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Improbable postseason charge would kill draft order status

The Dolphins are on two very interesting and divergent courses and, frankly, I'm torn about which is better.

On the one hand this team that is flawed and has lost more than it has won and doesn't have an offense that scores consistently is still not out of the playoff hunt. That's right, hard as it is to believ (even to them), the Dolphins are still mathematically alive for the postseason.

Now, various things have to happen, not the least of which is Miami has to win out and that includes a victory at New England where very few teams come away with a victory late in the season.

Beyond that, the Dolphins need help in geatting the right combination of losses from Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and others.

[The Bengals must lose their final two games at Pittsburgh and home against Baltimore. The Steelers must win at home against Cincy and lose at home to Cleveland. And the Jets have to lose again.]  

It is so improbable even players are talking about this season as one in which the team didn't accomplish its goal of making the playoffs.

"We didn't do enough," linebacker Karlos Dansby said Tuesday in speaking to the Miami Dolphins Touchdown Club.

And against this possible but improbable circumstance we have the NFL draft order.

You see, with every victory they add in this season that will likely end at New England, the Dolphins sink in the draft order. Last week the FIns were slated for the No. 11 overall pick in the first round. Then they beat the Jaguars and now Miami is slated for the No. 13 overall selection in the first round.

Every bit of success hurts Miami's draft standing.

Do you see the irony?

Win and you might draw closer to a playoff berth that might happen but probably won't. But if the team does win, the cost is a superior draft standing, which obviously hurts the chances of picking an elite player.

Dolphins fans should be particularly sensitive to this situation because many last year advocated a "Suck for Luck" mentality that entailed rooting for the team to lose so that it could get an elite quarterback such as Andrew Luck.

Turns out the Dolphins had too much success late in the season after starting out 0-7 and wound up with the eighth overall selection.

On the other hand, the Dolphins haven't tasted the playoffs since 2008. So perhaps some of you are more than willing to sacrifice the chance to have a Top 10 draft pick in exchange for the possibility -- however slight -- that the team might get into the postseason.

Where do you stand?



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At 11 me miss out on all the "surefire" (ha) blue chippers anyway. I like going a bit lower and picking up one of these great, but statistically flawed(too short, small, inexperienced) WR that are coming out(Austin, Patterson, Bailey, et al.).
To go into next season with some momentum, especially if it's because Rt17 and some of the other young players play well, is worth a lot.

At 11 me miss out on all the "surefire" (ha) blue chippers anyway. I like going a bit lower and picking up one of these great, but statistically flawed(too short, small, inexperienced) WR that are coming out(Austin, Patterson, Bailey, et al.).
To go into next season with some momentum, especially if it's because Rt17 and some of the other young players play well, is worth a lot.

That's WE miss out, duh.

I get all the logistics.

But once the whistle blows and the ball is kicked off, I have NEVER been able to root against my Phins.

We gotta lose these last few games.

Always playoffs for me

You play to win and let the chips fall where they may.

When the draft rolls around, you deal with it. Besides, look at all the talent that gets passed over every year. Russell this year, The Patriots Tight End a year ago, etc, etc.

If you're good, you can find talent in the 1st and 2nd rounds rounds, regardless of where you're picking.

Playoffs, please make the playoffs that would be awesome. Worry about the draft later. I just want to make the playoffs.

Mando why do you focus on this stuff? We never take the right guys in the draft anyway so what the heck does it matter. True fans will want to win every game no matter what. Let's beat Buffalo and win at New England just to see the Bellicheat and Brady and the others who think they already winning the SB.

The chances of us getting an elite player is probably slim anyways with Ireland doing the picking , who was the last elite player he drafted, can't think of one right. i am not talking about lineman either I am talking abut someone who puts points on the board , you know since our offense seems to have problems with that.


I almost never comment on your blog but I have to say this is the dumbest article ever. Players always play to win.

The momentum by finishing the season strong, having Tannehill show growth and improvement are worth far more than draft spots.

Wake , Bush, and Marshall are the best players in the 5 years Ireland has been here that he brought in and one is gone and another is on the way out the door even though he is better then the other 2 running backs , I don't see how next season will be any different than this one. I hate to be negative but if you take Bush out of this offense that is already not very good or pretty much sucks or below average what will you be left with? Jeff does not have a good history of drafting offensive playmakers, this is just a fact, like Egnew, know what I am saying

Gotta go for win .....losing for puck status is so .....pathetic....win ...win .....win.....I can not have not ever will never root against my Miami dolphins .....no f+#$? Way ........

"Just win baby" the lat Al Davis

I'm a bit upset. I realize that winning in NE will not be easy, to say the least. But to practically count it as a loss already burns me. Go for it all against Buffalo and NE and let's see what happens.

Besides, great players can get drafted late in the 1st round ... a certain #27 pick in 1983 comes to mind.

This is a pretty awful article...firstly players play to win and winning more games shows progress. Which I don't think understand. Secondly the draft next is week in the top 10 but has good depth, which makes this article even more ABSURD. It's actually better to be drafting later this wayyyyy more value.

You always play to win and let the draft picks fall where they may. There is never any guarantee that high round draft picks will be successful. There is still free agency where the Dolphins can improve the roster.

I'm sorry, but the answer is go with a Win always. Don't root for a loss because MAYBE you'll get a rookie that works out. Better to keep the momentum going! And yes, I even like our chances against the Patsies.

I actually understand getting into better draft position. Especially in the later rounds, but simply can't root for them to lose.

How about going into Foxboro and beating NE so they have no bye week??!!!

I want the Dolphins to win. Even though our chances of making the playoffs are slim, they are real. Here's what we need to make it: the Bengals need to lose to the Steelers and to the Ravens (I can see that happening). The Browns must beat the Steelers in their last game (ok, this is a tough one, but it is possible). The stinking Jets must lose one of their final two games (they will probably lose both). And we must defeat the Bills and a Patriots team who are already qualified and won't want to lose any players due to injuries. I think we really do have a chance here.
Now as far as the draft order, it doesn't matter. Just two years ago we passed on Dez Bryant and drafted a defensive linemen. We will have a chance of drafting an elite player regardless of our position in the draft, but even if we had a top five pick I wouldn't trust these guys to pick the right player.
Bottom line: LET'S GO PHINS!!!!

This franchise seems cursed. They'll stink again next year.

Mark Sanchez loses his job but Irescum keeps his? WTF?

Yah, draft order is a pig in a sack; winning is winning. The Phins need to make the fans believe they're going places. They need to make THEMSELVES believe it. Remember spoiling the Jets in the last game of 2011? Good times.

Draft picks with Ireland are useless so winning doesnt hurt them.

As Dolphins fans we sit here every year wishing, dreaming, hoping for a playoff run. This year, even though it would take a ton of help, we actually have a reason to watch the team in December. I say that we win out and if the football gods see fit we will be in. If not, then at least we had a very good season considering what we had this year (i.e rookie qb, new coach, new coordinators, loss of elite wr, etc.) Either way the future looks bright and I am not only proud but excited regarding this team again.

Armando, I dont want to see this team in the playoffs. It would just be another 62-7 slaughter. Better to get some good picks and make the team competitive.



this is an annual but pointless discussion across the NFL......players arent going to just shut it down on the field, and cant because of the risk of injury--most want to win and compete......so they play to win, sometimes do, and however it affects the draft position, so be it-you can find good players everywhere......Dalton and Kaepernick were taken after Ponder, Gabbert and Locker, and look to be better--Revis went mid first round, not top 5....and we could all think of several more, that were taken after supposedly better players--non issue.

There are a ton of elite defensive linemen, and the best WR's grade out late-draft anyway. We could draft late and do just fine.

Play to win.

I say win now. Draft is a crap shoot. If we had the number 15 pick last year, we still would have gotten Tannehill as he wasn't on most teams' draft boards. Bottom line: whoever we're interested in probably is not who other teams want. That's always been the case in Miami. Right, Ted Ginn, Jr.?




I hate the stinkin Fish and their cheap numbskull owner and classless GM. The more games they win now the worse they're future will be so I'm rootin for em to win.

The draft order is not something fans can control. So it's a complete waste of time even worrying about the draft order. We'll get whatever pick we deserve. The team has to be playing for the future by playing the young guys and getting them experience. The team has less than a 2% chance to make the playoffs. That's a sucker bet if I ever heard one.

Play to win, and if we win out says a lot for the team we presently have. We have been competative in most of our losses. We have beaten some good teams. There is some hidden talent in the younger players we have right now. Picking high in the draft does not guarantee quality. Go for the wins. Not only will that boost the morale of the players and coaches but the fans that have had nothing to cheer for in a logn time can hold their heads high.

Hire Bill Polian, until then get used to worrying about draft orders.

Win games. Not a question.

To be or not to be. With so many starters hurt, we have an opprtunity now to play the younguns and of course that might, might, mean more mistakes and less chances to win our remaining Games. I say, let it run freeely and let the chips fall where they may.

Not Stars, but you can get good Players from the 11 to 15 picks. Besides, we have a buch of 2nds and 3rds picks, that if it is deemed necessary we might use to move up in the 1st Rd.

Making the calculations, you will pay ~ 22 cents daily , that's to read the new Miami Herald Plus. That's the good news. The bad news is that they are asking for a whole years payment,$69.75 if you decide to keep this digital publication after a trial run. I see no options to continue to use miamiherald.com if I wish.

Theres a small problem called the Patriots that make this senario impossible. That bunch scored 24 points in the 4th quarter on SF. Their OL has two 6'8" monsters protecting Brady along with the rest of the freaks on that stud Oline. I have to say Belicheck and Kraft know they have to protect the franchise in the #12 jersey . And will probably have Gronk back to boot. So lets quit dreaming and get ready for our draft position!!! GO PHINSSSS Well unless 1 Touchdown and 3 FGS will beat them lololol

Win n pray. They already aren't going to be drafting in the top 10. So really doesn't matter that much anyway.

Oh and even if we do "make" the playoffs what will we do then?? We dont have the personnel to advance so whats the point

With a genius like Jeff Ireland picking the players, it doesn't matter if we have the first pick in the first round or the last pick in the 7th round. In fact, Ireland is such a master evaluator that if he had both picks, the last pick in the 7th round may be the better player.


Oh, Mando, please don't tell me you drank the Kool-Aid? The lose for better Draft position strategy is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard in my life. Let me re-phrase, if it's for the FIRST or maybe even SECOND pick in the Draft, that's one thing, but the difference between 11 and 13 or even 15, 16 is pretty thin. Almost meaningless. Examples are EVERYWHERE:

2009, 25th pick, we took Vontae Davis. #26 pick Green Bay selected Clay Matthews. Here's who else was on the board when we picked: Hakeem Nicks, James Laurinaitis, Rey Maualuga, Jairus Byrd.

2010, we WOULD'VE had the 12th pick (we moved back in the wisdom of our FO). Here's who we COULD'VE had: Earl Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mike Iupati, Maurkice Pouncey, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant.

Keep going, ok, 2011, #15 and Mike Pouncey. Of course within some spots of him there was: Ryan Kerrigan, Nate Solder, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick.

The point I'm making is if you're not getting the 1-5 pick, then a few spots up and down really doesn't matter. Then it comes down to talent evaluation of your scouts and GM. And making the RIGHT decisions. Yes, some is need vs. BPA, some is scheme-oriented, but you need to be able to spot PLAYMAKERS if you want a successful Draft. And that can be done in spot 1 or spot 31.

One must remember that the draft is mostly vapor. Teams, on average, after keeping players on their rosters 4 years or so, retain 1, sometimes 2 guys that are productive from any given draft. The rest mainly wash out of the NFL.

Who will be the 1 or 2 guys from the Dolphins draft this year that will be with the team in 2015 -when the team is hoping to be deep in the playoffs?

And the draft is a crap shoot even with high picks. A team can waste years trying to develop top picks.

A good GM has to use any means available to obtain top players for his team's system. Trades, free agency, Canadian League, etc. play just as big a part in the development of most good teams. Just ask the Patriots, Broncos, Saints, 49ers, Texans, Seahawks -all have been in the upper half of all NFL teams in acquiring free agents over the past several years.

yeah, y not.
as long as philbin has a say in who the jackaxx pix tho.

With how the CBA was structured it makes it less of a burden for teams to trade up. Just because we will pick outside of the top 10 doesnt mean we couldnt trade down to pick up an seemingly elite player. The salary wouldnt kill just seeing what a team would want. I mean 5 picks in the top three is nice bait if they want to trade to pick a certain player.

Posted by: ericatl | December 19, 2012 at 08:33 AM

are you talking about the same Pats team that the Fins held to 23 points the entire game?
I realize Gronk wasnt in there but Hernandez was and he is more of a stand up hybrid type TE. This team shows up for tougher opponents. I think the D feeds off of it. Too bad they dont show up that way for all games but it is what it is right now.

As much as I'd love for them to have a top ten pick, I'd rather them chase the playoffs. Might be improbable but draft pics can be just as iffy.

new England will probably want to lose the last game of the season if it means facing them in round 1 of the playoffs. They would probably want to face the fins rather than the colts.

As has already been said, when you are drafting in that area, not much to be lost or gained by either losing or winning. Better to end on a positive note, even if it is a victory over New England who will be resting their starters. Besides, a good GM should be able to pick up decent talent at that spot and hopefully we have a good GM by then...

didn't the p/o stress kill sanchez down the stretch?

marino. 1-10 in rd. p/o's
and zero rings.

fifi, last qb to be at the qb in a p/o win thanx 2 l.smiths 100000 yds.
that jackaxx fifi threw 3 int's in 5 min span in the game.
13 seasons past.

Marino hasnt played in 10+ years.. who cares..

come on Mando..."you play to win the game".

Last season was different...I was firmly entrenched on the Suck for Luck train and for good reason.

This year is different, we now have our franchise QB and winning is EVERYTHING!

Screw the draft order...if we had a GM who could pick talent there is no difference in picking #11 or 21 or even 31.

Last year the Bengals got Dre Kirkpatrick, CB from Alabama at #17.
The Pats got Dont'a Hightower at #25 and the Susperbowl Champion Giants got RB David Wilson with #32.

Just Win Baby and forget about draft order from this point forward...does anyone really think Bill Belichick really worries about his position in the next years draft?....answer: HELL NO!
He's to busy WINNING!

make the p/o and start moore.

There is 1 little thing in the way for us beating NE and maybe qualifying for the playoffs. It's called the Buffalo Bills. concentrateconcentrate

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