What have the Miami Dolphins done in the last few years that would make you trust them with 14 picks?
If the last twenty years has shown you anything, it’s that the Miami Dolphins don’t draft well. In fact, I would say they draft poorly.
I was 14 when Dan Marino was drafted with the 27th pick in the 1983 Draft. That was arguably one of the best draft picks the Dolphins ever made.
Fast forward a few years. Marino has only been to one super bowl. Shula and Tom Olivadatti’s defense looks as solid as melted butter. In 1996 a new era of Jimmy Johnson is ushered in. Jimmy Johnson invented the idea of a draft value chart and had a history of drafting well. This is when I started paying attention to the NFL draft.
Johnson’s solid drafts set the Dolphins up with enough talent to sustain more winning seasons even after he was gone.
During Johnson’s short tenure, the Dolphins drafted Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, Daryl Gardner, Shawn Wooden, Rob Konrad. To be fair he also had some high round busts like John Avery and Yatil Green (although Green’s bust status seemed to be due to injury).
I would consider Johnson’s tenure the last time the Dolphins drafted well. After Johnson, we go into draft purgatory. Yeah, Bill Parcells turned the team around, but he did that mostly through free agency.
I wouldn’t consider Parcell’s draft record with the Dolphins great.
At quarterback, he drafted Pat White and Chad Henne and passed over Matt Ryan. Name someone great from Parcell’s draft. I dare you!
Yes, we’ve drafted some great players over the last 20 years, but have we drafted enough great players or even enough good players to sustain a team. How many first-round disappointments must we endure?
Let’s go back and look at some of our more distinguished draft disappointments. 2003 Eddie Moore; 2006 Jason Allen; 2007 Ted Ginn, John Beck; 2012 Jonathan Martin, Michael Egnew; 2013 Dion Jordan; 2017 Charles Harris, Isaac Asiata.
Answer me this, how many Hall of Fame players have we drafted since Marino in 1983? One – Jason Taylor. Have you seen any on the roster lately? Yeah, me neither.
Have you seen anything to make you think the Dolphins can draft any better in 2020 than they’ve done in the past? How would you rate the last two to three years of drafts? I see our drafts getting better, but I still don’t trust.
Are Isiata, Deiter or Prince worth the round they were selected in? Kalen Ballage: He must be awesome in practice because, in my opinion, from what I’ve seen in games, he doesn’t even warrant a roster spot. Where is the late-round steal; most teams usually get at least one? Minkah Fitzpatrick is gone! Charles Harris not where he should be!
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However, with all of my disappointments, I finally have hope that 2020 will be different. Why? Because I see a changing of mentality. I see fewer out and out draft busts. I see a coach in Brian Flores and a GM in Chris Grier, who are steering the Dolphins in a new way and I like it.
I finally see a regime that covets draft picks (teams need both draft flexibility and young cheap talent to balance highly paid free agents). I finally see a regime that realizes the importance of doing what it takes to get a great quarterback.
I see a regime that realizes the magnitude of team concept and player versatility when assessing players. And, yes, I finally have hope. I have hope that all the horrible draft decisions of the past are just that, in the past.
Now, we can all hope this translates to better decisions in the 2020 NFL Draft. The 2020 draft will determine the direction and success (or lack thereof) of the Dolphins for many years to come. I have hope that I can finally believe. But, I’ll believe it when I see it!