hailed as a huge steal at 31 in the first round. Why did 30 other teams pass on such a talent? The simple answer is there were a lot of character issues that had come into question.
For the Dolphins you really didn’t have to look much further than Adam Gase who has a very good relationship with his former mentor Nick Saban. If there was no red flags on Foster, Saban would have told Gase to take him. He didn’t, at least not that we know of.
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So why is this relevant now? For starters the 2018 draft is quickly approaching but still two months away. There will be that one player that everyone wants and can’t understand why he is falling.
It was announced this morning that Foster has been arrested for domestic violence and has a bail of $72,000. This comes after another arrest less than two months ago. At the NFL Combine last season Foster was kicked out of the Combine for a failed (diluted) drug screen. He was also aggressive towards a nurse at a hospital. In other words there were concerns.
When the draft arrived many fans, including me, pounded my fist for Foster and had the Dolphins made that same mistake, we would be wondering if Fosters’ NFL career will last beyond a couple of seasons and how long he will be suspended for.
The point to all of this is simple. We don’t know what the NFL executives know and when that quick dropping players drops past Miami we need to remember that while we are screaming at the t.v. and cursing the Dolphins executives who made the decision to skip them.