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The tale of the drafts that piled bad atop terrible

There was a depressing statistic Dolphins people once used in order to explain the troubled state of the franchise.

During the makeover years of 2005-2007, folks that took the Dolphins' reins were confident they would give direction to a lost franchise. But they noted it would take time because they looked at what they had to work with and were horrified the shelves were bare. They looked back at the drafts from 2000 to the dates when they took over and lamented the failure of those drafts.

People like Nick Saban and Randy Mueller noted the lack of talent on hand because of bad drafting from 2000-2004. 

The statistic they cited was that between 2000 and 2004 the Dolphins had managed to select only six players that were still on the roster, with only two of those players, Chris Chambers and Randy McMichael, becoming starters at that time.

So five years of drafting produced only two starters. Eventually a third starter would be added when Yeremiah Bell broke into the starting lineup, but the statistics were still sobering. Five drafts. Three starters.

Those folks running things from 2005-2007 blamed the struggles they were having, in part, on the drafts of 2000-2004. It was a fair criticism because for Saban and later Cam Cameron, the number of players that should have been coming into their primes as third, fourth, and fifth-year players were practically non-existant on the Dolphins.

That kept the Dolphins from competing with teams which had drafted well and did have a core of young veteran contributors.

Well, the problem with all of that is that neither Saban nor Mueller and Cameron were able to avoid the issues that plagued their predecessors. Saban and Mueller suffered from previous bad drafts. But then they also drafted poorly, leaving a new legacy of draft stinkage to the new administration

Neither Saban nor Mueller/Cameron could do excellent work although they had the second overall selection and high picks in rounds thereafter in 2005. They didn't do good work although they had three picks in the first two round in 2007.

And so today's Dolphins, a team that should be ripe with talent from the 2005, 2006, and 2007 drafts, are bereft of that core of young starters and contributors. Why?

Because the 2005, 2006, and 2007 drafts pretty much picked up where the 2000-2004 drafts left off. Consider:

The 2005 draft: Saban's first draft included Ronnie Brown, Matt Roth, Channing Crowder, Travis Daniels, Anthony Alabi and Kevin Vickerson. The Dolphins didn't have a sixth-round pick that year because that went to San Diego in exchange for David Boston. Well, only Brown, Crowder and Roth became starters and all of them showed flaws early and often. Brown couldn't stay healthy and although he's been able to do that recently, he is by no means a star -- something you expect from the draft's second overall pick. Brown is solid. And he's a free agent. There is absolutely no certainty his Dolphins career isn't over. Crowder? Ordinary. He gets his share of tackles, but as an inside linebacker always around the action, he rarely finds interceptions, or forces fumbles, or recovers fumbles or makes game-defining tackles. He's just ... there. Roth? He earned a starting job with the Dolphins in 2008 after languishing his first three seasons. And it seemed to be working, but then something crazy happened in 2009 and the Dolphins simply cut him. I'm sorry, but I don't blame Roth on that one. He lied to coach Tony Sparano about a groin injury. That was weird. Guess what? Other players have said and done worse and are still on the team. The strange thing is the Dolphins got zero for Roth, who was cut and immediately scooped up by Cleveland where he became a starter the past season-and-a-half.

So sum total of players still on the team: Crowder, with Brown a looming free agent. Sum total of starters: Two. Sum total of stars: 0.

The 2006 draft: Jason Allen was picked 16th overall, followed by Derek Hagan in the third round, Joe Toledo in the fourth, Manny Wright (via the supplemental draft) in the fifth, Fred Evans in the seventh, Rodrique Wright in the seventh and Devin Aromashodu in the seventh. The second round pick went to Minnesota for Daunte Culpepper, but that's another story. Allen was a bust from the beginning and the constant change of coaching staffs hurt him because everyone moved him from safety to corner and back again at least twice. It happened seven times in total. The most successful of those moves came in 2010 when Allen won a starting job at the dawn of the season. Sorry, that was not a statement of how great Allen was playing. It was a statement of how little choice the Dolphins had. Allen survived for half the season, then was benched, then was cut. He goes down as a first round bust. Hagan? He's still in the league but he never made it work in Miami, where he dropped passes, missed assignments and wasn't dynamic at all. Wright was a joke who cried his first practice. What a waste of talent. Toledo was looking good his first training camp then he broke a foot. Then he started recovering and broke it again getting out of the cold tub. Gone. Fred Evans showed tons of potential but he thought he had arrived when he hadn't. He started going out. He got drunk one night on South Beach. He got into a cab and threw up. He got arrested. Cam Cameron cut him two days later. Wright bounced from practice squad to active roster but never really factored. Aromashodu was cut in training camp.

So sum total of players still on the team: Zero. Sum total of starting players: Zero. Sum total of stars: Zero. 

The 2007 draft: This was Mueller's one and only chance to run the draft. Looking back three years later, it was not good. Ted Ginn Jr was the ninth overall pick, John Beck went in the second round as did Samson Satele. Lorenzo Booker came in the third round, Paul Soliai came in the fourth, Reagan Mauia came in the sixth, Drew Mormino in the sxith, Kelvin Smith in the seventh along with Brandon Fields and Abraham Wright. Where to begin? Ginn was a reach. He is fast but hates contact and has no passion for football, which is problem because football is a contact sport that requires passion. Ginn was constantly seeking the sideline and often shrunk in big moments. He was a good return man, but those usually get drafted in the fourth or fifth rounds or come as undrafted free agents. It speaks volumes that Miami could only get a fifth rounder for Ginn when he was traded last offseason. Beck was like Ginn in the respect that the game seemed bigger than him. He played nervous. He looked overmatched. He was put in a position to fail by the Dolphins coaching staff and he did exactly that. Satele started right away and remained there for two seasons. He continues to start in Oakland. There was talent to work with there, but he wasn't big enough for the current administration. He was not a bad pick. Soliai and Fields are the lone remaining vestiges of that draft still on the roster and Soliai is expected to become a free agent.

So sum total of players still on the team: Two. Sum total of starters: Two. Sum total of stars: 0.

The bottom line?

Amazingly, Nick Saban's second draft was the worst of the bunch.

The 2005-2007 drafts have given today's Dolphins four players on the roster, all of which are starters but none of which are stars. Think about that.

These are guys that are in their fourth through sixth years of experience. These are guys ages 26 to 29. These are the drafts that should be forming the established, experienced, cornerstones of the franchise. These three drafts were supposed to be the ones that laid a new foundation after Dave Wannstedt. Instead they offered nothing in the way of stars and little in the numbers of starters.

Combine that with the 2000-2004 drafts that were a dry bones experience, you start to see why the Dolphins still have so much work to do. You start to see why a quick solution has not been possible.

This franchise went from 2000-2007 drafting in a manner that got people fired or replaced for whatever reason. And their drafts are a testament why that happened.


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This blog post is why I didnt want Ireland and Sparano gone after this year. Look what they had to work with. Ireland especially deserves credit. The roster they took over in 2007 had two good young players - V. Carey and R. Brown. The rest of the roster was an expansion team, every bit as bad as 1-15.

Ireland has done a very good job restocking this team with talent. The defense is absolutely loaded with good young players (and the team defensive stats last year prove that). This team also has some nice pieces on offense (Long, Carey, Bess, Marshall, Fasano, Hartline). Ireland deserves a ton of credit (P. White and P. Turner were terrible picks, but no one is perfect).

The only reason everyone is so down on this team is b/c they had one of the top 5 worst QBs in the NFL last year. And if you get below average QB play in the NFL, you wont win more than 7 games. Simple as that. Get a good QB (not elite, just good) and everyone will look at Sparano and Ireland differently. But don't scapegoat them for one mistake (not having a good QB).

I believe in our Dolphins. Ross believes in them ever more.

Or else he wouldnt invest the type of money you or I dream about. The franchise is being shook down, from the top.

And if you think for one minute that Ross doesn't have the best intentions at heart, you need to get on that vehicle of defeat, and clear yourself from this blog.

Do not block this one Mando...seriously.

Nobody wants to hear it. Building a dynasty takes a long time. We are good QB away from a great team.


I cracked a can of beer, re-read your blog and sense your passion for this team, and all its wrongs.

Yeah, history. And hopefully the FO learns from prior mistakes.


no dream fans..we are 10 years behind patriots..and counting...SPENT I9N FREE AGENTS ROSS!!

Hey Flake, Fake,whatever,

If you insist we have nothing in that Michagan protague, you should pray for a miricle.

'Cause guess what, that is our starting QB. He is signed,at a lowly $650,000. Somebody posted 850,000 a year. Wow...

If you wish him ill, I'd call you rotten, in front of all our cheerleaders on the fifty yard line.

By the way, I date one.


Vernon Carey was a starter coming from the 2004 draft. But since Spielman gave up a 4th rounder to Mike Tice of all people, to move up one pick, shows how Spielman/Wannstedt had the r-tard market cornered.


We need a QB first and foremost..then we need some playmakers. Henne isn't our man..yeah it would be nice if he was so we wouldn't have to worry about the most important position BUT..he ain't our guy

OK, I stand corrected...

Nothing is a given in the NFL. Just a history book, even if you live in the present.

Out of curiosity, when did Target start selling creatures?

Bless Erika, but I suspect (50/50) it is a dude fish.

Wouldn't even name the critter to begin with, much less checking the animal for nuts, or not.



Every sensible person on the planet is advocating for an QB upgrade. I included. But that is easier said than done.

In the meanwhile, we are stuck with Henne, and we could be worse off.

Like maybe you or me trying out as walk on.

Ps, I'd put my wad on me beating you, and Henne killing both of us...

"Where's the beef?"

I just wish Chad Henne had a different demeanor, I just saw Rodgers on Letterman and I wished to myself that Chad woud carry himself like that

Anyone who says Miami is a Qb away is wrong! The one huge mistake this regime has made is with the OL. If the OL had performed up to expectations Miami probably would have had a 10-6 record even with Henne at the helm.

Marooned...not a chance..and Henne, all he's got is a strong arm..big deal, so do most QB's. And put your wad away, no one wants to see that

Henne lovers..you'll see next year when he's riding the oine

Marooned..I'd love to hear how we could be worse off...who is worse than Henne? I believe there are some QB's that are about the same as him..but he is bottom barrel for sure. Keep on lovin him though, I could care less if you like him or not

Marooned's herpes infested wad...umm yeah you can keep that

In 2 more years, Armando will have to make another blog entry about how terrible the 2008-11 drafts were. Book it, Danno.

Don't mistake rookies from the last two draft classes starting by default as anything close to good drafting. Remember, a lot of the rookies from those past bad drafts started too at one point. Like, oh for example, Beck and Ginn.

And Ross can't fool me any longer, it couldn't be more obvious to anyone capable of thinking for themselves that he doesn't want to win. He just wants to turn the stadium into a hangout for celebs and their groupies, period. He couldn't care less about the football part of things.

I bought a fish at Target once too. I hung it on the wall and it would turn its head and talk to you.

A good QB is what this team needs. One season with a healthy Pennington and the team went 11-5. Don't give me the easy schedule BS. Every given Sunday. QB = make or break for the Phins. They cannot put all their eggs on Henne to progress. They should bring in a veteran either by FA or trade and also draft another QB. Open competition again.

That must be Big Mouth Billy Bass....you se a lot of people buying it at that
Peopleofwalmart website

As sad as it seems we have become the Lions of the AFC-Conference. We are cursed. We can't seem to get the right combination of HC and GM. I'll say this this current regime took over a team that was 1-15. Something happened and they went 11-5. Now they have gone 7-9 two seasons in a row. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt in 2011. They are way behind the Patriots and Jets.

in the NFL you need a sharp GM and a top notch coach. we have neither. mike nolan is the only reason we werent a complete disaster in 2010.

you are right and it don't look much better with the current guys running the show, it would be nice if we could find someone who could find good players and then a coach who could get the most out of them. Sorry i hate to be negative here but I think we are probably going to get more of the same from these guys, trading back in the draft is a good Idea if you know how to pick good players otherwise maybe they should try to find an impact player at 15 or 16 wherever they pick

Its better to get 1 impact player then 2 players that are just okay or get hurt right from the jump ,Ordick

I still think we should consider bringing in a vet QB like Ortin to compete with Henne and draft a prospect in the later rounds to work with.

Re-sign one of the two (Ricky/Ronnie) and pick up a young RB in the later rounds to groom.

Trade our #1 to hopefully pick up a late #1 and #2 somewhere. Spend one of those on the OL and the other either on the OL or someone dynamic like a good TE or WR if available.

A great QB cures all!!
Just think what Payton Manning could do with the team right now? We would be instant favorite! Everyone says were years away. No, no were not were a good QB away! Ronnie Brown isn't bad! He just lost something this year!
We have Marshall. We have a soon to be pro bowler in Davon Bess. Hartline is a playmaker. Our line isn't the worst line. I say trade for Kolb! He is seasoned. And is primed to take a team places!! He fits. Think about it!!

in 2010 ireland drafted 2 players with broken legs(odrick and carroll) in college but passed on a FS we needed(earl thomas) and a real playmaker(dez bryant). ireland had players who voiced their displeasure with irelands interviews(dez and ryan clark).in the 2009 draft ireland passed on clay matthews who was selected by green bay with the very next pick. we need to bring in talent evaluators ASAP. i'd like us to take a shot with vince young/kevin kolb. it would be better than drafting a qb and waiting 3 years.

The NFL is made of many "stars" who were "made". Yes we need a QB or a properly coached QB. NE, GB this year and many others show that a well coached team makes stars.

I wonder how many of those drafts would be considered good with proper coaching and consitancy?

I still look at the other successful rosters littered with ex-phins doing well.

Armando.....great blog....sometimes to see where your going you just need to look at where you have been.....nice job...

Its a shame that we can't seem to get these two important peices of the pie right....drafting and Free Agency....

We should have traded Brown before the trade deadline....he may have fetched a 4th...now we get nothing for him.....

Ginn gone.....not saying he shoudn't be....but they need to learn how to get something back for players...a 1st....to a 5th is not good math...EVER!

We used Roth to send a message to the team....but it didn't stop there.....it continued with Porter...JT...Turner.....

All of these guys left and we got nothing in return...NOTHING!

Hopefully Ireland has learned his lesson and figures out everything isn't a d*k growing contest....its about being calm under pressure and and not showing your hand.....

Teams won't trade for someone THEY KNOW YOUR GONNA CUT....but they will for trade for a player who YOU beleive has value.....

Its more than just company lines....Teams see thu that BS.....

We need some innovative ways to create and generate draft staters and FA intrest in this team....

I'm an Ireland Supporter...Dallas is loaded with talent...and I think we can be soon as well....but we can't keep giving away something for nothing.....and expect to improve

thats why i would sign a free agent/trade for Flynn/Young/Kolb, draft a QB in round 1 and/or again take the kid from Nevada or Ponder later and roll the dice that out of the all the possibilities you get lucky. Its luck. SF took Smith over Rogers, we took Long over Ryan, OBrien over Marino etc. Sign a free agent lineman and get a sped WR and running back late like everyone else does and we have most of the other pieces.

Hey Cowlicka,

What exactly is herpes? More specifically, what is a wad of that?

Surely not something you would wish to wager in a bet?

Ps, I am a virgin child, and thus disease free. I'd be afraid to tackle you in a game of flag football.

You sound like a biter, spreading gods knows what...are you missing a tooth?

But on a positive note, we don't ditch the only QB signed. We replace him. In the meanwhile, support what you have as a fan.

Again, wad, I am a true fan, you suk cowlicka

Mark in Toronto, this is why yesterday I told you that I'll take a fan's analysis of talent exactly the same as a GM (especially one from Miami). The "science" is faulty, it's a guessing game (kinda like what meteorologists do). Sure, GMs "supposedly" have people on the ground they speak to, but there's lots of info on the web and elsewhere for a diehard fan to get pretty close to knowing what the GMs know. From there it's guesswork, and we have done a pretty poor job of guessing.

Yes, this FO has been MUCH better at drafting. But, they've made their share of mistakes too. And we really can't afford too many mistakes (like Pat White) this draft.

Let's say we draft Mark Ingram out of AL. And Let's say we get a couple of O-linemen in free agency. And let's say we get a speedy wide-out in the third round to develop. And let's say we re-sign Ricky Williams. If we do all of that, we would be better than last year. However, would we still need another QB that we'd likely get from another team by trading future picks. Yes, the Miami Dolphins can get better, but we have to make all these moves, and they have to be the RIGHT MOVES, for us to get better.

That's alot of saying

this same was info fully explored like twice during this past season right here. nothing but rehash repackaged to look new.

What has Kevin kolb done that Chad henne has not?

We need to draft a qb in the first round. I'm tired of being cute and drafting then in the later rounds

At least once a week somebody...(i'm sure its the same person) under a differnt sign in name comes on this blog and smugly says.....

"its almost laughable how little you guys know"...or...."I could take all the football knowledge combined on this blog....put it in a thimble...and still have room for".........

I'm sure by Sunday he/she will make another appearance......under another sign-in name....

We have also been told many times to blindly put our faith and trust in the "football guys"......because they know what their doing......

I say to both of you guys.....when it comes to the Dolphins and about 10 other teams...the may not ALWAYS know what they are doing......

Its undisputable that they work with much more "inside information"...and get to know players and canidates on a much more personal level.....but that could work against them just as easily as it works for others.....

The human factor will always be flawed.....wether by accident, good intentions....or just plain incompetence.......

Seems like this franchise just cant get out of it's own way. Its way past frustrating at this point. The betrayals, the horribly stupid drafts, cutting good players but keeping average ones. This has been going on for TWENTY YEARS GUYS! This is not just from 2000 on, look at how this teams slide into mediocrity started in the late 80's.. Im not even looking forward to anything fins related and NO ONE is a bigger fan than I.


I'm with you.....I can't understand what this infatuation of drafting a QB in the late rds....its almost like a scared to succeed mentality.....

Go balls out and see if you can make the right decision.....be prepared to accept responsibility if you miss...and be prepared to be hoisted among the greats FO's in the game if you hit....

Holgrem....nothing without his QB

Brad Childress (minissotta) genius in 09....clown in 2010.....I wonder what changed?

Atlanta....Mike Smith and GM comming in to their own....

Mike Shannahan....looks very ordinary with out Elway....

Lets take a Shot.....

I say Ireland goes after Ingram and say hello to the 1990s Cowyboys, Henne reminds me alot of Aikman before Emmet joined. Emmet> Ingram Irvan> Marshall. We already got a steady defence, which will only get better. But idk crazy thinking lol

Kris I call it the Tom Brady effect because he was a 5th rounder

Leave it to the 'football guys' to draft Ginn three rounds too soon, Pat White, Patrick Turner, Broken Bone Metal Plate Odrick and give a slow WR the highest contract in history plus TWO second round picks without knowing he had current hip issues. Yep, leave it to the 'smart' guys. As Mando pointed out, we had gone through FOUR different regimes over an 8 year period who provided little to nothing. One could make a compelling argument that any blogger here could have very well done better.

I'm feeling fashion-forward and SASSY today!

I'll be the one to say it-- You gys don't know what the hell you are talkin about. The reason is that everyone talks about QB as the one factor that will turn things around. Not true. A lot of factors, such as having a line that can open up holes for Running backs as well as pass block to give the QB time to throw-- will make your QB better. Also -- field position-- we have had terrible special teams this year causing one if not two of our losses. Another area is having a defense that can score. Bad days happen -- even to the best QB's-- when they do it's nice to have a defense help take the pressure off. AND PLAY CALLING!!!!!!! Last years calls were baffling. Momentum killers. Our QB when in rhythm needs to have plays that keep him in that rhythm and not calls that literally take him out of the game. Dropped passes. Branden Marshall is way too expensive to be dropping as many passes as he does. QB coach. We need to be able to develop a QB. I read the comment about Matt Schaub and how the Florida State QB reminded him of SCHAUB. Schaub didnt start until he was in his 4th year. He had 3 years to develop....and still blows games from time to time. Henne was forced into action in year two and had zero development in an offense that was built for Chad Pennington and with a coach that abandoned the run. I worry that all of our focus is on the QB and we wont draft some more Jake Long type of talent for the Line. And another stud ILB and a SPEED GUY like what Pittsburg and Green Bay has. We are actually the only team that I know of that doesnt have any speed guys on offense. Sort of insane that we can't loosen up the defense with someone that stretches the field.

you can't assess the draft whether the player is starting for the phins but whether the player is starting in the NFL. We change coaches so many times that one player that fit one coaches system doesn't fit the other. So they are dumped. But that doesn't mean they are not good.

Mando, how many "stars" have the pats drafted since 2000? One. tom brady.

NEWSFLASH: Armandon Salguero confirms that Dave Wannstedt was, in fact, utterly incompetent.

I'm making no apologies for the CamMueller incompetence (and god knows I will waste no breath defending Saban)but the Dolphins descent from 'consistently competitive' to "mediocre-atrocious" rests on the fact that for more than four years the team was run by a man who was - possibly -- clinically retarded.

It was Wannstedt introduced the stale stench of losing to the Dolphins locker-room and nobody has been able to clear the air since.


All of the guys on here saying WE NEED A QB...manage to say it without disrepecting the other side.....some how those of you on the other side of the fence can't start a sentence without "you guys don't know what your talking about"....

On the contrary there is room on this blog for both arguments.....

And I don't know if you know this or not....but we have addressed ALL of the VALID POINTS you brought up in your WELL LAID OUT ARGUMENT in the past 15 years.....for example....

Drafted RB in the 1st RD.....NO SB apperance....1 playoff apperance...1st RD exit

Drafted fast player in draft.....1st rd.....No SB appereance 1 playoff apperance....1st RD exit

Drafted best OL with 1st pick in the draft.....No SB appereance 1 playoff apperance....1st RD exit

Paid for the best (most expensive) OL in the NFL....No SB appereance 1 playoff apperance....1st RD exit

Brought in best WR in FA.....No SB appereance No playoffs

Brought in best ILB in FA....No SB appereance No playoffs

Drafted CB in first RD....twice.....No SB appereance No playoffs

Drafted DE with 1st pick.....No SB appereance No playoffs

How many times Money Jacket should we try the same thing and continue to expect differnt results......We still have'nt drafted a FS or a TE with our 1st pick.....Maybe we will go that rout in 2011 and 2012.....

Then in 2013...can we draft a 1st rd talent QB?

I'm glad that Liza Minelli has finally gotten her life together. She is an extraordinariry talent and one sassy lady.

Great summary and a useful way of gaining perspective. I now live in Tennessee, and folks here can't believe what a bust Jason Allen turned out to be. So hard to know how things will pan out.

We're definitely on the island of misfit toys. This team is such a joke it's embarrassing. Time to announce my free agency as a fan, and find a new team. This team has been a joke for over 10 years now.... It's getting old, and Ross doesn't look like he's going to make any better anytime soon.

So what has the current regime given us in three years besides Jake Long and Vontae Davis? The free agents (Wake, Dansby, Starks, polite) and undrafted (Bess , Carp) are great but we needed them to get out of the hole Ireland dug after signing some of the horrible break the bank free agents (pick any one of the centers, wilford, torbor, wilson)... its not just the huge money they gave grove (i recall 50 mil?, wilson 30+ mil, willford 19 mil?) but the fact that they retarded/delayed the process of stocking the team. This roster is still not comparabler talentwise to the better teams and that falls squarely on Ireland's shoulders.

I would put henne in the same boat with beck. Hes a 3rd string at best on any other team in this league. And will we draft a QB in the first round? well.... I will belive it when I see it.

Gary Stevens.....adide from te dig at Armandon...that was a really good post.....

We ALL watched the bears get progressively worse under wanstache....and I think even the most staunche Fins supporter new we were in trouble when JJ handed those reins over.....

No HC should be able to name their successor......I hope Ross understands that....

Now that was a good article! Way to break down what most of us don't have time to. Pretty much sums up the state of the Dolphins.

Time to announce my free agency as a fan, and find a new team.

Posted by: JOhn B | February 08, 2011 at 09:46 AM

What are you waiting for? I suggest the Packers so you can buy all the latest championship gear. After that, maybe you can be a Patriots fan...or whoever else comes along and wins a title.

In baseball, I suggest you root for the Phillies.

It's all about rooting for whoever is on top, dude. That's what REAL fans do.

Oh, and by the way. Get lost.

my typing sucks....


and i'm sure many more=something else.....you guys get my point

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