After posting a blog earlier today regarding our Dolphins’ colossal 4th quarter meltdowns, it left me wondering… “what if?” What could’ve been different if our idiotic GM had drafted wisely, even as recently as this year? Would it have made a difference?
Let’s take a gander and see.
1st Round – Ireland chose C Mike Pouncey. A solid choice however, his impact has been minimal. Quite honestly, Richie Incognito filled-in admirably last season and presumably would’ve been able to do the same this year. WHAT COULD’VE BEEN: Drafting a quality starting QB of the future (if not present). I stated in a previous posting, that I truly believed that Andy Dalton (CIN) was the most “NFL Ready” QB in this year’s draft, and he’s proven me correct (5– 2 as a starter)! Drafted in the 2nd Round (35th overall), he would’ve been available to Miami, even if they’d traded back to the bottom of the 1st Round or top of the 2nd Round to get him. While he doesn’t have the gaudy stats of Cam Newton’s, his win total eclipses Newton’s in a heartbeat. Isn’t that what matters (winning)?
2nd Round – Ireland chose RB Daniel Thomas. This was Ireland’s most solid pick, and I honestly agree with it wholeheartedly. When healthy, this workhorse back is the “real deal” and will produce for years to come.
3rd Round – No Pick. WHAT COULD’VE BEEN: Trading up from the 4th to the bottom of the 3rd could’ve yielded S Chris Conte (3rd Round, 93rd Overall Pick - CHI); a starter for the Chicago Bears. While inexperienced, is proving that he can play above the level of our current FS, and will only improve as his learning curve improves.
4th Round – Ireland chose WR Edmond Gates. While a legitimate blazer, he has yet to prove his speed translates into the “deep threat” he was imagined to be. WHAT COULD’VE BEEN: By trading up into the 3rd to grab Chris Conte, Miami would’ve most likely dropped to the bottom of the 4th Round, but could’ve still landed CB Davon House (4th Round, 131st Overall Pick- GB). While not a spectacular CB at this juncture, he would provide quality depth and could be an ace on Special Teams.
5th Round – No Pick. WHAT COULD’VE BEEN: Ireland again had opportunities to trade up from the 6th Round into the 5th or even may have acquired additional picks by trading back in the 1st round by selecting Andy Dalton. Had he done so, he might’ve landed someone like TE D.J Williams (5th Round, 141st Overall - GB) or S Ahmad Black (5th Round, 151st Overall Pick - TB). Either would be an upgrades at their respective positions, and would provide immediate youth and depth.
6th Round – Ireland selected FB/TE Charles Clay. WHAT COULD’VE BEEN: Drafting OLB D.J. Smith (6th Round, 186th Overall – GB). Hybrid Clay has sparingly been used this season and is clearly not what they envisioned him to be for the offense. D.J. Smith is a proven tackling machine and is currently buried in the Packers depth chart. Imagine what a sure tackler would’ve added to the Dolphins lackluster Defense.
7th Round – Ireland chose both DT Frank Kearse and DB Jimmy Wilson. WHAT COULD’VE BEEN: Depth at DT is necessary, however, adding immediate play makers on a talent depleted team is mandatory. TE Ryan Taylor(7th Round, 218th Overall - GB) was also available, and should’ve warranted the pick here. CB Jimmy Wilson was a okay depth pick, so I wouldn’t argue with it too much.
So there you have it Dol-Fans! If GM Jeff Ireland had imagination and creativity, this is what our Draft line-up could’ve looked like:
QB Andy Dalton (Starter, Bengals)
RB Daniel Thomas (Starter, Dolphins)
S Chris Canty (Starter, Bears)
CB Davon House (Back-up, Packers)
TE D.J. Williams (Back-up, Packers) or S Ahmad Black (Back-up, TB)
OLB D.J. Smith (Back-up, Packers)
TE Ryan Taylor (Back-up, Packers)
CB Jimmy Wilson (Dolphins)
This would’ve significantly upgraded and solidified the entire Roster, while adding two additional picks. Infusing quality talent, youth, and depth is the cornerstone for building a successful NFL team. Here’s hoping our next GM, will have the vision and foresight you lack Mr. Ireland.
Go ‘Fins, Go!