Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A trip back in time

Lets take a trip backward to April 24th, 2004.  Dave Wannstedt was Miami's head coach, and rick Spielman was the personnel guy.
Miami had gone 10-6 in 2003, losing the last couple of games to just miss the playoffs (thus beginning the ignominious run that continues today). 

Dave felt Miami had a solid defense, but needed help on the o-line.  "The Guy" that year was Robert Gallery, but he went to the Raiders #2 overall (and has had an up-and-down career).  It looks like the next-best guy Shawn Andrews may be avaialble to Miami when they pick #20.
But then Philly snuck in and traded for the #16 pick, and took Andrews.  Miami apparently had no idea that this might happen and was caught flat-footed a few picks before theirs.
What should they do?  Take the next best tackle (Vernon Carey), or the best available player?  That best available happened to be UM defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who may very well have been one of the top 2 or 3 players that year, and it was a gift to see him drop down to the twentieth spot...
We're at the 17th pick, and the Broncos take a linebacker.
Enter the Patriots.  They were set to make the 21st pick, and Bill Bellicheat started working the phones.  He wanted Wilfork, and knew that Miami, New Orleans (18th) or Minnesota (19th) might take him.   
The Patriots managed to create a buzz that they were going to trade into the 19th spot to take Vernon Carey ahead of Miami.  How the rouse got started is not well understood.  Maybe the Vikings were looking to pull a fast one on Miami, and maybe the Pats were behind it all.  In any event, that convinced Dave that he *had* to have Carey.

So, he traded up ONE SPOT to take a guy who was the third-best tackle, and a small reach at #19.  Now to be clear, Carey has turned out to be decent for Miami.  But - not spectacular.  And he may even be let go during free agency.
The Saints took and end.  The Vikings took the player they wanted.  And Bellicheat got Wilfork, that enormous DT you saw dominate Satele this past weekend.
This may have been one of the great draft-day BS jobs ever committed.  And every year (twice at that) we get to watch a guy who might be one of the best defensive tackles to play the game line up against our team, knowing that we gave up a draft pick to not get him.
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