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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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BPA - best player available.

BPA=Best Player Available

I agree the drafting has been horrible but the numbers are skewed by the changing of front office and coaching, Every new regime wants "their" guys notice how many pedestrian players Parcell brought with him from Dallas. We need to keep the group we have now for at least a few more years. Bite our tongue a little. We are lacking just a few pieces......be patient!

darrilo,

Don't drag other people into this...it's you and me talking bud. You want to call people's comments 'worthless' or 'preposterous' expect a push back. If you have something of value to contribute the we're all ears otherwise just read, OK?

Utdolfan.....that is exactly the point I am trying to make.....the experts...if we can call them that...inject steriods in to players stock by discussing them or down playing them....I take ZERO stock in what they have to say....ZERO......

Like I said before...these "experts aren't held accountable....if they are completley wrong they don't get fired...they bare no more responsibility than the weather man who said it was gonna be 82 degrees and sunny..... and when you step outside its 68 and raning.....no consequences....just an educated guess.....and how educated it is is up for debate....

As big of a baby Cutler is. He has more "mojo" than Henne. That is so sad for us phinfans to watch. LUCK in 2012. Trade everything.

Thanks Mark and Darrillo and Utdolfan....now I can read the post again

Miami could have drafted Aaron rodgers. They could have drafted Drew Brees(in the second round even). Picked up Drew Brees as a free agent. Drafted Matt Ryan. How long does this have to go on before we get a qb?

AT FLH...
You remember we do not have a 2nd rounder this year... So you would rather the Dolphins pick at 15 and wait for 64 other picks to go before we pick at 15 in the 3rd Round?? And watch NE pick 2 more times before we even pick again as well as the freaking Jets? The Smart thing to do is trade out of 15 to a later 1st rounder and pick-up a second rounder for day 2 of the draft. If we don't trade down, we'll just watch everyone else draft 2 guys on the second day and we'll just be drafting 1 in the 3rd. I'd rather get 3 picks in 3 rounds than 2 picks in 3 rounds. Until there is a CBA in place, that is the way to go and once the CBA is in place, fill in the rest through Free Agency.

Great work Armondo, One your finer jobs.

Great work Armondo, One of your finer jobs.

one more point Kris, minissotta is spelled Minnesota.....lol

anywayz, LET'S DRAFT A RB(A FAST ONE) IN THE 1ST RD AND GRAB A VETERAN QB FROM FA! Trade Ronnie for draft picks and DON'T sign Ricky. Let Henne compete for starting job and get Hilliard the ball. SIMPLE SOLUTION!

CA_Dolfan....why not pick up a sure fire starter at #15 wether its the QB that this FO likes and then we are set at QB for 12-15 years...

or even get an impact player at another postion of need,,,,CENTER....GUARD....DT....FS......RB....Whatever....

Outside of Wake, Long, Dansby, and Marshall...I don't think there is any postion that can't be upgraded.....

We could trade back and get an extra pick....but I think we have enough meicore players....role players......imo...we need impact starters...like a top 15 player...

oh btw Armando, good post today!

greg Z is 100% right. We need talent evaluators. Ireland & Sparano have proven to be as inept as Cameron/Mueller, Saban, Stace/Spielman. Look at Pitt & GB. They have allot of above average to elite players & almost all of them were drafted by them.

Pitt - Harrison, Rothlesberger, Mendenhall, Polamalu, Woodley, Hampton, Wallace etc

GB - Matthews, Rodgers, Jennings, Woodson, Collins, Raji, Barnett, T. Williams, etc

Miami - Long, Wake, Bess, Marshall, Dansby

This is why we stink & will continue to stink. I don't know how much longer people need to give Sparano & Ireland to see that they are schmucks & only employed because of who their friend is. The crap youhave seen & will continue to see is exactly what you all want. Continuity & stability. FORGET WINS, LET'S STAY THE COURSE!!!!!!

Expect more of the same until Ross grows a set.

ONE OF THE WORST QUOTES YOU CAN HEAR .......

(( OH, I JUST CAN'T WAIT )) ,IT KILLS ME EVERY TIME I HEAR IT .

Loso204....thanks for the correction....If you read more of my post you will see many more...lol....

Now I got a correction for you.....we can't trade Ronnie....because he's a FA......we have no rights to him because he isn't under contract......

phinsfan78 - I think you misread me. Yes, there are players that start day one or sometime their rooky year and this has been particularly true the last couple of years. My point is that often these guys are allowed to make their mistakes and develop.

There has been a good QB run the last few years that have been statistically impressive from day one...but again, I would say that's the exception not the rule. Here's the last 5 years in or so in review. I'll keep it to 1st rnd talent with the exeption of later round guys having success.

2005:
Alex Smith - 1st overall; started 9 gms rooky; BUST

Aaron Rodgers - #24; 3 years on the pine; great QB

Jason Campbell - #25; started 7 games rookie; decent/mediocre....has showed things at times but doesn't grade out.

2006:
Vince Young - 3rd overall; started 15 games rooky; never had a QB rating over 70 until 4th yr starter; jury still out...if he can get it together, he's a winner.

Matt Leinart - 10th overall; started 12 games rooky; BUST

Jay Cutler - 11th overall; started 5 games rooky; statistally good with Avg QB rating in the high 80's. Can he recover from the playoff debacle this season?

2007:
Whole QB class is a bust unless Kolb can save the class or Quinn gets it together.

2008:
Matt Ryan - 3rd overall; started day one; great QB..appears to have recovered from the sophomore slump

Joe Flacco - 18th overall; started day one; statistically has gotten better every season..great QB

2009:
Matt Stafford - 1st overall; started 10 games rooky; statistically abismal; hurt more games than he's played. looked good in the 3 whole games he played this year.

Mark Sanchez - 5th overall; started 15 games; 61 QB rating as rooky and 75.3 in 2nd year. Jury is out but I say he looks like a mediocre QB on a very good football team all around.

Josh Freeman - 7th overall; started 10 games rooky; rooky stats are abismal but he turned it up this year. We'll see if he can keep that consistency over the haul. Jury still out.

2010:
I'm just going to say the jury is out. Not enough time to properly evaluate this talent.

Aloco....

'CAN'T WAIT"!.....by Bart Scott was priceless and classic all at the same time.....I loved that quote especially....since he COUDN'T WAIT...for Pitt to whup tha A*s

I guess my point @ 1:38 is that if you look at the guys...the success guys you have:

Matt Ryan - coming into an already sweet situation talent wise...good o-line...running game...respectable defense.

Joe Flacco - same thing...good o-line...running game...good defense

Aaron Rodgers - rode the pine 3 years and learned from one of the best ever.

Outside of that, I'm not seeing a lot of greatness in the first few years of anyone's tenure.

CA-Dolfan
It's not how many picks you have, its picking quality players with those picks. Trading down simply to get an additional pick is not smart, especially considering the idiots that are making the picks. If this were the patriots, I as a fan would have confiedence that the front office knew what they were doing. This bunch, not so much. Put it this way; we traded out of 12 to get a second rounder and picked "bad stick" Odrick and Misi with those picks...we passed up Dez Bryandt, M. Pouncey, Earl Thomas, Bulaga, McCourty....I would have taken any of these over the two that we got. Quanty is not necessarily better than quantity.

KRIS ,

ANOTHER QUOTE ...... (( I HEAR YOU BROTHER )) , IT KILLS ME TO HEAR IT .

Wolfman1313....good post and good objective analyasis....you didn'r really let your personal views sway your post one way or the other....

The only thing I woluld add might be thhat even though Sanchez stinks on paper....he has proven to this point to be a winner...much like Big Ben....love it or hate it....he makes plays when they count....one might even say he makes plays when they allow him to play.....much the same many say about Henne.....

My question to you would be....if we don't take a 1st RD QB this year...then when......Is giving Henne 1st Rd competiton a bad thing? Its not in my opinion...

If Henne shines..then we have trade bait....like Philly is trying to do to us......

Its win-win in my opinion....and it doesn't set the franchise back....it only sets us up for the future

OH S*&T!!
got that backwards...quantity is not better than quality! I will attribute my 'backwards' thinking to hanging around a backwards franchise for too long. I am old enough to remember when this team was great. Not on the near horizon, unfortunately

bpa = best pizza aloco

You see, Miami's picks in this draft have to be Ultra-Top Secret because Belichick has a lot of draft picks and he is more than capable of using them specifically vs Miami and the Jets.

ALoco,

Do you drive? Did you start at 16? How many tickets/near accidents did you have by 18?

Point is, giving Henne 2 years is completely asinine. Might as well bend him over and stick him with the hot beef injection while you're at it. The guy doesn't even make 1 mil a year.

Henne needs about a dozen years before we can really tell if he needs glasses or just can't see read the field. Anything less than that is like giving Israel land that belongs to Palestine.

If you count preseason games, Henne has one of the best records of any 3rd-year QB. So lay off.

Henne for 2020 (kris, that's my new saying, don't steal it).

FLH....Thats what I'm trying to say....and I also agree that iys backwards thinking.....Pass on Dez Bryant...among others so we could pick up 2 role players....instead of 1 sure fire impact starter.....maybe Ordick proves me wrong.....but once an animal is wounded...the sharks will smell blood....he needs to play 3 consecutive seasons before any judgement can be made on him...

dc,henne is left handed,he just doesn't know it yet.lol

Good point wolf. Although I think Big Ben could have been mentioned to be fair.

I understand that it's not perfect science. But us phinfans who grew up watching the greatest QB of all time play. Knows what a real QB should look like. And if given the chance and the resources that the professionals have. Could pick the QB with the mojo to get us another championship.

I think a pro bowl caliber QB with "mojo" is exactly what this team needs.

lol @ DC....that one is SAFE.....

To all those that say Henne deserves another chance (damn right by the way, he deserves to be QB 4 Life if you ask me) because the OC messed him up, I give you this:

Titans fire Mike Heimerdinger. So don't tell me we know about Vince Young. He was messed up by the OC (that seems to be the acceptable excuse nowadays).

the oc with the titans had to use an etch-o-sketch to draw out the plays for vince young.don't blame the oc.

DC,I DRIVE A BRWON DONKY,THOUGH HES GETING OLD,WUOLD YOU LIKE TO APLY FOR THE JOB SEING HOW YUOR UNEMPLOYED?

while w'r at it,henning had to do the same.interesting how ain't nobody complained about henning when he was scoring all of those pts. in 08' when pennington was behind cnt.hmm?

TWO OF THE WORST LINES EVER.......


1- (( YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK ))
2-(( HENNE FOR 2020 ))

Oh, and just to weigh in on the best spot to draft a QB on a Tony Sparano/Jeff Ireland/Brian Daboll team: 7th-round supplemental (that's where ALL the hidden gems are). At that spot we should be able to get Adam Weber (Minnesota). He's thrown more INTs than TDs and his comp. pct. is 52%. SOUNDS LIKE A PERFECT FIT!!! I'm getting excited!

Vince Young to Miami?!
I almost threw up in my mouth just typing that sentence. He quit on his team...TWICE. Dumb as a box of chicken beaks. Poor accuracy. Cannot read a defense. Other than that..he's good.
Boy are we desparate!

ALoco, if I get a job, I lose my welfare checks, so that's a no, but I definitely hear you brother.

2 Watt....SHHHHHH....Your not allowed to speak facts on this blog....you have to keep all your comments to conjecture and unprovable opinions...so you can argue all all day....if you put facts out there this blog will shut down......i've seen it.....

kris,

How about this? IF we find a trade down partner, big if, we take Locker with whichever pick it appears we need to use....lower first or the 2nd rounder. Right now he's definitely fallen. Who knows where he is looked at come draft day. With the other of the two early picks we take BPA.

If Locker came out last year, we probably would have had to trade up to get him....there's everyones top end 1st round qb, lol.

DC,

THAT WAS FAKE @ 2;16 UNLESS IT WAS YOU .

FLH, another guy who quit on his team twice....Ricky Williams (only the best RB the team has had since Larry Csonka).

One more who quit on his team...BILL PARCELLS!

Yeah, Saban did suck. On the flip side, I noticed all kinds of Green Bay draft picks of the last 5 or 6 years excelling.

Gotcha ALoco, I'll take that to the bank, lol.

DC,

THE SABATOR NO 2 AFTER DB

By the way, FYI, I don't like to post as anyone else (unless it's a woman).

DC,

FUNNY LAST 2 POSTS .

Is this guy aloco writing in a Strange language?

Craig, you asked yesterday what it'd take this year to bring Sparano back next year.

Back-to-back wins!

I know, I know. I'm setting the bar pretty high for him. But I have faith!

Utdolfan...I like Locker and Newton as my QB picks....and not in that order.....

I also have to wonder if these projected falling of these QBs has to do with GM leaking bad info in hopes that this guy or that guy will fall to them....its all part of the game

TIME TO GO TO WORK TO SUPPORT THE UNEMPLOYED FANS .NICE DAY TO ALL .

Oh ya, DD, it would be cool if Tate Forcier went to Montana, as long as he fulfills his massive potential. This guy has loads of it so as long as he gets to the NFL and we get to watch him on Sundays, I'm happy.

Aloco..."you can take that...to the bank"is one of my favorite quotes....

I can't rember what movie they used it in....it was some crooked politicians catch phrase

phinsfan78 - Big Ben was 2004...he's a great QB. I think you also have to look at the way the Steelers brought him along though. They didn't expect him to "win" games for them. They've always been smash mouth and defense. It's only really been the last couple of seasons that they have been putting a lot more on Ben's shoulders.

kris, doesn't it seem to you that the whole "draft order" stuff is like Scientology (made up)? C'mon, couldn't ANYONE predict DeSean Jackson would be the 2nd Coming of Christo? 1st player to be selected to the ProBowl in 2 positions. Yet, every team passed on him 1st-round (because some schmuck said he was a 2nd-round projection). I don't get it. You see the players in the league that are great. You see the physical gifts draftees have. You have conversations with them to find out their mentality and history. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED? If you see a gem, who's ranked lower, SO WHAT!!!

I mean, I guess Ireland did that with Misi, but why couldn't anyone see that Brady was better than the 199th pick? Really makes me wonder.

DC DolFan
Ricky did not have to read defenses or make throws to the open/single covered receiver...all he had to do is run (and not toke). The Tuna....he's a quitter.

Vince Young is a train wreck. If this team hitches their wagon to that horse, then we as fans are in real trouble.
By the way, Heimerdinger and Fisher were fired because of Vince.

On second though, if we get VY, Sparano will tank even further next season and get fired quicker.
Bring on the idiot!

Good Afternoon guys, What's new in "Finland"???, Oh BTW Kris, that qoute was from jaws......

from what i heard Patrick Turner is going to play for the Jets next year, and he has been making big strides to prove himself in NFL I'd hate to see that come true

DC Dolfan I think the risk of getting another TEd Ginn JR. cuz of Desean's size became a factor

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