View Full Version : RealDriscoll's Miami Dolphins Draft Grade

04-29-2009, 11:10 AM
Grading the NFL Draft

It is utterly ridiculous to grade the NFL draft just a few days after it happens b/c we all know it takes years for us to truly grade the effectiveness of the draft. I noticed one thing this weekend and that is that Mike Mayock is head and shoulders above everyone as the “draft expert” and Mel Kiper just doesn’t cut it anymore. For the first time in my life I ignored ESPN’s broadcast and focused on NFL Networks which was a superior product from the information that I have gathered. I am going to grade on a scale of 1-10 with a complementary letter grade. There will be very few teams’ that receiver an A b/c the quality of talent just wasn’t there. Of course, the Dolphins are first. And for them I will grade every pick as every other team just gets an overall grade


The Dolphins had a very un-Parcells like draft. I was unhappy that we didn’t even sniff at Rey Maualuga even though he fell into Round 2 and of course the Brian Hartline pick is appalling.. I do not like the fact that we saw Tight End as a need and passed on James Casey, Conrelius Ingram, and Shawn Nelson. Let’s look at the picks….

Round 1 (#25): Vontae Davis Cornerback-Illinois Grade: B (8.6)

Vontae Davis might very well be the best corner in this draft but if he isn’t I know that he is the best fit for our team. Davis is a physical player who is not afraid to lay some lumber and his cover skills are very good. I said 6 months ago I though he was better than Malcolm Jenkins and I maintain that stance. The character issues are a concern but if Bill Parcells is willing to over-look them than I will as well. Davis will start opposite of Will Allen opening day and forward.

Round 2 (#44): Pat White Quarterback-West Virginia Grade B+ (8.8)

*This is one of the more interesting picks of the draft and I LOVE It. Pat White is a special athlete and one of the best football players in this draft. His versatility as a slash type player could devastate the league. When the ball is in this guys’ hands he is extremely dangerous. Our “wild-cat” offense took the league by storm last season and now with Pat White running the show it could be as dangerous as the Colts’ two minute offense. I don’t think this move was to give Henne competition as a full-time starter but it could be interesting as Chad Henne and Pat White could be the first duo of starting Quarterback’s in 2010. White’s ability to throw, run, catch, and his overall athletic ability just gives me goosebumps.

Round 2 (#61) Sean Smith-Cornerback-Utah Grade: A (9.3)

*I cannot believe we got this guy this far down the draft. I don’t think we wanted to draft another Corner this high but we saw Sean Smith sitting there and knew he was too good to pass on. He has Round 1 talent as he posses tremendous size at 6”3, great speed at 4.40 forty, and amazing ball skills. I think the new combination of Sean Smith and Vontae Davis will remind Dolphin fans’ of Surtain and Madison. I know it is early to state that but we got two of the best five corners in this draft and set our self up for a special secondary for years to come. Trading with the Colts also acquired us another 5th Round Pick. Good move.

Round 3 (#87): Patrick Turner-Wide Receiver-USC Grade: C (7.4)

Patrick Turner was a good pick in my opinion. He has tremendous size, solid hands, and really seem to pick it up at the Senior bowl. He had a solid Senior campaign and is that big red-zone target that we lacked. I think Patrick Turner is one of those guys who could be a better pro than collegiate player.

Round 4 (#108): Brian Hartline-Wide Receiver-Ohio State Grade: F (5.5)

I wondered if Ted Ginn Jr. had any influence on this pick but why would he? I saw James Casey, Cornelius Ingram, Shawn Nelson, Terrence Taylor, and Jasper Brinkley on the board and thought that we had our eyes on Brinkley but Brian Hartline? I do not even think Hartline was an above average pro and it means someone is on their way out of Miami. Ernest Wilford will be axed which is obvious but is Brandon London on his way out as well?

Round 5 (#161): John Nalbone-Tight End-Monmouth Grade: D+ (6.9)

I know he is a stout blocker with solid hands by my problem with the pick is that we should have looked at Tight End in Round 4 and stolen one of those big-time players. With that said I hear the Nalbone has a very solid skill-set and should be a lock for the roster.

Round 5 (#165): Chris Clemons-Safety-Clemson Grade: B+ (8.9)

I love this pick as much as any in the draft. Yeremiah Bell and Gibril Wilson are our starters but the injury bug has bitten Bell before and it’s time to groom someone. Clemsons’ is severely under-rated and is every bit the player that William Moore and Patrick Chung are. We got Clemons in Round 5 which is an absolute value. We came into the day with one of the weakest secondaries in the league and we leave with a solid, young core to look forward to.

Round 6 (#181): Andrew Gardner-Offensive Tackle-Georgia Tech Grade: B (8.4)

Solid depth . I think this kid has starting potential at Right Tackle. I saw mocks with him in Round 3-4 range. He is strong kid with a good mind. His feet are pretty solid and we needed depth at Offensive Tackle. I never thought he’d last to Round 6.

Round 7 (#214): JD Folson-Linebacker-Weber State Grade: D- (6.1)

Developmental linebacker at best. I doubt he even makes practice squad. Not a fan here.

**My overall grade for the Draft is a C+ (7.8) when averaging the grades and dividing by the number of draft picks. I am glad to see that our secondary was really improved with three very good players. I think we drafted two corners who will see a lot of action in their rookie year and ultimately leave free-agent acquisition Eric Green as our Dime back. I think Nathan Jones is a lock for our 5th corner position and that Jason Allen’s days as a Dolphin are officially over. I like the pick of Pat White b/c we can bring the spread offense into the NFL and Pat White is a tremendous athlete and an even better football player. Patrick Turner to me could be a steal in this draft. His size is impressive and his production was solid. I mean his numbers were better than Darrius Heyward Bey who was drafted #7 overall. The Chris Clemons and Andrew Gardner picks give us quality depth and eventual starters. My question remains as who we are going to groom as out next big outside linebacker? Do we have that much faith in Cameron Wake? Could the Dolphins resume talks with Jason Taylor about a return to Miami? Are we going to wait and see what the Chargers do with Shawn Merriman? the glaring hole at Nose Tackle also concerns me... Maybethey really like Paul Soliai after all?

As College Football season approaches there are two guys that I am locking as 2010 NFL Draft possibilities for the Miami Dolphins...

Jerry Hughes-DefensiveEnd/Outside Linebacker-TCU
Ndamukong Suh-Nose Tackle-Nebraska

04-29-2009, 01:39 PM
It appears you like most of the picks...but yet you only grade it a C+?

I agree with you..it's far too early to grade these players...but I happen to see where they were taken and their possible out come, a B.

04-29-2009, 03:34 PM
Are we going to wait and see what the Chargers do with Shawn Merriman?

If this was/is the case it still wouldn't have hurt to draft another OLB to develope and act as insurance.

04-29-2009, 04:21 PM
Nice post. I still wish they would have taken a OLB, it wouldnt of hurt to have one as a back up plan like 3rdandinches said.

04-29-2009, 04:26 PM
fishy pete,

I averaged the grade I gave each pick and divided by the # of picks we had. The Brian Hartline picked brought us down big-time.

04-29-2009, 06:48 PM
Im in shock that u grade White ahead of Davis:rimshot:

04-30-2009, 09:34 AM
I think Pat White will revolutionize our offense

04-30-2009, 06:42 PM
fishy pete,

I averaged the grade I gave each pick and divided by the # of picks we had. The Brian Hartline picked brought us down big-time.

IMO, with his special teams ability, Hartline has a better chance to make the team than Turner does. I see him covering kicks, perhaps a gunner on punts, could also return punts or kicks. Hartline was OSU's special teams player of the week several times and a lot of that was due to covering kicks. He is a lot quicker than most people give him credit for, especially when one factors in the standout performance on the 3 cone and shuttle at the combine.
I think it is going to be tough for either one to crack the top 3 on our WR depth chart, so if only one makes it, it seems to me the best special teamer would have an advantage.
Also, there is going to be tough competition for a roster spot from two of our UDFA WRs. Chris Williams was ranked the #1 return specialist in the draft by Pro Football Weekly. Brennan Marion was also very impressive in college and probably wasn't drafted due to his recovering from an ACL tear in December, but he still was able to recently run a good time in the 40.

05-06-2009, 01:58 PM
Patrick Turner is making the team. Maybe both will but Turner is for sure. Turner spot is much more secure than Hartline's.. We invested a 3rd Rounder on him in a Bill Parcells draft. If anything I think Brandon London and Ernest Wilford could see the axe.

Awsi Dooger
05-07-2009, 12:59 AM
I noticed one thing this weekend and that is that Mike Mayock is head and shoulders above everyone as the “draft expert” and Mel Kiper just doesn’t cut it anymore. For the first time in my life I ignored ESPN’s broadcast

That doesn't compute to me. You claim to base it on the weekend, but say you ignored ESPN. Kiper is on ESPN. He may have been absolutely wonderful while you focused elsewhere. :lol:

I realize it's fashionable to laud NFL Network and rip ESPN. If our draft picks had been made by the Bills, Jets or Pats, it would be fashionable and mandatory here to ridicule them as wild reaches.