With all of these asinine NFL Draft grades articles spewing onto the internet we thought it’d be a more conducive exercise to take a look back at Miami Dolphins draft grades from 2012-2014 and laugh hysterically at the ice-cold predictions that never came to fruition.
I fully understand the mock draft frenzy. While I hate them and all draft analysis — nobody knows anything and the draft is a game of roulette — I, like you, still gobble them up.
But draft grades? It’s like assessing a president’s presidency just after he or she gets elected.
The draft classes of 2012-2014 were chosen between because by now we know whether those draftees have panned out or not, unless we’re talking about Ryan Tannehill because we’ll be having the “is he good discussion?” for at least another five years.
I’m going to grade the drafts as well because we actually have enough data to responsibly do it. Jeff Ireland Era, here we come.
2012 NFL Draft
Grade today: B
If we re-drafted today, there’s no question Miami would take Russell Wilson over Tannehill but every NFL team passed on Russ multiple times. I’m not gonna hold that against them. Tannehill was a solid pick while Jonathan Martin was an obvious bust.
Olivier Vernon, in round three, was one of the team’s best picks in the last decade considering he’s an impact pass rusher. The fact that player is no longer in Miami is devastating and so very Dolphins.
In Tannehill, Vernon, and Miller you have legit three impact players in the first four rounds, which is a solid draft in my mind.
The cold takes:
- “Jonathan Martin may prove second-round larceny,” wrote the USA Today. We all know how Martin’s story played out.
- NFL Network’s Mike Mayock called Martin a “first-round talent… he’s so good with his feet and understands angles. I believe the Dolphins just got themselves a starter on either the right or left side.”
- Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller gave Miami a ‘B-‘ while describing the Tannehill pick as “a reach” and declaring Martin would “step in immediately at right tackle, fixing the revolving door.” He also described Michael Egnew as “good.” Egnew lasted a season and change before falling out of the league with seven career catches to his name.
2013 NFL Draft
Grade today: F
Unquestionably Jeff Ireland’s worst draft, 2013 was headlined by ultimate bust Dion Jordan at No. 3 overall. What’s incredible is not one player from this class remains on the team.
Miami’s best pick this year was fourth-rounder Dion Sims, who’s a solid tight end but nothing special. The takes were beyond freezing.
The cold takes:
- Mike Mayock compared Dion Jordan to Jason Taylor, Aldon Smith, and DeMarcus Ware! “This young man, I think he’s got the potential to be the player that I compare him to, which is Jason Taylor, who ironically played for the Miami Dolphins. I also think he looks like an Aldon Smith, and if he puts on 20 pounds on that 6-foot-7 frame, one day he might be as good as a DeMarcus Ware.”
- Also on the NFL Network broadcast was Steve Mariucci saying Jordan “is going to be dynamite” and Michael Irvin labeling him a “game-changer.”
- Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole gave Miami the only “A” in the AFC East, writing Ireland’s “past two drafts have been strong despite being very different. Last year, Ireland was in a much more desperate situation to get a quarterback, but stayed put at No. 8 and still got Ryan Tannehill. This year, Ireland wasn’t as desperate, but was aggressive in getting Jordan, the consensus pick as the top pass rusher in the draft.”
- NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks considered Jordan the best pick in the AFC East that year, writing “he has the potential to wreak havoc off the edges like a young Jason Taylor” and could “quickly could become a star in the AFC East.” Brooks gave Miami a ‘B’ grade overall.
- Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke gave Miami a “B+ for this vile draft class, pointing out he’s “very much on the Dion Jordan bandwagon” and there “might be four or five legitimate starters here.” Yikes.
2014 NFL Draft
Grade today: D
Yes, Miami got themselves an extremely consistent and productive talent in Jarvis Landry in Round 2 but outside of that pick there were a TON of nobodies.
Even first-rounder Ja’Wuan James is a very average football player today, ranking 32nd among all offensive tackles in 2016, per Pro Football Focus. If that class was re-drafted today, he’d fall out of the first couple rounds.
The cold takes:
- Billy Turner was an ‘A+’ pick, per Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton: “Turner is the ideal fit at right guard for the zone-blocking scheme. He brings quickness and strength that allow him to reach the second level of blockers with ease. There’s little doubt that Turner will be able to start for the Dolphins in year one.”
- While CBS Sports columnist Pete Prisco’s team grade of ‘C’ wasn’t bad even in hindsight, his evaluation of their second-round pick was laugh-out-loud worthy: “I didn’t like the pick of Jarvis Landry in the second.” It was their only quality pick of the draft.