Miami Dolphins Draft Grades


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The Miami Dolphins draft was one that addressed many of their needs and could help them reestablish their running game, but was it a good draft, or a case of a team reaching fulfill needs, and a draft they’ll regret three years from now? Let’s take a look at each of the Dolphins picks.

Round 1 pick: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

Mike Pouncey’s draft value was all over the place leading up to the draft with some people I talked to in pre draft interviews having him as low as a middle round pick, and all people claiming that Pouncey was not as good as his brother, yet Mike Pouncey was drafted ahead of his brother to play in the interior of the Dolphins offensive line.

Philosophy B-

I have no problems with teams taking offensive linemen in the first round, in fact it usually makes a lot of sense. If you find a quality offensive linemen that player might start for 10-15 years in the league and be productive. Also offensive linemen provide good positional value. However, with that being said, interior offensive linemen are not as highly valued as Offensive tackles, and in the middle of the first round it’s hard to justify taking an interior offensive linemen who is a project at center and one who won’t play tackle, as opposed to taking a tackle to bookend with Jake Long for the next 10 plus years.

Player Value: C-

I repeatedly said leading up to the draft that I thought Pouncey was one of the most overrated players being discussed as a first round pick. I also preferred The Wiz to Pouncey. I mentioned that I think it’s a mistake to pass up on a potential tackle to take an interior offensive linemen, especially one that I don’t believe is that great in the first place. I think this is both bad positional and player value.

Round 2 Pick: Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State

Philosophy: C+

Trading up to get a running back when a team doesn’t have a ton of picks can definitely be questioned. Thomas was seen as clearly one of the top four running backs in the class, and on many teams was probably preferred to Mikel LeShoure. With that being said, the Dolphins had no second round pick and had to trade up to get another player, I don’t love Thomas as much as many other people did.

Player Value: B-

I was going to knock this value down a lot based on my own board, but I decided to go by what came from Rick Gosselin leading up to the draft, which is that Thomas was ahead of Mikel LeShoure on many teams boards so I suppose the league value is fine here at B. I don’t mind Thomas, but I think he runs too upright, doesn’t have great speed, is not a superb pass catcher and never just wowed me on the field. Now, do I think he can be effective on the Dolphins? Yes, I do. I think he can bang it in between the tackles and has pretty good vision (not Mark Ingram vision), but he could definitely be a guy who carries the ball 20 times a games, accumulates 2-4 catches a game and average 4.2 yards per carry in his career.  If we consider “C’ as average value, I think Thomas is slightly above average value at this point.

Round 4 pick: Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian

Philosophy: A

The Dolphins need a WR to take some of the pressure of Brandon Marshall, and the ‘Phins needed to add dynamic ability to their offense, and with Gates they got both. I’m going to sound like a broke record here, but this is another player I was not wild about,b ut this is the first time I think they got better than average value.

Player Value: B

At 6′ 192 pounds Gates has decent size. Even though he’s a slightly older prospect (24), it’s  better than average value in round 4. He was projected as a mid to late round third round pick. You can’t really knock this pick. It fits a need and it’s pretty decent value.

Round 6 Pick: Charles Clay, FB/TE/HB, Tulsa

Player Value: B+

The best pick the Dolphins made in the draft. Clay is not a great blocking full back, but he is a pretty good weapon out of the backfield and in a best case scenario could be a Chris Cooley type of player, which is always nice to have. Clay has good enough speed, and was pretty productive at Tulsa, having nearly a 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards. In the 6th round teams are just looking for players who can fill niches and contribute to a team, the Dolphins got a player who could play productive minutes. Solid, solid pick here.

Round 7 Frank Kearse, DL, Alabama A & M

Player Value: C+

Slightly about average value here. The Dolphins, to me, should have considered a player like Lee Ziemba, the OL out of Auburn, or Chris Nield out of WVU, or a Jeremy Beal out of Oklahoma. Kearse has enough size and upside to be a nice pick here, but there were better options available.

Round 7 pick: Jimmy Wilson, CB, Montana

Player Value D

What are the Dolphins doing here? Christian Ballard smoked some weed and dropped two rounds in the draft. Jimmy Wilson was accused of murder (accidental shooting, and he was eventually acquitted), and while he was awaiting trials was sitting in jail, making him an older prospect (25 years old before this season starts). While he does have cornerback and safety versatility and could play some special teams and be a reserve player (reputation as a big hitter), this seems like a player that could definitely be targeted as an undrafted free agent. A head scratching pick, here for me. I think Kendric Bruney, would have been a better pick, any of the guys i mentioned above, DeAndre McDaniel, or a number of other players.

Being a web site that doesn’t focus on one team that depends on pleasing readers to keep them coming back makes it a little tough at times to be critical. It’s probably better for me to just talk about the positives of each draft class, but I don’t want to ever make this a site that’s afraid to express displeasure, or let public pressure hinder my evaluations so I’m going to be tough on the Dolphins here.

Overall Grade C- (not factoring in Brandon Marshall’s value, just simply what they did with the picks they had in this draft)

I thought this year in general, the drafts were much, much better than in the past. There were very few picks that made me scratch my head and overall, without free agency I think teams did a better job of honing in on a game plan, being confident about their evaluations, and implementing effective draft-day strategies. However, there were a few teams that had poor drafts and the Dolphins was one of them.

My least favorite draft this year. If you told me before the draft to name all of my overrated players I would have eventually given you Mike Pouncey (for sure, on record myriad times with that), Daniel Thomas, and Edmund Gates. Now, Edmund Gates got drafted where I thought his value was, so the talk about him sneaking into the 2nd or third round was crazy (so not a bad pick), but the Pouncey pick and Thomas picks were not favorites of mine. On top of that the Dolphins ended up with Pouncey instead of RT for the future (imagine Long and Carimi for the next 10 years), A QB (hard to blame them on that one), a very good defensive linemen (Cameron Jordan), and instead ended up with a guard who struggles to play center.

They had no second round pick, so they had to trade up and give away two other draft picks to get a running back I’m not in love with, and again not a quarterback. They did however have two pretty solid picks after that getting Edmund Gates (though I prefer Tandon Doss and  Greg Salas at that point by a pretty sizeable margin) and then they drafted a guy in the 7th round who played football in one of the past three years, but I’m not going to beat up on them for that.

I really disliked what the Dolphins did in this draft, though I think Fans will be happy because they addressed some major needs (which always pleases fans) but, I think they didn’t get great value from that. Now, if you want to throw in the Brandon Marshall trade as part of this draft pick, I could bump the draft grade up to a B-.

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Leave your thoughts, Dolphins fans, am I way off base? Was this a very quality draft for the Dolphins?