Monday, May 01, 2017

Why I Believe it Was Our Best Draft (and FA) in Years.

First I'm going to rant about some of our fan base. If you don't want to read it, skip down below. But I think MOST on here will agree with me, especially if you follow the Dolphins on social media.

I have seen a lot of complaining from Dolphins fans on social media because they passed over Rueben Foster, Forest Lamp, and Zach Cunningham. I'm going to get into why I'm glad they passed on Foster most of all in a minute, but first I'd like to say that it doesn't matter who we draft. There are just some Dolphins fans who don't even watch the games, don't keep up with college, and if we drafted Hercules, these fans would just say "well....he's only a HALF god so....that's a stupid pick." I even saw some fans complaining that we didn't draft enough offensive players and saying we needed receivers. I'm going to say that again in case you mistook it for a typo. THEY THOUGHT WE SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED MORE RECEIVERS.

To fans like this, I ask: Did you watch a single Mizzou, OSU, Did you watch any Dolphins games last year? Do I REALLY need to explain why we didn't need to go offensive (other than guard) in the draft?

I swear, I hate the "casual football" culture. Yes, you have a right to your opinion, but we ACTUAL football fans have a right to blast you for your opinion when it's a stupid one.

                                                                   *Sigh of relief*

                                                      END USELESS RANT HERE
The Dolphins are known for making a big splash and winning "offseason championships" pretty much since Dan Marino retired, but very rarely has it ever paid off. Then they make a splash in the draft...and that doesn't pay off either. The Dolphins have had a terrible habit of overlooking character flaws and injury history and only looking at on-field talent. That has resulted in a lot of players getting paid A LOT of money to sit on the bench, or worse, at home. They are one of those teams who just never learned how to adjust to a league with a salary cap.

Well, it appears Miami has finally learned how to manage a roster in the salary cap era. It appears Miami has finally learned how to evaluate draft prospects with a "whole person" approach. You know who else does this? The Green Bay Packers.

The Packers have always been about building their team in the draft, and you really can't argue with the results. Lets look at the similarities between the off-season approach of both teams.

-Both teams were relatively quiet in the FA leading up to the draft, with the Packers' signing of Martellus Bennett being, arguably, the biggest splash between the two teams.
-Both teams passed on a very talented player in a position of need due character flaws and/or injuries. For Miami, it was Rueben Foster. For Green Bay, Joe Mixon.
-Both teams drafted players based on a mix of talent, character, toughness, positional need, and how well they fit the team.
-Both teams picked players who are passionate about the game, not overly flashy, and just happy to get the opportunity.
-Both teams stayed patient, let the board come to them, and had minimal trades.
-Both teams addressed nearly every need and received high draft grades from most media sources, yet neither team is making headlines.

You know who IS making headlines. The Bears....and not for the reasons you would want. Boy did they make a splash or what?

So, both the Packers and Dolphins had quiet, successful off-seasons. I'd say the Dolphins are in good company.

For more evidence that this way of thinking works, just look at some of our top players:

Cam Wake. Undrafted. Came from the CFL. If you judge him by the "whole person" concept, best DE in the league in my opinion.
Jay Ajayi. 5th round pick. Supposedly injury-prone? Doesn't seem like it. So far, so good.
Jarvis Landry. 2nd round pick. Totally over-shadowed by OBJ, but Landry has been more consistent than OBJ.

Why I like EVERY pick this year:

1. Charles Harris, Edge-rusher, Mizzou - He continues to be listed as an OLB, but he's a true DE. Anyway... I love this pick. I honestly never even considered him because I didn't think he'd be available. I thought Rueben Foster was a more realistic option because I thought he'd slip. Well, thank you very much, foolish, desperate, QB-needy teams. They were both available. But Foster has injury concerns and I'm sick of seeing talented players assuming the role of "cheerleader" for the Dolphins because they spend half the season or more on the bench. Charles Harris is tough. He will actually play. He's fast as hell. He's a true edge rusher. Best of all, he's win-win. He could possibly be tried out at OLB, but if that doesn't work out, he's still in line to be Cam Wake's successor, and I can't think of ANYONE better to be Harris' mentor. He's going to be a beast. Maybe right away, maybe not. But he'll be nasty. To people that are mad because he doesn't stop the run well, that's not what he's there for. Wake isn't there to stop the run. He's there to give the opposing QB nightmares. But Harris is young and can still get better at run defense. AND he's not injury-prone. Possible future star.

2. Raekwon McMillan, ILB, OSU - Another player I did not think would be on the board when Miami's 2nd round pick came up. To be fair, I didn't think Cunningham would be either. Cunningham is more athletic and I would've been thrilled to have him too, however, McMillan is a much better tackler...and I mean MUCH better. The last thing we need is another LB who misses tackles. That's been an issue for Cunningham, but not for McMillan. McMillan will be able to stuff the gaps and set the edge. He doesn't cover well, but that's something he can improve on. Right now, our top concern needs to be stopping the run. You can't fix everything in one offseason. McMillan is a better fit for us than Cunningham. He could be our stud MLB after Timmons leaves the team. AND he's not injury-prone. Possible future star.

That's two players who should become future stars at their natural positions on DE and ILB, respectively, but in the meantime, it's TWO possible solutions to our OLB problems.

3. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson - In a division where your biggest rival loves to dink and dunk you to death, you can't have too many press CBs. Guys who can sitck to opposing receivers. Tankersley is one of those CBs. For now, he'll be good insurance for Howard and Maxwell and could see a lot of time in the nickel. He could also develop into a starter in a couple of years. Can't ask for much more at the end of the 3rd round. Possible future starter.

4. Isaac Asiata, G/C, UT - I live in SLC, so I watched him play...and he is one mean, tough, nasty mauler. The first thing they need to do in training is put him head to head with Suh...over....and over....and over. He can start immediately at G and I think he will. He can also be a good insurance policy for Pouncey. He's not injury-prone. He just had one ankle injury at the wrong time (or right time?) but it's not a pattern. He is humble and just ecstatic to be playing for Miami. If you haven't seen it, go to the Dolphins' FB page and watch the video of his reaction to getting the phone call. This guy has a ton of heart. He should've gone before our 3rd round pick even came up, and we got him at the 20th pick of the 5th?? That's value. That was well worth the trade up. Possible future star.

5. Davon Dochaux, DT, LSU - Very sold pick for the 5th round. I think he could have gone early in the 4th in your average draft, but in such a deep defensive draft, defense-needy teams got a lot of late-round value. He also does have some character issues, but I think they are minimal and Miami was careful about that this year. He was worth the risk late in the 5th round. He could push Jordan Phillips. Maybe it lights a fire under Phillips' ass and he becomes a good, consistent starter. Maybe he straight up beats Phillips out and becomes an upgrade at DT... mentored by Suh. Win-win. Possible future starter.

6. Vincent Taylor, DT, OK State - This was a 6th round pick, so we should curb our expectations. However, we need quality backups on the D-line. Also, he has a very good shot at making the 53-man roster as a ST player, as he blocked a lot of kicks during his college career. Solid ST player and future backup.

7. Isaiah Ford, WR, VT - Not too shabby for our version of "Mr. Irrelevant." He had a great college career for two 1,000 yard seasons. He has a great vertical. He could potentially beat out Jakeem Grant for a roster spot if Grant can't stop muffing punts. Otherwise, he may be the only draft pick that doesn't make the team. Even if that happens, I bet he'll be on the practice squad. Possible future backup.

So out of 7 draftees, that's 3 possible stars in the making, 2 solid potential starters, and 2 solid potential backups/ST players. I'll admit that last season, I didn't expect Grant, Duarte, or Doughty to stay on the team for long, if they even made the team at all. But this year is the first time I can remember that I truly believe every draftee will be on the 53-man roster when the regular season kicks off. And at least 3 of them (Harris, McMillan, and Asiata) will be contributing to wins for a long time.

The whole culture from top to bottom has changed in Miami and I couldn't be happier about it.
Like This Article ? :



I like the fact the "team" is making calculated, well-conceived draft decisions. The process has improved drastically with all included not only buying into the process but having input into some of the strategy decisions. This will have a positive long-term affect on the team's play. Go Phins!!


Amen! Not only fans complain about every dolphin move, some sports writers in Miami say "they didn't draft any starters" This new dolphins staff knows what they are doing, unlike the past decision makers. I've been saying it for years, the packers are the best at drafting.


So we learned last year Tannehill can take off with competent Oline play. I guess watching Bushrod only getting manhandled 50% of the time is acceptable.

Zach Martin? Solidified his team's oline. Cody Whitehair showed versatility and skills moving between Center and Guard last year.

Toot the bs with Harris, but you are looking at out years, like 3-4 out years. Where a guard would play day 1, help solidify the oline, and protect a QB while opening running lanes for the ground game. But hey the Charger's got them two good guards to protect their QB while opening running lanes for their run game.


Not BuyingIt,

Did you also say last year that we'd never win with such an inexperienced HC? Are you a former Tanne-hater?

My biggest gripe with you negative Nancys is the fact that you bitch every year about player/coaches and the ones that you are right about you say "told you so" but the ones that do well, you say "Oh knew he'd be great! Never doubted him!."


People are going to keep up with the guard bullshit, for god sake give it a rest. Chargers didn't pick a guard in the first round either, and they had much earlier picks in every round than we did. Everybody pissed and moaned last year when they picked so many offensive players and only two defensive players, and lo and behold, the pissers and whiners are at it again because we picked too many defensive players and not enough offensive players. Asiata is a good guard. As it turns out he is much better at the run game than the pass game but can be taught, and it just so happens we have and excellent Oline coach. We NEEDED DEFENSE, and defense is what we got. Some of you seem to think Cam Wake is actually Superman and will play till he's 95. He won't, and I tell you when he sees the potential of this young man Harris, he is going to be more than happy to help him hone his craft. And if you studied him he can also rush from inside on the line, Brady may have an assortment of rushers he has to look out for this year, not just Mr. Wake. If the people whining are actually Dolphins fans then get behind them and support this new regime, and if you're not get the F__K off the page


This is one time I really hope that I am wrong and you are right. You mentioned all the possible good things in this draft and none of the bad. Failed to mentioned the Dolphins could have traded back and actually gotten a starter plus an extra 2nd round pick and 3rd or 4th. That would mean Five players in the 1st three rounds. Even if only two of them were a sure fire starter it would have been ok. example trade back and picked up the top pass rusher available(possible Harris or tj watt) + Forrest Lamp and Cunningham with the extra 2nd round pick.

Asiata reminds me a little of Billy Turner and thats not good. the two DTs drafted are not really run stuffers but rather one gap penetratior. We now have three middle LBs fighting for MLB. and we spent the 22nd overall pick on a fourth stringer


I've watched Asiata play. I went to most of the UT home games this year. He's much better now than Turner ever was at run blocking. He's not bad at pass blocking and he'll get better. I'm not going to get into hypotheticals about what we could have or should have done as far as trading back. We COULD have traded back and then other teams COULD have still taken Lamp and Cunningham before we picked. I think Cunningham is going to miss a lot of tackles and give up first downs. That's not what we need. We had plenty of that crap last season.

As far as Harris being a 4th-stringer, sure, he is right now, but who's to say he can't win the starting end job opposite of Wake? My point is we don't know yet. My other point is we, for once, drafted plays that fit our culture and won't be injured their whole career. What good does it do to pay a cheerleader $8 million a season? Because that's what we've been doing. NO MORE INJURY-PRONE PLAYERS.


And if I'm wrong about this draft class, I'll admit it and eat crow. Wouldn't be the first time. I thought Arian Foster was going to be a great FA pickup for us last year. That crow tasted like ass.


Ugh I have to stop reading social media comments. Just read one that says "Yeah McMillan is okay, but he doesn't sack the QB very often."

I swear my football IQ drops a little every time I read a comment...


We drafted well, there is most likely not 1 day 1 starter tbere, but that's not a bad thing. I think our 2nd rounder could see some time and Harris on obvious passing downs, I'm hoping one of those dt's work out


I dunno Jason, I really think Asiata has a serious shot at starting right away. We'll see. I don't expect Harris to start day one. It's wishful thinking. I would not be surprised at all if McMillan catches on to the SAM position quickly and takes Misi's job part-way through the regular season.

Oh and they just picked up James' 5th year option. I'm sure no one will piss and moan about that (sarcasm).


You have no way of knowing whether or not there were any viable trade options at any of our picks. This isn't fantasy football or Madden. And the Phin's clearly did not want Lamp or Cunningham because they could have had either. Although you are undoubtedly entitled to your own opinion, I have to say you sound a little silly playing arm chair GM.


My summary is we filled a lot of needs (DT,DE,CB,LB,G) and took a big step forward with these picks. It was GREAT to see Buffalo fire their GM and scouting department the day after. Thought the Jets did good with their first two picks (S,S)..LOL. Someone should tell them they need a QB. The Patriots traded their 1st round pick for that WR, but wasted all of their remaining picks.

Charles Harris looks exactly like Cam Wake to me. McMillan has the highest successful tackling percentage. He puts people to the ground. EXACTLY, what we need. Ran a 4.6. Tankersley has the size and speed (4.38)..think he's going to be good and help us cover the Patsies. LOVE the 2 DTs and they will both contribute. That room needs those 2 guys and they don't take plays off. Like the WR Isiah Ford pick. We need one of those last WRs to come out. (Scott, Carroo, Grant, Ford) Plus, what if Jarvis Landry wants ridiculous money?

Next year, needs could be S, RT, RG, C, RB, DE, LB...


I also want to mention that I think Coach Gase has a tougher policy than most coaches in that he doesn't just hand these starting jobs out. These rookies will have to earn them.


I like all picks except Harris. Guy has a spin move but he is not strong like Wake. I say he gets man handled. I hope I'm wrong. Everyone else I have decent hope for.


Lol thanks "unknown" for your extremely valuable contribution.