Can anyone really give an accurate grade of the Miami Dolphins draft without seeing the players play? I can, if we follow the logic.
Most Pundits grade drafts based on the drafted players’ NFL expectations. What did the pundits say immediately after the Miami Dolphins draft in 2013 where they traded up to grab Dion Jordan. Bleacher report gave the Miami Dolphins an A- for this move. SB nation gave the move a B; si.com gave Miami’s overall draft a B+.
In hindsight can’t we say that the 2013 draft was more like a D. At the time, I was all in on the hype as well. But, boy, was I wrong!
I remember pulling my hair out several during a draft screaming about the GMs stupidity like when the Dolphins drafted Ted Ginn Jr in the first round or when they drafted Ronnie Brown instead of Matt Ryan and some others come to mind.
I am by no means a drafting savant and don’t propose to know the value of a player before they have played in the NFL. I also don’t propose to be wiser than a GM or Coach so I don’t grade drafts based on player evaluations. But, I do grade on style and vision.
I have watched what winning organizations do and what blundering organizations do both during the draft and free agency. I am aware of what positions successful teams consider relatively more important than others.
Ron Wolf gets a lot of credit for the great quarterbacks he has drafted. I advise you to go back and look at all the busts he drafted too. His philosophy was keep taking quarterbacks until you find a great one. Do you remember all the bad quarterbacks he drafted? Not many people do.
Still don’t believe in drafting a lot of quarterbacks. How about this? The Packers and Eagles just drafted quarterbacks even thought they have Aaron Rogers and Carson Wentz.
Want more, how many quarterbacks have the Patriots drafted during the Tom Brady era and how many quarterbacks have the Miami Dolphins drafted in the same time frame without a star quarterback.
Patriot 10; Dolphins 6. And, don’t forget the Patriots had Drew Bledsoe when they drafted Brady. The Dolphins needed a star quarterback and we still didn’t draft the same number of quarterbacks! 20 years of excellence vs. 20 years of mediocrity!
Not to say that all positions are not important; it’s just that some are more important than others. Number one on the list of importance is quarterback. Great organizations and good teams keep taking quarterbacks.
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The next thing great teams do is build the offensive and defensive lines. Great teams usually have great trenches. Average running backs behind great offensive lines look great. Great running backs behind poor offensive lines look bad. Plain and simple!
Wanna make Byron Jones and Xavien Howard look sup bar? Give the opposing quarterback all day to pass. Hey on second thought, if you can’t stop the run, do you even need cornerbacks?
Let’s face it, if your defensive line sucks, your defense sucks… period! If your offensive line sucks your offense sucks … period! I dare you to prove me wrong.
Based off of my beliefs, Chris Grier and Brian Flores are giving me hope that I haven’t had in years. Why, because I see a plan that makes sense to me. I didn’t see anything before or after the draft that made me scratch my head and say “what the hell were they thinking?”
Do you remember Dave Wannstedt? I do. I wish I didn’t, but I do. Wannstedt probably would have given up this year’s entire draft to move up two slots. Then he might have skipped on Tua and picked an irrelevant linebacker to boot. Everyone wanted to play draft poker against the Dolphins with Wannstedt.
But, not anymore, Chris Grier hung tough and stayed at five. Grier had his poker face on, didn’t flinch and he still got his guy at five. Impressive!
Draft capital doesn’t come easy, I like a regime that doesn’t waste it. I also like taking chances trying to find a great quarterback (I hope we found one), I like the effort Chris Grier and Flores put into the OL and DL trenches (about freaking time), I like what they did in free agency (young versatile players).
And, of course, I like what they did in the draft. I don’t pretend to know who they should pick or in what round they should be picked. But, I’ve been around long enough to see how successful organizations operate and what positions they emphasize.
Did they get the picks right? For now, who knows?
More importantly, did they get the vision right? Did they have a plan you could wrap your arms around? You bet they did! I’m starting to get the sense that we are building not just a winning team but a winning organization!
Draft grade for vision: A+ Draft grade for players: TBD!