There are several factors to consider when grading the Dolphins recent draft. The “experts” have given us a grade of a B or B-
in most estimates. Dolphins fans in some surveys gave us a C. We at Dolphins Truth feel that a B is a fair grade.
Let’s take a brief look at each player:
Ja’Wuan James in the first round is a good, safe pick. We need linemen, Desperately. Some fans yelled and
whined that we could have traded down and drafted James later. Perhaps. Maybe. Or another team might have grabbed James, leaving us with nothing. You take the best guy for what position you need, and in this case, it was James. A fine pick. Grade: A
Jarvis Landry in the second round was our first head-scratcher. Pundits were praising his athleticism and ball-catching ability, and that is great. But the question is: Do we really need another wide receiver? And do we really need to spend a 2nd-round pick on one? Initially, our answer was no. But it raised some issues. Mike
Wallace and Brian Hartline are locks. Gibson will be pack to play the slot. That leaves Rishard Matthews as the 4th receiver, and a few other guys from the practice squad. While Matthews showed some promise last year, he dropped a huge pass in the last Jets game that pretty much cost us the playoffs. Perhaps Philbin has that in mind. But we suspect the main reason for drafting Landry is Bill
Lazor. We suspect that Lazor has a plan and that he convinced Philbin/Hickey. That could be good, exciting news.
We are so desperate for quality linemen, so there has to be some reason for drafting a player in a position where we didn’t need anyone, right? Then again, we did the same thing last year and drafted an unneeded DE in Dion Jordan, who promptly became a third-string benchwarmer. Grade C+
Billy Turner in the 3rd round is a good pick, because we got back to filling our need: linemen. It’s a bit of a risk because of his college play. Why does Dennis Hickey think Turner will be a good pro, when he wasn’t even good enough to play at AAA College level? Time will tell. The bottom line is that we would rather draft an AA lineman who is needed than an AAA Wide Receiver that we don’t need. Grade: B+
Walt Aikens in Round 4 is a pick that shouldn’t be necessary, but it was. Choosing a DB became necessary because the other DBs (except for Grimes and Finnegan) just aren’t good enough. Will Davis, Jamar Taylor, and Don Jones showed little, if anything, last season. Not sure who’s to blame for all this wasted talent…is it Philbin’s fault for not developing them, or the Personnel Department’s fault for over-estimating their skill? You would think that if you pick 3 decent CBs, one of them has to turn out to be good, right? You would think so, but it wasn’t the case. And that forced us to grab a DB in the draft. Aikens looks like he could fill in well for the departed Nolan Carroll.
Arthur Lynch in Round 5. Bye bye, Michael Egnew. Bye bye. Grade: B
Jordan Tripp in Round 5. We feel the Dolphins “need” at LB was over-emphasized. Yes, Wheeler and Ellerby and
Misi did not excel last year, but we cut them some slack. They are fine players who could easily rebound in their
second year all together. Jordan Tripp has potential, but he is not a better LB, right now, than anyone we have
on the roster? Why draft a LB who isn’t better than any of your current guys? Grade: D
Matt Hazel in Round 6 is another sure-handed WR who will not get the ball thrown to him if Tannehill is on his
back. Can he catch a ball better than Mike Wallace? Of course not. A 6th Round WR from a tiny college will not
make the difference on the Dolphins, unless he comes in and dominates and earns his keep. Does Hazel have the
goods? Time will tell. Grade: C+
And finally, Terence Fede in the 7th round. Apparently, Hickey and Philbin feel that Cameron Wake and Olivier
Vernon and Jarred Odrick are not good enough, so they wasted a pick on someone at a position where we are already
strongest and with great depth. A wasted pick. Why not take a chance on some giant offensive lineman in Round 7?
We really wanted to give this draft an A, but the fact that Miami only targeted two offensive linemen and wasted a
pick on a DE who will be cut forces us to be objective.