Miami Dolphins four year draft grade by Peter King
By Brian Miller
When the Miami Dolphins drafted four years ago many jumped at the chance to grade the draft class before they ever stepped foot on the field.
On SportsIllustrated.com, Peter King graded all 32 NFL teams drafts from four years ago. He gave the Dolphins a C-. Is that fair? Is that a legit grade or should it be lower or higher?
The draft was conducted by general manager Dennis Hickey who spent two seasons with the Dolphins in that role. For Hickey it wasn’t a bad draft at the time but how did it eventually play out?
Round 1 – Ja’Wuan James
Round 2 – Jarvis Landry
Round 3 – Billy Turner
Round 4 – Walt Aikens
Round 5 – Arthur Lynch
Round 5 – Jordan Tripp
Round 6 – Matt Hazel
Round 7 Terrence Fede
Kings cites the fact that James is inconsistent and that Landry is no longer with the team so I’m sure the grade would have been higher if Landry were still here. But is C- still the grade? You can’t blame the Dolphins for not wanting to pay Landry over $15 million a season. Here is what I think of the 2014 draft class.
James probably grades out as a B- player. While he is inconsistent he is very good in pass blocking and his run blocking is improving. James’ long-term future with the Dolphins is unknown. Miami offered him an extension but James opted to play under his 5th year option in 2018. Thus banking on himself for his future.
Landry doesn’t need to really be mentioned here. His grade is an absolute A+ and that credit goes to the Dolphins scouts and Dennis Hickey. Landry was everything the Dolphins needed but under Adam Gase, the work ethic and the route running wasn’t up to the standards that Gase expects from his players. So now he is gone along with the demands of $15 million a year contract.
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Bill Turner gets graded as an F. On draft day it was more like a C+ or maybe even a B. Turner however is still playing in the NFL but he doesn’t start and remains wildly inconsistent to the point that his NFL career could soon be over.
Walk Aikens is still on the roster and still providing quality roster depth. While he struggled the first couple of seasons of his NFL career, he is becoming more than a simple contributor. His grade now would be a low B. Solid but still could improve.
Arthur Lynch never made it onto the field. Injuries were a question coming into the draft and he never was able to get over them. Lynch was out of the NFL before he ever got started. Safe to say Hickey totally blew this pick.
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Jordan Tripp is still in the league and is playing the special teams and added depth role at linebacker. In Miami his first two years were promising but injuries kept him off the game day roster and put him on IR. He would get a D+ for finding a four-year NFL career but had it not been for injuries his grade could have been much higher.
The final two of that 2014 draft were Matt Hazel and Terrence Fede. Until this past off-season Fede was a quality depth player at DE and the fact he came from a small school program says a lot about his work ethic and drive to remain in the NFL four for seasons. Ultimately he couldn’t crack the starting block and was not re-signed this off-season. His grade should still be a solid C.
As for Hazel, he didn’t last too long in Miami but he finished last season on an NFL roster and will likely have another year or two as a support and depth receiver. His grade for Miami would be D simply because he never really factored into the teams game day roster.
Overall, King says the Dolphins are a C- and frankly when we start talking about plusses and minuses we are not talking about huge differences but I would have given the Dolphins a C+ for this draft.
To see what we graded that draft and what we said about the picks in 2014, click over here to visit our opinion on the draft from 2014.