Are drafts getting better under current Dolphins administration?


This marks year three under the current management drafting players. Are things trending for the better?

Chris Grier, Adam Gase and Mike Tannenbaum are said to make up the trio that make the decisions regarding the past three drafts. While it’s doubtful this exercise will reach a consensus. it might be fun just the same.

After all drafts are fickle things that rarely fully work out for any teams. There may be one fluke year where just about every player will fit in and be productive for many seasons.

Just hitting on one player let alone two or more can be a challenge. And the odds favor early rounds and higher picks to hit on those type of players.

For this exercise I have decided on a formula if roughly half the drafted players contribute than that is a successful draft.

2018 – seems like a successful draft. But too early to tell.

More from Dolphins News

1 Minkah Fitzpatrick 11 FS
2 Mike Gesicki 42 TE
3 Jerome Baker 73 OLB
4 Durham Smythe 123 TE
4 Kalen Ballage 131 RB
6 Cornell Armstrong 209 CB
7 Quentin Poling 227 LB
7 Jason Sanders 229 K

The first strong impression of this draft was drafting for need. Although no one in the front office would ever admit to such a thing. Personally this is my favorite way of drafting even though the more popular way has always been to draft the best player available. The thing is this team always seems to have many holes and until a team becomes a perennial powerhouse only then do I feel it should practice that.

Every pick fills a need aside from CB where it’s said you can never have enough and the late LB pick might be a case of BPA as they never moved picks this draft up or down with any trades. They even doubled down at TE much like they did with DT the draft before.

While it is early, there are projections locally and nationally that the first pick DB Fitzpatrick should really work out sooner than later. After all many had him projected as high as top five and he fills a need badly at FS where there was practically nothing there all last season. I really wanted them to address this last season in the draft, look up my playing GM story where I picked one late.

The second pick is nearly the same as far as talk for projection for TE Gesicki and also filling a need just as badly. Some fortune shined with the availability in this years draft for good TE’s. This came at the expense of not trading for a QB which was most likely a smoke screen leading up to the draft. There were reports that if Josh Rosen had been there it would not have changed the first pick.

This draft overall exemplified a slowing growing trend with this clubs drafts. And that is speed.

2017 – successful draft. (close call)

1 Charles Harris 22 OLB
2 Raekwon McMillan 54 LB
3 Cordrea Tankersley 97 CB
5 Isaac Asiata 164 G
5 Davon Godchaux 178 DT
6 Vincent Taylor 194 DT
7 Isaiah Ford 237 WR

Harris, Tankersley, Godchaux and Taylor all contributed and with McMillan hurt you could say this was a successful draft.

The doubling up on DT’s could be seen as a precursor setting up Suh’s departure. I’m not as high on Tank as most are and look forward to Lippett’s return. Harris has shown to be more of a QB rusher than a run stopper.

2016 – successful draft.

1 Laremy Tunsil 13 T
2 Xavien Howard 38 CB
3 Kenyan Drake 73 RB
3 Leonte Carroo 86 WR
6 Jakeem Grant 186 WR
6 Jordan Lucas 204 SS .
7 Brandon Doughty 223 QB
7 Thomas Duarte 231 TE

Tunsil, Howard, Drake and Grant all contribute and mostly in a big way. And they are almost in order. You have to skip Carroo who should cause negative points when grading this draft both for not being used and for how much was given up to get him with trades. Most would point the finger at Tannenbaum for this but reports are this marked the first draft of three now where he was hands off and further reports had the owner Ross pressing for this move.

Tunsil fell down the board due to a pot smoking video from his past played draft night unlike this draft where Fritz fell by happenstance. Hopefully he can get back to playing like he did his first year at guard while still settling in at tackle.

These next three drafts are without the current power trio running the show.

2015 – successful draft. (close call)

1 DeVante Parker 14 WR
2 Jordan Phillips 52 NT
4 Jamil Douglas 114 G
5 Bobby McCain 145 CB
5 Jay Ajayi 149 RB
5 Cedric Thompson 150 FS
5 Tony Lippett 156 WR

Parker, Phillips, McCain and Lippett are contributors but with caveats. Parker has been limited with injuries to the point some are ready to give up on him. Count me as one as I wanted him traded. McCain finally came out of his shell but it took his contract year to do so. I suspect we will see the same from Phillips this season. Lippett was a nice late pick. To be honest when compiling this draft my first thought was ‘Who is FS Thompson?”

Jay Ajayi not fitting in well with Gase is starting to come more to light now with his actions recently this off-season finding trouble.

2014 – failed draft. (close call)

1 Ja’Wuan James 19 T
2 Jarvis Landry 63 WR
3 Billy Turner 67 T
4 Walt Aikens 125 DB
5 Arthur Lynch 155 TE
5 Jordan Tripp 171 LB
6 Matt Hazel 190 WR
7 Terrence Fede 234 DE

My first impression for an overall grade of this draft is a stinker. The first two James and Landry are both fine players. But you have to go to the last two picks to find serviceable contributors. Fede showed flashes but never turned the corner.

Jarvis Landry wanting a huge payday was his own fruition. And moving him to the Browns was most likely no easy task. The Pats probably would have parted ways with him a season sooner and been hailed for it.

2013 draft I will omit from there not being anyone left on the team as far as I can tell.

1 Dion Jordan 3 DE

However I would like to bring up Jordan and reiterate my comments on Parker as a comparison. There is no telling if and when a player can turn things around as what seemed to happen here after his departure. Being tagged injury prone and perhaps not appearing to care about it is a hard moniker to shake. And holes on a team can come easy enough through bad drafting as can be seen from above results.

It didn’t take long to run out of players drafted still on the team although I didn’t hold that against the grading of the drafts. Most of the time it’s just part of the business of the NFL. But other times it can be the players temperaments and idiosyncrasies. And we now see a movement to weed those out beforehand with the Miami Dolphins culture movement.

It is my conclusion that the drafts under the current staff seem more consistent overall. They have been steering away from small school picks and staying with those that have the better competition with hopes of not drafting as many busts.