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My grade of Dolphins draft: Why do you care?

Let's begin with the fact that no one -- not me, not you, not Mel Kiper nor Mel Gibson for that matter -- can give you an absolutely fair and accurate grading of the Dolphins draft.

I haven't seen these guys on the field. So I have no idea if Charles Clay is the next coming of Chris Cooley or Dallas Clark. I have no idea if Mike Pouncey is as good or better than Maurkice Pouncey. I don't know whether Edmond Gates will play like Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes.

So why does everyone want a grade for the draft?

Why did I get 127 151 e-mails since Friday asking me to grade the draft, some of those before the draft was even over?

Post-draft grades from the media are bogus. They are ignorant. They are an exercise in futility. They are a waste of your time.

Alright, are you ready for my grade?

Here we go:

The case: The Dolphins addressed the long-standing need for a center in Pouncey. They came into draft with only two running backs on the roster and no second round pick and got running back Daniel Thomas in the second round. They needed speed badly that might both improve Miami's ability to get behind the secondary and maybe put a charge in the special teams returns game. The Dolphins want to run a double-tight look a lot with one of those an H-Back type. The team had Paul Soliai locked up as its starting nose tackle and needed some help behind him. And, in the bottom of the musts-needs-wants totem pole, the club wanted a playmaker in the secondary.

The results: The Dolphins got the highest-rated interior lineman on their board in the first round and expect him to start at center. They landed Thomas while other teams were in the middle of a run (pardon the pun) on running backs. They yielded a third-round (valuable), fifth-round (valuable) and seventh-round pick (not so much) to get into the second round. Edmond Gates is now the man they Dolphins expects will "knock the top" off defenses. He is now charged with being deep open to give the QB a chance at a big play. Oh, and he's got a shot at helping on teams in the return game. Charles Clay was versatile and valuable at Tulsa as a fullback and pass-catcher. He's supposed to be good in space. We'll see if that space is located 10-15-20 yards down field. Frank Kearse comes as Miami's project mountain-sized nose tackle. And Jimmy Wilson is the gamble with the final pick that could add an athletic, hard-hitting, angry, sometimes too angry hitter that might upgrade special teams and knock some balls loose.

The projections: Mike Pouncey will start at center. If he doesn't, something went terribly wrong. I don't believe anything will go wrong here. He's solid, smart, and tough. He's a competitor and winner. I predicted this pick and agree with it. Daniel Thomas is another pick I predicted so how the heck am I going to rip it? He'll bring speed to the position that Ronnie Brown seemed to lose in recent years. He'll offer some second-level elusiveness the Dolphins haven't seen in a long time and one would not expect from a 230 pound running back. Gates is the X-factor. If he makes it, this draft makes it! If he's a bigtime playmaker, the Dolphins will score points, improve the passing game and help keep people honest on the running game, and, oh yeah, there's also the possibility I might see a punt-return or kickoff-return TD before I retire. Kearse smells like a practice squad guy to me. Wilson needs to be on his absolute best behavior -- that's the way it is for someone who's been tried for murder. I don't care that he got off, he is by all accounts not an angel. He needs to watch himself and not sully the name of the franchise. Dolphins do that in other ways already, they don't need to add more of that stuff. Clay? Please, please, please makes some plays in space against overmatched LBs and safeties.

The misses: No quarterback. The Dolphins didn't pick either Ryan Mallett nor Andy Dalton in the first round, they passed on Mallett in the second round, and could not trade up to Mallett in the third although I have reported they tried. Bottom line? Mallett would have been a reach early and everyone agreed. I think he just wasn't right for the Dolphins because he needs to go to a situation where he sits for a good, long time and learns to be a professional. He wouldn't have gotten that in Miami. He would have been thrust into a starter competition and because Chad Henne is not a star, Mallett might have won. And then he would have been overmatched with the things it takes for a guy to succeed as an NFL QB -- not just the on-field stuff, but off the field as well. He might become a fine player eventually in New England. I think he would have failed in the wrong situation and Miami was the wrong situation. I wonder why the Dolphins didn't go with Pat Devlin late? Twelve QBs were taken and Devlin was not. Will be interesting to see if Dolphins chase him as an undrafted free agent when that's allowed. finally, it hurts me the Dolphins didn't land Taiwan Jones. Loved him. Loved his 4.3 speed. Thought he had that innate ability to keep defenders from hitting him on flush every time. The great ones have that ability. Yes, Taiwan Jones had fumble issues. Guess what? So did Daniel Thomas.

The spin: The Dolphins didn't have a second-round pick when the draft began because they yielded it and one last year for Brandon Marshall. GM Jeff Ireland talked about Marshall being among Miami's first three picks. No. Second round picks won't make some $18 million the next few years. Second round picks don't come to the team with a reputation for not meshing with the starting quarterback. Second round picks don't usually come with a long domestic violence history and a newly sewn abdomen from a knife wound inflicted by a wife. Second round picks also don't come with the experience Marshall has and the almost certain guarantee that he'll give you 85 catches for 1,000 yards. It's a two way street. But adding him to the draft is spin.

The bottom line: I like the job Ireland did. Really do. He made the best of a tough situation because he came into the draft without a second-round pick while not drafting particularly high. The way to get great is not by drafting where mediocre teams draft. It's hard to find a big-time star there. I didn't love that Ireland had to give up that fifth-rounder while the Patriots were adding picks for next year. (Told him as much, too). But I understand he didn't have much of choice. He needed a running back. Maybe Pouncey is better than his brother. Maybe Thomas is Adrian Peterson. Maybe Clay is Dallas Clark. Maybe Gates is Mike Wallace. If that's the case, this draft will be an awesome haul. I don't see all of that happening. More likely these generally safe, solid, logical picks will add a couple of solid starters, maybe one playmaker, and some guys whose names we won't remember three years from now.

The grade: C++. It is better than average. It is way better than average. But good? Can't be when you didn't draft in the third and fifth rounds. Can't be when you couldn't find a QB. Can't be when I haven't seen any of these players on the field. (By the way, I give the Pats a C+. They had a chance to go for the kill shot on the AFC East and didn't do it.  They continue to put off for next year what they could do now, apparently not realizing Tom Brady continues to age and when he's done, they're done -- Ryan Mallett notwithstanding.)



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No Dying Breed...if you were paying attention, you would see that Seminolesam claimed no one knew this..that it was never reported..That is why I went to such lengths...the same you would have done if it was intimated that you made something up. Now, is that okay with you?
Thanks .

Here's the 2011 qb plan I see unfolding for now:

1. A vet will be brought in. No ifs, and, or buts about it. We just dont have crystal ball to see who it is yet.

2. Henne will be a Miami Dolphin in 2011 as either a starter or backup.

3. I think its highly doubtful Thigpen will be back as 3rd string backup.

4. Developmental qb Tom Brandstadter is the "wildcard" reason we may not have drafted a qb even in the late rds. Smartly, they may have concluded the development they've placed in him already. Makes Brandstadter further along than any 6th-7th rd qb they could have drafted.

There you have it.

Mallet went to the better team that obviously has the tools and coaching that can develope him into a quality QB, Im sorry to say we dont have room for another project development here in miami, we already have henne and thiggy, we NEED a veteran---Bottom line...besides all mallet will do is hold bradys clip board for the next ten yrs anyhow so i wouldnt worry about mallet.

Worry about #12 come september if there is even a season to have!!!!

Bottom line..he left the team over disagreement with the owner and the FO, and Henne was the straw that broke the camel's back. Saying he wished he had taken Matt Ryan instead says it all.


Again, if you dont pull your non blocking taiback when you pass, nfl dc's will absolutely love you.

Plus they'll just put 8 in the box and blitz you all 3 downs. You wont be able to run and if you try to pass your non blocking tailback will get your qb turned into "a human smoothie". LOL..............


You still fail to back up your claim.

You used all this crap to back up your further ridiculousness saying Parcells steeped down because of Henne. Simply untrue and unsupported.

The most you have accomplished here is telling us all what we already knew and how we all pretty much feel.

Parcells was disappointed in Henne's slow progress. That's it, that's all.

Big news flash there, way to go Scoop!

yea right, with our offensive line problems and lack of dynamic support around him......Matt Ryan wouldve equated to Alex Smith.....

Sorry, Buster!!!

It was NEVER reported that Parcells didn't think Henne was the answer. NEVER. Provide a link and I'll shut up about this, but I don't think you can. I'm on fire!!!

Posted by: seminolesam

If I may, Buster, this is what I said. And you still haven't proven that Parcells thought that Henne wasn't the answer. "Disappointed" is a far cry from "That kid is not starting material. Cut him!".

No odinseye...the point is that parcells admitted Henne was a mistake...that Ryan was the better choice...it is printed elsewhere that henne was the "less expensive choice".So it turned out to be a wrong choice. But the FO wouldn't listen. They are sold on Henne. Meanwhile, he couldn't start on ANY of the playoff teams. Why can't some people see that we need a different option at QB. Damn, Henne with a bigger and better front line...who will give him the step stool to see over them?
He will not make it. He is history. Remember I tod you.

Like I said, Buster, you made that stuff up about Parcells stepping down because of Henne or Parcells thinking that Henne was good enough. NO SUPPORT!!!


Exactly! With that oline Matt Ryan would now be having troble pronouncing one syllable word like his first name.


"Mr. Ryan what is your first name"



Poizen @ 04:08 PM

I'm speechless! Your logic is hard to follow here so I bow out gracefully.


Again, if you dont pull your non blocking taiback when you pass, nfl dc's will absolutely love you.

Plus they'll just put 8 in the box and blitz you all 3 downs. You wont be able to run and if you try to pass your non blocking tailback will get your qb turned into "a human smoothie". LOL..............

Posted by: DyingBreed | May 03, 2011 at 04:16 PM


No offense, but your sounding as bad as Hennings.

Blitz me every down if you like. That leaves me in man coverage acroos the board. More time than not, the running back or receiver wins this battle against bigger slower defenders.

Go ahead and blitz me every play. I'll teach you the definition of being caught with your pants down!

DC would love me? They would have to love me from the unemployment line, because that's where I'll send em-LOL.

I just showed you the articles. I did not make it up. It was reported in several places. You want to believe something different , fine. Just one question, then what was the unhappiness that caused Parcells to leave, wrong color towels in the men's room?


"Mr. Ryan are you saying that your first name is Mmmm...bat?"


"Smmm..esh!" (Yes)

This is what would have happened to Ryan behind our inherite oline of 2007. Dude would have been seriously challenge to pronounce one syllabled words, including his own first name by now. LOL.......

And furthermore, you said it was not reported. To show you the links.. And you would shut up. Liar!


Now you're trying to use some hindsight reasoning to try and make your point.

What your doing now is no different than me sitting here today saying Marino was the wrong choice because Montana won some Super Bowls.

Your also trying to blur in some context issues because Parcells was asked the loaded question of Ryan's development against that of Henne's. I mean what was Parcells supposed to say? It's pretty evident up to this point that Ryan has developed a lot quicker than Henne.

Bill Parcells is a 70-year-old man with well-documented health issues and the plan ALL ALONG was that he'd be around a few years before handing the reins over to Ireland.

This isn't the energetic guy of 20 years ago, folks. Parcells may do some 'consulting' and television work but his hands-on days are over. His 'disappointment' in Henne has nothing to do with any of that.

I am more disappointed in Tuna than anyone. But the fact is the fact.he did like henne's progress, and wanted ownership to sign a free agent. You and others WANT to WILL Henne to be great. That is never happening. Period. I have nothing else to say on the subject.

And furthermore, you said it was not reported. To show you the links.. And you would shut up. Liar!

Posted by: Buster

You still haven't shown what you said you would. Are you slow or something? Nobody has reported that Parcells didn't think Henne wasn't the answer. Got it?

that should have read,...did not like Henne's progress..sorry.

I must say, some of the comments in here today have been mind boggling.

But Odinseye,

Remember, we had to give up 2 picks plus swapped 3rd rd places to get into the 30th position of the 2nd rd to grab Thomas. The last of the top 3 rbs were gone with LeShoure going 25th. The price for the Ryna Williams(6th in 2nd rd) and LeShoure to grab would have been much greater.

Plus grabbing a non blocker like Demarcus Murray. Well, there was a reason he didnt go until "7TH RD". Rest my case! LOL.........

I have nothing else to say on the subject.

Posted by: Buster

In all fairness, you haven't said anything to support your original assertion that Henne was the cause of Parcells' departure nor have you proven anything.

Sam...you can't be that obtuse.....I'm certain of that!! i won't re-visit the subject. But you obviously just want to be right. Okay sam...you are right. Wouldn't want you all tied up in knots and on fire! But me saying that doesn't change what you said..that Parcell's disappointmment was never reported..that is what you said. Read up, and if I'm incorrect on this, I'll shut up.

Jim Kelly used to keep Thurman Thomas on the field on passing downs.

I still have nightmares of us blitzing him only to have a little flip pass to the flat go for 25 yards.

I LOVE pass catching Tailbacks. If for no other reason, I would keep him on the field as a safty valve.

Pass blocking Tailbacks are for Dinosaurs like Hennings.

The Bears kept Walter Payton on the field in passing situations too. Though he was a great blocker, he wasn't asked to do it often. You know why? Because they knew he was a weapon and used him as such!

Payton in space out on the flat! Bad scene DUDE, bad scene-LOL!

Henne is a future Pro Bowler. Anybody could see that if you'd just take your foot off his neck for a minute. One strike and you're out? Sheesh!

What disappoints me is that posters here resort to "mystery aliases" here instead of thier "every day" screen names so no one knows who's really making the post.

They used "every day screennames" to "agree". Then in the same light use thier " invented screennames" to disagree with the exact same thing they agree on under "another "screenname."


I had the most wonderful bowel movement today. Really felt like everything came out, unlike those times when you sense there's still a little "something extra" left.

Very satisfying!


Very weak argument, Thurman Thomas wasnt considered an aweful pass blocker. Where in the hell you get that from?

You gotta post an article stating this! LOL........

If Henne is ever a pro bowler, I'll stop watching football for lack of quality play at the position. He is a mediocre QB. After this season, that will be obvious.


I understand the point you were making.

Though that's not what I was talking about.

I was just commenting on the overall philosophy of how this regime uses running backs.

Wasn't really speaking on the specific players or their availability and skillsets. In that department I have to agree with you WHOLEHEARTEDLY!

Im out guys. Have wasted enough of my day. Time to do something "MORE PRODUCTIVE!" LOL............

Buster, you're as dense as a lead brick!!!
Go back to my post at 2:52 PM. I clearly wrote that it was never reported Pacells THOUGHT HENNE WASN'T THE ANSWER. Based on the links you provided, it's clear I was correct. 'Disappointment in his progress' does not equate to 'Henne can't play.'.

But he can't.........

If he thought Henne was the answer..he would never have openly admitted his disappointmment...for Parcells to admit that was monumental. I'll agree, I was surmising from the disappoinment expressed that Parcells did not think he was the answer. But what is the difference, since the conclusion is justified by the results. Hey, you like the kid, great. I think he was a over-achiever in college, who will never be a star in the Pros. We disagree. Fine. that is part of life. I will leave it at that.


Very weak argument, Thurman Thomas wasnt considered an aweful pass blocker. Where in the hell you get that from?

You gotta post an article stating this! LOL........

Posted by: DyingBreed | May 03, 2011 at 04:45 PM

WHAT? LOL-I never even insinuated Thurman wasn't a good pass blocker.

I'm just speaking to the offensive philosophy of having your talented Running Back being involved in the pass game.

Henning just seemed hell bent on having backs blocking a lot.

I myself believe that in this day and age of pass happy offenses, with all the favorable rules and everything, that we should have our dynamic playmakers more involved in the passing game.



"FIRST OF ALL" Parcells has "OPENLY ADMITTED" anything. What part of "2ND HANDED" information dont you understand? LOL..........


Saying this and Im out. I agree it was very extremely headscratching why Henning didnt use Ricky and Ronnie more in the passing game. Both are fine recievers out of the backfield.

"Parcells hasnt "OPENLY ADMITTED" anything.


Parcells was known for getting into a players head in just the right manner.

He did this to Taylor and Simms all the time in NY. He did it to Keyshawn, I think it was, in NE, by calling him a her.

Did you ever stop to think this might have been another ploy by Parcells to try and motivate henne?

A parting shot to try and help out his protege and the organization as a whole?

I know I'm just speculating, but it has been said that SOMEONE needed to light a fire under henne's a s s.

I don't know if this true or not, but if it is, it would be CLASSIC Parcells!

I'll give you that. He has that M.O. At any rate, he's gone and the Dolphins are still our team..And we both want to see improvement. On that I think we can both agree.
PS...Fun talking to you.

Buster said, "You and others WANT to WILL Henne to be great. That is never happening. Period. I have nothing else to say on the subject."

Just another Nostradumbass. Buster put your crystal ball away. You're acting as if you're making some bold prediction when the reality of your statement is that there is a 50/50 chance. Right? Henne will either never make it in the Nfl or he will be like 100 other QBs that took a few years to develop. Most people are just saying they are looking forward to seeing if he can get better. That would obviously help the team. But I haven't heard anyone say "He will DEFINITELY be a top ten qb someday. On the other hand you are saying "He will NEVER be a top tier QB".

How the f**k do you know that? Answer,,,,,you don't, you're just guessing because so far you haven't seen it happen. So the safe guess is that it won't. But don't act as if "I'll prove you all wrong" when no one said he WILL be great. Do you understand? Stop rooting against your own players you putz. How about hoping he does get there instead of pissing and moaning?

Dying, I don't know if you're still here but that was an excellent point about Brandstater. Why draft a qb in the 7th when you have that type of qb on the roster all ready and he has had more time with the offense and in the NFL? Excellent point.

EXCELLENT football talk here today.

This is what makes this blog my all time favorite. Well.........that and ah, ALoco-LOL!

By the way, I hope we wear those little black decals with the number 88 on them this year and dedicate this season to Jim Mad Dog Mandich!

I want to hear him screaming from all the way up above:

AwwwwRiiiiight Miami!!!!


Buster, and just so you can stop with the false information Parcells is an old man and has had health issues as of late. He has lost 30 lbs in the past year and it wasn't from working out. He plays golf at Saratoga National 5 mins from my house. I met an instructor there who saw my Dolphins hat, told me he played with Bill a few times, and then said, "it's too bad he's not feeling well, he told me he just doesn't have the energy that he used to because of some issue he's dealing with".

So believe that a 70 year old man ran out of Miami with 1 year remaining on his contract because the QB he picked wasn't developing as fast as he had hoped if you want. But it's an incredibly ignorant stance to take.

I'm not pissing and moaning Jeff. I'm just of the opinion that the player can't QB in the NFL and be effective. And I also am of the opinion that the Head Coaching Experiment is a bust. We have an 8-8 Coach with a 8-8 QB. You don't like my opinion. Fine. But I have a right to express it. That is not pissing and moaning. I am just a realist. You are what your record says you are. But that is no reason to resort to calling me names, and tossing insults. I expect more from you as a person, nothwithstanding a fellow fan.


I don't think anyone can WILL Henne to get any better.

The crystal ball thing and the voodoo doesn't work either, I've tried them all....repeatedly.

There is something that I do think can help. Better offensive line play, a speed receiver to help draw coverage from Marshall and Bess and oh yeah, a running game.

The one thing I will give Ireland credit for is trying. Whether he made the right or wrong moves remains to be seen. He did however at least TRY to address the exact issues that needed addressing. In regards to putting Henne in the best possible position to suceed, Ireland gave it his best shot.

Did Ireland ask a potential first round pick if his Momma was a ho?

Yes he did, just last year.

Did Ireland just draft an acquitted Murderer from Montana?

Yes he did!

Who says you can't learn on the job? Ross put that noose around his neck and suddenly character concerns aren't such a big deal.

I don't care, as long as the ends justify the means!

Just the same, I wouldn't want to be another rookie having to argue with Wilson about which lockers we'll be using.

Just saying..........................

Odin good post to Jeff! Right on point!

Jeff, your 100% right. These are the same guys who would have thrown Drew Brees, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Joe Namath etc under the bus. FACT

Wallace played at Mississippi. Gates played at ACU. Good luck. Thomas is not fsst he ran a 4.6. There are D-linemen in the NFL that can outrun him in the 15, 25 , 40 dash today.
What a joke of a draft.
Ireland is DONE.

Good afternoon everyone, Whats the news today ?

I hope Marshall and Bess have adopted Gates as their new little brother.

They need to teach the kid everything they can and then just get out of his way. He hits full 4.3 speed by his second stride. Eat your heart out Teddy Ginn.

Bess and Marshall should get Sapp, Davis and Smith in to workout with them. Right off the bat they should be working on teaching Gates how to beat the jam at the line of scrimmage.

If Gates can learn this one thing quickly, he'll be our no. 3 receiver before the pre season even starts. He's that good.

Henne biggest obstacle just might be learning how to trust his receivers. We all know Marshall knows how to go up and get the ball. From the film I've watched on Gates, he does this extremely well also.

I agree that Mallet would fail in the current atmosphere in Miami. That very fact is an indictment of the current system. Miami should be the kind of franchise that is a class act, that drafts players, develops and retains them. We began that way with Joe Robbie and had a great front office for years but beginning with Jimmy Johnson the franchise began to degenerate into expediency and its current mediocrity. Ross seems willing to put money into upgrading his management (as evidenced by his willingness to pay big bucks for Harbaugh) and players. I am not convinced by Ireland but he could be good. I am less convinced by Sparano - who seems to have the Wannstedt disease of surrounding himself with weaker coaches than himself as a means of feeling secure. But I am really hoping that I am wrong and that Sparano and Ireland succeed brilliantly in rebuilding Miami. We will know by the end of the coming year whether they are moving in the right or wrong direction.

Wow. Lookie what I missed in a single afternoon!

Bunch of girls... "Did!"..."Did not!"

Look Henne isn't anything special (Pro Bowl! - that gave me a good giggle whoever said that...funny!). They will bring in a vet to replace or compete. If Henne does somehow start, he now has the line and the weapons (I assume they will bring in more weapons in FA, too). Thus he has NO MORE EXCUSES. With good protection and good skill players, he either gets it done or he is what he has shown us the last two years.

If they bring in a good vet (whichever one - but my faves are Orton and VY because they are young, good (see their stats - both have the "it" factor too), and won't cost a lot in trade value), Henne may never get the chance to show what he can do. I am good with that.

We have what we have in terms of front office and coaching staff. I think they are a bunch of buffoons but I am, as a true fan, ever hopeful.

(Example of extreme buffoonery: Not being prepared to hand out playbooks during the two days where the lockout was lifted and all teams had been given permission to do so)

Wallace played at Mississippi. Gates played at ACU. Good luck.

-Very deep and insightful. Jerry Rice played at Mississippi Valley State. Good luck indeed-Doh!

Thomas is not fsst he ran a 4.6. There are D-linemen in the NFL that can outrun him in the 15, 25 , 40 dash today.

-Emmit Smith wasn't fast either. If our O-line does their job, how fast will those D-lineman run lying flat on their backs? Say it with me: Football is a TEAM SPORT!

What a joke of a draft.
Ireland is DONE.

Posted by: you know who | May 03, 2011 at 05:45 PM

What a joke of a post. Come on Troll, you're going to have to do better than that-ROTFLMAO!

to the fins fans with the negative waves:


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