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Free agency gives the final view of drafts

One thing the annual foray into free agency does -- particularly once the early mad rush to the best players and biggest contracts ends, as it has this year -- is it allows time for reflection on past drafts.

It is my belief that you judge a team's draft once that draft class hits free agency, normally four or for some players that sign longer deals, five years later.

And doing that exercise we already know that six years after the 2008 draft, which was the first undertaken by the Bill Parcells-Jeff Ireland-Tony Sparano administration, we can judge that undertaking as an unmitigated disaster.

No player from the 2008 draft class is left on the Dolphins roster today. That means that no player taken that year was judged good enough to keep through a second contract once he hit free agency. Talk about no value out of a draft.

Left tackle Jake Long at No. 1 overall was let go by Miami last year. Long, a good player, proved to be not durable -- which I remind you is a critical factor in judging players. He'd finished two consecutive years on injured reserve when his contract came up last year and the Dolphins were wary of that lack of durability so he went to the Rams. And then he finished his first season in St. Louis on injured reserve.

Well, you know who this year's signature free agency signing is for the Dolphins?

Left tackle Branden Albert, who was taken No. 15 overall in the same draft that Long was picked No. 1.

The 2009 draft was a much greater success for the Dolphins but only in the sense they have one player from that draft on the roster today.

Wide receiver Brian Hartline, a fourth-round pick in 2009, is the only player the Dolphins deemed worthy of keeping long-term through a second contract. First-round pick Vontae Davis was not, second-rounder Sean Smith was not. Second-rounder Pat White and third-rounder Patrick Turner didn't even make it out of the their first contracts with the team.

(The Dolphins kept fifth-rounder Chris Clemons through a second contract but it was a one-year, fill-a-gap kind of deal and we all know Clemons is done with the Dolphins now.)

That brings me to the 2010 draft ...

First round pick Jared Odrick is still on the team as a sometimes starter and contributor. But his first contract is not complete yet. His deal expires after the coming season so it will be interesting to see if the Dolphins deem him worthy of a second contract.

Second round pick Koa Misi, a starter, got a second contract from the Dolphins. No, he's not a playmaker. He's not the pass-rusher the team billed him as when it drafted him. But, hey, judging against the return the 2008 and 2009 draft offered, Misi is a stud! (Yeah, not good.)

Interestingly, the Dolphins this offseason were very interested in signing guard Zane Beadles as a free agent before he went to Jacksonville for more money. Beadles was picked five slots behind Misi in 2010.

Guard John Jerry has not been offered a contract by the Dolphins and has been told to test the market, which is a huge indictment on him considering what a significant need offensive line help is for the Dolphins. Jerry was a key figure in the workplace harassment scandal involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito and his days as a Miami Dolphin are likely over unless the Dolphins become extremely, extremely desperate to find some guard help.

So that third round pick was a waste, especially when you consider ... yes, it's coming ... that tight end Jimmy Graham was picked 22 slots after Jerry in the third round.

Indeed, San Francisco picked Pro Bowl linebacker NaVorro Bowman 18 slots after the Dolphins picked Jerry. Tennessee picked Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner and Baltimore picked former Pro Bowl tight end Dennis Pitta one round after the Dolphins picked Jerry.

The Dolphins picked A.J. Edds in the fourth round in 2010. He never played for the team. The Cincinnati Bengals selected Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins the very next pick after Edds.

The 2010 draft is often shown to be something of an embarrassment to the Dolphins because of the players they took and the players listed above on which they passed. But compared to the disastrous 2008 and 2009 drafts, this one was actually a success.

That's because when all is said and done at least two players, and perhaps three depending on what happens with Odrick, will have been judged valuable enough to keep through their second contract: Misi and safety Reshad Jones.

I realize two and maybe three solid-but-not-great players staying on the team isn't exactly great return value for an entire draft. I suppose that's the reason the Dolphins are a mediocre team.



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Parcells and Ireland are out of the league, Sparano is a line coach in Oakland.
That is also telling about those 3 guys.

Armando doesn't have to convince many people here. No end of draft mistakes made by Ireland and crew.

Miss me yet?

Where is Ireland now anyway? Still unemployed.


It is interesting that the media and the fans are praising Hickey for a job well done. When he hasn't really done anything.

Luckily Ireland built more than 75% of the roster and Hickey doesn't have to do as much.

I also agree. We don't need to keep all the Cap Space. I understand having a Good $10M cushion. Cause when they have to sign T-Sizzle for an extension most of the Cap room will disintegrate. And we don't want to look like the Ravens in a couple years. In Cap Hell for the next 4-5 Years.

I hate to say it (No I don't). Ireland would have done a better job.

The Dolphins need to get back to watching the tape and answering simple questions about potential draftees. Are they making plays? Were they productive in college? Stop trying to outsmart the other teams looking for acorns. Perfect example - Zach Thomas. Made tackles all over the field in college and did the same thing in the NFL.This is how the successful teams draft.Draft players from big schools who were productive against good competition in college. Stop taking part time players or specialists (Dion Jordan).

Well, to be fair, Long was a very good player who made the pro-bowl every year with the Dolphins.

Granted -- Mando's point about durability is relevant.

And granted -- given the general public's complete inability to judge the stats-free world offensive line play, OL probowl selections are entirely a name-recognition contest that Long - a first overall pick -- was destined to win.

BUT -- when healthy, Long was a very, very good Left Tackle. Letting him walk and handing over the LT to an soft, emotionally-unstable, and physically incapable headcase like Jonathan Martin was the real debacle.

But Long? The Dolphins big mistake wasn't that they drafted Long. It was that they let him go.

Dashi, Ireland had no understanding of picking the right player in free agency or the draft. Look at the track record and you can see it throughout his time here.

Failbin = why waste my time pretending this loser will be competent. The administration and owner or incompetent and a complete joke. We will be very lucky if we can maintain an 8 win season. That's will be on Thill's shoulder. And I belive he needs alot more help then Failbin can ever provide. Failbin is a two faced scumbag that has no inkling to what it takes to be a leader.

owner *are incompetent

rdubs from last blog...


All three men responsible for those drafts are now gone so that should really close the book on the job that they did assemmling talent. Give Hickey a chance. I like the moves he has made so far. Let's see how he finishes FA and what he delivers in the draft.

or tip kisses!

That s exactly it Mando, the Dolphins have a canyon full of cap space because their 08-10 drafts were so bleh...

I would even argue that the only two guys that should eb signed long term are Odrick and hartline...

Misi is a two down linebacker who we were in a hurry to keep at decent money for some reason.

Jones had a meh season and we would've got a better deal if we waited. If things hold to their current ways ... we will be releasing him once his guaranteed money is absorbed through the cap.

What Mando fails to point out is that EVERY team passed on Jimmy Graham until the 3rd round. Just like EVERY other team passed on Bowman & Pitta.
It's not just the Fins who passed on these players. Come on Mando, get real.


This isn't directed at you. But I find it a little laughable when people say where is Ireland now. No GM gets hired that quick. Unless he takes a demotion and becomes someone else's scout.

Now, If the next off season comes and Ireland still doesn't have a job. Then go on and rag him.

I tell you this. Ireland wouldn't do what Farmer is doing in Cleveland. Or what the other clown is doing with the Bucs.

Ireland is still better than half the GMs in the NFL.

Ireland didn't get fired. He just didn't want a demotion. Plus, he was already going to get paid. Whether he works or not.

How would you feel if you are the GM that hires the Coach and in 2 years they are telling you, now you need to take orders from him.

I would do the same thing Ireland did. Take my money and spend 1 year with my young family.

Hickey has only signed 1 player. Starks and Grimes are Ireland guys. And the 1 player Hickey did sign. Ireland was right. We didn't need to waste a 2nd for B.Albert.

Picture if we did waste a 2nd for Albert last season. HOW BIG WILL THE HOLE AT CB LOOK THIS YEAR? NO DION JORDAN. NO JAMAR TAYLOR. We also would've overpaid Albert last year. Albert was seeking $10+M last year.

The 2009 draft should be an indictment of the coaching staff(s), not the "grocery picker". Vontae Davis has turned into a very good CB, one of the top rated CBs in the league last year, and Sean Smith had a very solid season as well. But the inability of the coaching staff to develop these players while in Miami, or actually playing to their strengths, made them underachieve while they were here.

The real story here is top draft picks performing better with other teams. When this happens, it is a coaching problem, not a draft problem.

I also think it is unfair to judge 3rd and 4th round picks with 20/20 hindsight. If it was so obvious that Jimmy Graham, Geno Atkins, Navarro Bowman, etc., were going to be such studs, why did every team in the NFL pass on them at least 2 or 3 times? Also- that Jerry pick was somewhat on Sporano and his staff as well, as they coached him at the Senior Bowl and "loved" what they saw.

Ireland's draft busts are the reason the team has been horrible to mediocre the past few years. Lets see how his last two draft classes play out. If they work out the way 2008, 2009 and 2010 did this team is doomed for another 2-3 years.

Draft > FA
Most of us knew that already.

Playing the results of the draft and pinpointing future pro bowlers who were taken after Miami picks is a selective excersise. Everyone missed on Jimmy Graham. The draft is largely unpredictable.

Mark, we agree that Shazier and Borland are the best options. I'm not sure if Shazier can move to the middle. If he can't we would have to hope Ellerbe can improve drastically and at least Shazier would be an upgrade over Wheeler. Another MLB I like is Max Bullough, but he is a day 3 project/depth type pick.

I agree with you on needing another O-lineman or 2. I don't want the team to be stuck in that box of taking a lineman round 1. Hickey did a good job of getting good value in his signings. I would be happy with free agency if he gets another lineman, even tho we didn't really make the big splash.

And it looks like Daryl Smith is gone.

Players that I would draft at 19 at positions of relative need. No particular order here really.

Zach Martin
Xavier Sua-Filo (would be better to get him in the 20s after a trade down since he is a guard, but will be very good.)

Players I like a lot that I think will be gone: Clowney, Mack, Barr, Robinson, Lewan, Matthews, Gilbert, Watkins, Evans.

I also like Cooks, Beckham, and Dee Ford a lot, but I can't see it being a D-end or WR in round 1 with our depth at those positions.

Dashi, I would think any Gm who wanted to keep his job beyond one season armed with the cap space we had would ensure he would get two very good players to the o line very early on.

I mean, it can still work out, they could get Penn or Brown or Strief and that would be fine. But he's playing a dangerous game here. If he misses on these guys then we are going into the season with two rookies and a journeyman on the line and that won't work.

people will bring up Webb-Sims. ok fine, all we need to do is draft two linemen that will get to 10 pro bowls between them to equal that feat. Anyone want to want to try that??? That was a once in a lifetime type draft for one position...

people can bring up Chicago having two rookies on the line that were awesome ... ok, Jordan Mills was a 5th round pick. Do yu know how lucky you have to be to get a 5th round pick to be a day one starter at RT??? they fluked it off..

Normally that formula won't work.

The whole league will be looking at our o line this year, not just us... it was an unmitigated disaster in more ways than any unit ever was in the history of the league. And this Gm is taking a laid back see what shakes out approach to it? I got to admire his confidence at least... I would've overpaid by a few mill just to get it sorted away with quality players and be done with it fast...

Posted by: Dashi | March 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM

who is this frigging retard?


I find that funny also.

Didn't Ireland get B.Marshall, K.Dansby, R.Bush, M.Moore and every other player that people blame Ireland for letting go. Before letting them go, he brought them in.

Ireland has picks the Best WRs of any GM in Dolphin History. Name one other GM that Acquired 2 Superstar WRs(Marsha and Wallace). And even Hartline. When it is all said and done. Hartline will be the Best Dolphins WR Statistically.

That is the truth.

Who found the 2 Best QBs since Marino to wear a Dolphin Uniform. T-Hill and Henne.

I would even go as far as saying he found the 4 Best QB since Marino. Penny was better than any QB since Marino at the time. And even though I can't stand him, I would take M.Moore over Fiedler or D.Huard.

I understand some of you never liked Ireland. Personal Feelings, Same thing as Philbin. But Ireland didn't get fired because of performance.

yep. this is the reason, plain and simple, black and white.

look at last years draft. the best pick was a freakin kicker

To be fair though, if we didn't change coaching staffs .. Vontae and Sean Smith would still be here so that 09 draft would've been pretty good. But our DC only knows zone which neither of those two were drafted for...

are you freaking joking with this "article?"
in retrospect you give me a team, any team and i can make them look terrible!!! 4 years after the draft!!

RG3 was gotten by trading away the highest value of picks in the history of the draft!! he was benched! gee, what a dumb move the redskin. they could have had a Super Bowl winner with their 3rd round pick without giving away anything!!!

the pats drafted a murderer TE in round 4 one pick later the could have taken a non-murdering dennis pita at TE, or even better 2 full rounds later antonio brown!!! that would have certainly been nicer for brady last year they may have made the Super Bowl with some one like that to throw to. what a dummy BB is!!!!!

Agreed lousy drafts overall
How do we fix it
We need to draft based on performance not potential
Dion Jordan is a perfect example, great potential but not that great of a performance in college plus not in a tough division
We need to draft proven performance

Dez, is yo momma a ho? den weez can't picks youze

Ireland = complete scumbag

Who got Wake and O.Vernon?

Who signed Grimes and D.Patterson?

After getting rid of 2 Decent CBs, Ireland drafted, V.Davis and S.Smith.

Who drafted Pouncey?

Who drafted Jake Long?

Yes, Ireland missed on some picks. But he built the current roster from scratch!!

Hickey doesn't have to rebuild squat!! Or fix the Cap, TWICE!!



Ireland's negotiating prowess is only equally matched by his incompetence on draft day

Murderer Hernandez was still a better pick than AJ Edds... that one blew my mind...

I think Ireland was about average, maybe slightly above. He got set back because of having to switch coaches. I hope Hickey can and will be better or we will be doing this all again in a year or 2.

Who in the he!! drafts Pat White in the second round? are you kidding me, he should of been fired before the end of draft day

Very telling post. Thanks Mando.

Parcell's brought in Wake, Long, and Penny, Garbage man Ireland didn't

Who is saying Jordan wasn't a good college player? he was a great college player... Chip Kelly wanted him bad for his Eagles.... just because our DC has no freakin clue how to use this guy doesn't mean he isn't a good player.

Nobody made more plays per snap on our defense than Dion Jordan.

No, I would've picked Lane Johnson instead of Dion Jordan at 3, but that doesn't mean Jordan isn't a good player.

It's our DC who thinks Phillip Wheeler should play more than Dion Jordan...

pat white was 100% bill parcels pick. he wanted a dynamic guy to run the wildcat and be groomed to be QB. also, i doubt pat white would have made it out the 2nd round. so no chance of getting him in the 3rd round. by the way, did you see him playing in the redskins system last preseason. he actually looked pretty darn good.

if your giving Ireland credit for bringing in FAinbin then you're contradicting yourself when you blame the coaching staff. Ireland and Failbin are both scumbag losers

This blog is exactly why I continue to harp, "2014 is year two of rebuild, after 6yrs of Parcells/Ireland".


I blame Ireland missing on so many LBs on Mike Nolan. That has always been M.Nolan downfall. Look at the Falcons LBs since Nolan arrived. Garbage and more Garbage.

If the Phins wouldn't have passed on Tom Brady in the 16th round in the 2000 draft, Miami would've won 3 Super Bowls since then too. And if your Aunt had balls, she'd be your Uncle. The Dolphins have the same problem the Chicago Cubs have...they draft inconsistent players and player development has been pathetic for the past 15 years. Jonathan Martin will most likely go to SanFran and become a pro bowl OT!


Hickey is trying his damnedest to get Strief. he wants to stay in N.O, but Barry Jackson said Hickey has called multiple times. I think Hickey isnt impressed by these guards and tackles out there. I have confidence in Benton on the OL front, that is why I am willing to be patient. If Turner was our OL coach, I would be nervous as phukk!!

I don't think it is fair to judge last year's draft yet. As Mando said, let's wait until those guys hit free agency.

Who is to say Dion Jordan won't be a stud? Oh, he didn't play last year? Well, is that because he wasn't any good or because the coaching stinks?

When he was on the field, he made plays. I saw him running stride for stride with Gronk, no problem. Where was that when we played Jimmy Graham?

He also played LESS at the end of the year than in the middle of the year. What the?

beating Joe Thomas one on one in his first pro game

forcing the game sealing INT against Atlanta

Tracking down Cam Newton from behind like a lion snares a deer

Forcing Jones' pick six against the Ravens

Covering rob Gronkowski stride for stride down the field...

While only playing a fraction of our snaps...

Yeah, not a good player... sheesh....


Agreed. Hickey is trying to get Strief but he isn't going to grossly overpay. He wants to get him at the right "Value".

Posted by: Dashi | March 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM

That is how it goes Dashi. Look at Harbaugh in SF, I am not questioning his abilities as a coach but his is doing it mostly mostly Singletarys players.

rdubs, if what you say is true, we are beyond phukked... he could've got Anthony Collins easy to bookend with Albert and Pouncey and we wouldn't be picking O line for the next five years - that's value.

Instead we will spend 2 top picks this year, one next year and can kiss drafting any BPAs until 2016 ... all because he wanted to save $3m against the cap when we are $27M under the cap... genius...

also with this moronic article,
i think we had a big need on o-line when we took jerry. much bigger tun TE. so jerry over a basketball player probably made a lot more sense in that draft room that year.

4 gm's looked pretty dumb choosing QB's ahead of marino. only denver made a pick they could live with, but denver didn't pick elway they traded to get him.

I do actually agree with MIT @ 1218 if they end up doing that. I still think we find someone good for the right side before the draft.

And to the Dyckass Clown,

Dashi already said you are a non factor and a waste of time.

Keep it moving you Home-O!!

I no longer feel Safe or Comfortable Blogging with you around, Specially after you expressed your true feelings towards Dashi last night.

You are a Degenerate Sexual Predator Who Stalks Little Boys(Dashi).

No I don't you to play with my pee pee.


Ha, look at Mando's tweet. I've been too easy on Hickey...

They don't have $27M in cap space, they have $36M...


Ireland is out of the league at the moment but is still in the Fins payroll. With the job stress the guy has had, and his family sit(autistic daughters), I would take a prolonged break myself.
He is probably financially set for life even as us ham & eggers here criticize his incompetence while sitting at work.

I also agree that it is as much coaching as his fault as many of his picks are still in the league, some playing very well.

Still glad we made a change though.

Phins are running out of cap room fast. Not for 2014, but for 2015. We have $105M committed to the top 15 players. We'll need to re-sign Odrick, Pouncey, Delmas, Clay all in 2015. We also have no RT, RG, LG on the roster. So we have ~35M to sign the 4 mentioned above, the 3 empty positions, and pay the remaining 30 players on the 53 man roster. You do the math.

I say this not out of panic, but as a realist. Ireland overpaid for several players last offseason (LBs and WRs mostly). For those of you who think that we can afford a Revis or Wilfork type signing, we cannot. If we were to sign another top tier player, we'd have no choice but to dismantle parts of the roster next offseason. You only put your team in that position if you believe you can contend for a title this season. Anyone here believe that?

Ultimately, we need more contribution from our draft choices in their first 4 years in the league.


Easy......... :)


I know how it goes.

You can say Belichick won with the Players P.Carroll left him also. Cause after those players left, Belichick can't win a Superbowl.

It shows how Objective people really are. They want to look at things there way.

I am not saying Ireland is the Best GM in history. But he is the most competent GM the Fins have had in a long time.

Redskins released C Will Montgomery.
Montgomery, 31, had a $3.425 million cap number. The move saves the Redskins $1.925 million versus the cap, but they'll eat $1.5 million in "dead money." Montgomery has started the last 48 games for the Redskins and is a well above-average run blocker. He should draw interest on the open market. LG Kory Lichtensteiger will be the Redskins' center in 2014


Agreed Dashi, agreed.

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