MIAMI DOLPHINS (2010 record: 7-9, finished 3rd in the AFC East)
5-Year NFL Draft Review: The past 5 years the Dolphins have had some hits and misses. Their lack of success lately can be linked to bad draft choices over this time frame. Most of it happened before Bill Parcells arrived in 2008, since then they have followed a plan which is to build from the ground up and start with the trenches of the offensive line and the defensive line. Now would be the time to start focusing on drafting skill position players to round out this team.
2010- Jared Odrick- DT- Penn State: The Jury is still out on this prospect. He broke his right leg early in the 2010 season and was put on injured reserve. Was drafted to play the RDE position in Miami's 3-4 scheme. When he is healthy has the body type and abilities to play inside in the 4-3 scheme or the 5-technique in the 3-4 defense. The defensive line rotation should be solid next year with him in the mix.
2009- Vontae Davis- CB- Illinois: He had ups and downs moments in his rookie season. This past season he showed how good he could be when he plays within himself. He is aggressive and physical and can matchup with any WR big or small. He is the main reason the Dolphins secondary unit is on the rise.
2008- Jake Long- LT- Michigan: Jake was the first overall pick in 2008, and since then has been nothing short of exceptional for this team. He has been to 3 straight pro bowls and named to the All-Pro 1st team in 2010. If you were constructing a building the first thing you would do is lay down the floor then build everything on top of it. Jake Long is that floor for the offense and if he is not there everything falls down. This was the best pick in the last 5 years by the front office.
2007- Ted Ginn- WR- Ohio State: Ginn had superior speed and was gifted at returning punts and kickoffs, but he could not catch the ball consistently enough and didn't have the size or strength to get off of press coverage. He ended up being a draft bust. This was a major miss by the front office considering they had other needs that could have been met. They passed on MLB-Patrick Willis and TE-Greg Olsen who have had better success than Ginn and would have filled a team need.
2006- Jason Allen- DB- Tennessee: Allen had all of the physical tools to be a good NFL pro. The mistake was the franchise trying to turn Allen who played safety in college into a corner. It is easier to go from CB to safety than vice versa. Usually the CB has lost a step or two and is transitioned to safety. There is reason he was playing safety because he couldn't cover anyone on the outside. After 4 years with the team he was released in 2010. This was another bad selection and still today they are looking for a starter at the free safety position.
Future Outlook: The Miami Dolphins have had good success with 2 of their last 3 1st round draft selections. Jared Odrick their 2010 1st round draft selection is still in question because of a season ending injury. The main reason Miami has not been a consistent playoff contender is because of bad drafts and free agent acquisitions that occurred before Bill Parcells and his staff arrived. In the 2011 NFL draft, Miami needs to concentrate mainly on the offensive side of the ball. The running game production fell off this year due to bad interior offensive line play. The departure of G-Justin Smiley and C-Jake Grove really set this unit back. They need to make this upgrade a priority because there will be no running or passing game without it. They also need to find a deep speed threat at WR to complement receivers Brandon Marshall and Davonne Bess. Teams doubled Marshall pretty much all season and let them have the underneath pass receptions, Bess had career highs of 79 catches and over 800 yards receiving. A speed guy would open things up tremendously. One other thing would be to find a tight end with speed and athleticism to also compliment TE-Anthony Fasano so they could attack the middle of the field. Kind of like what the New England Patriots did last year by drafting Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Players who should be in their sights in the 2011 NFL draft: G/C-Mike Pouncey, WR-Leonard Hankerson, WR-Titus Young, C-Stefan Wisniewski, TE-Rob Housler, and TE-Virgil Green.