The NFL draft is less than 60 days away and the Miami Dolphins need to have a great draft to put us back on the right track, but what is considered a good draft? What is considered a great draft? I think most people's opinion of each would vary.
Me, I think that I am a lot harder to please than most. What I consider an average draft class several others would consider a great class. As the old saying goes "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".
What I would like to hear from everyone is what do you think constitutes a successful draft class? To me, drafting guys who end up being starters is a great place to start. The problem with that is, if the team was terrible to begin with the players that are drafted may just be the best of a bad batch of players. Just because they are starters on a bad team doesn't make them a good draft choice.
A rule of thumb is that it takes two to three years to know what you really have in any given draft class. That would be true on a team that has talent on it. If your team is devoid of playmakers, the impact of a draft class should be more immediate. The first thing that has to happen is impact players have to be taken. You can't fill your roster with players that are average and do nothing but add depth to your roster. Those type of players are a dime a dozen.
In the first three rounds teams should be drafting this year's starters or a replacement for a current starter they assume they will need to replace in the near future. A miss here can be a disaster to the rebuilding process of a team.
The new rookie wage scale lightens the burden a little bit. When rookie wages were out of this world bad teams got worse if an early pick didn't pan out. The guaranteed money would just eat the team's cap, and they wouldn't be able to get rid of a bad player's contracts.
In rounds four through seven a starter can sometimes be found. A lot of late round gems have become All Pros. Normally these rounds are used to fill roster spots for depth and special teams players.
Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, the Miami Dolphins have done a very poor job of drafting in the past several years. And I'm not just talking about Jeff Ireland. Randy Mueller wasn't much better. The Dolphins have lacked anything that resembles a playmaker for quite some time. The Ted Ginn Jr experiment failed in the end, but I give them credit for at least an attempt on that. Ronnie Brown tried to be a playmaker, but he just wasn't. I couldn't tell you the last playmaker we had that we actually drafted.
There have been playmakers available in the last few drafts, and why we choose to go in a different direction I have no idea. I still don't understand the Daniel Thomas pick when Torrey Smith and Randall Cobb were both still available and we were in desperate need of a playmaker wide receiver. But, we did what we did. There are several other examples just like that but I'm not going to reference them all.
I'm just not sure whose feet to lay the blame on this. Ultimately, it's the general manager's job to make the right picks, but teams pay a group of scouts hundreds of thousands of dollars to put the proper research in the general manager's hands so he can make the right choice. Quarterbacks, head coaches, and general managers get all the praise and glory when teams win, so I guess it's only fitting that they get the blame when teams lose.
So, with that being said I think we have to look at our general manager and ask "has he made the right moves to get us the playmakers to make us competitive?" My answer would be look at our record and tell me if something between 6-10 and 8-8 every year is doing a good job. I would have to say no, but that's just me.
I know I covered several points, but ultimately the question is this: does anyone think that the players we have drafted constitute us getting a passing grade and what actually constitutes a passing grade?
So, I will go back to my opening sentence: what is considered a good draft and what is considered a great draft? Please someone tell me! After the draft I will write a follow up article where everyone can give me their grade for this year's draft.
Thanks for your time and I look forward to everyone's opinion.