Dolphins must improve their drafting of second round picks

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MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 23: Jonathan Martin
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 23: Jonathan Martin /

For the third year in a row the Dolphins had two draft picks in round two. 2009 was also nearly a bust and for the third year in a row the Dolphins attempted to find a quarterback. Pat White was supposed to take Miami’s “wild-cat” offense to another level but instead he became one of the biggest draft mistakes in Dolphins history.

White played only one year in the NFL rushing for 81 yards and not completing a single pass. Luckily for the Dolphins they also drafted defensive back Sean Smith. Smith would play four years for the Dolphins and then leave via free agency. He developed a diva personality towards the end of his time with Miami. He is now facing one year in prison for assault and 2017 will likely have been his final NFL season.

Miami seemed to be getting back on track when they drafted Koa Misi in 2010. Misi was inconsistent early in his career but was very good against the run and improved in pass protection. Misi’s biggest problem was that Miami moved him from outside to inside and back outside. Coaching and support of other linebackers were a problem. While now a free agent, Misi likely has played his last game in the NFL and missed all of the 2017 season due to a neck injury. His entire career to date however has been with the Dolphins.

Nothing makes a bad draft pick worse than trading up to get that draft pick. That is what Jeff Ireland did in the 2011 NFL draft when he moved up into round two to draft running back Daniel Thomas. Thomas hung around Miami long enough to keep fans wondering how long he would make it. He lasted his entire rookie contract of four years and was gone. Not from the Dolphins, but from the entire NFL, last playing in 2014.

Jonathan Martin could have been good. His mind wasn’t right and when the NFL and it’s not too politically correct locker room talk got the best of him, he walked out. He lasted two years with the Dolphins before being traded to the 49’ers and was then out of the league for good booming yet another wasted 2nd round draft pick.

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If 2012 was bad with Martin, it didn’t get much better in 2013 when the Dolphins selected defensive back Jamar Taylor. Taylor started his rookie season injured appearing in only nine games and his absence hindered his progress. After three seasons he was traded to the Browns where he has found better success and a starting role. He finished his Dolphins career with nine starts.

2014 was the Dolphins best in over a decade for 2nd round draft picks. The Dolphins under new G.M. Dennis Hickey selected receiver Jarvis Landry. Enough said. Landry was traded to Cleveland this off-season when his contract demands didn’t fit within the Dolphins value.

2015’s selection of Jordan Phillips didn’t seem like a good fit midway through the season. In fact his rookie season was not what the Dolphins had hoped for and the stigma of being lazy followed him to the NFL. Phillips however turned himself around and is still developing into a solid defensive lineman. He will enter the fourth year of his four-year rookie contract in 2018.

The drafting of Xavien Howard and Raekwon McMillan in 2016 and 2017 are still open for discussion. Howard finished 2017 very strong and could become the future at corner for the Dolphins. McMillan missed all of his 2017 rookie season with a knee injury. How he returns in 2018 will be important to the Dolphins success and future.

Next: A look at the Dolphins 3rd round draft picks over the last 17 drafts