I'm looking at our projected starters, and seeing a lot of FA help, which means draft picks who have not worked out.
On D, we have Grimes, Marshall, and Patterson at CB, Ellerbe and Wheeler at LB, and Wake and Starks on the DL. On O, there is Wallace, Gibson, Keller, Cog, Clabbo, and maybe Lewis and/or Leach. That's around half our starters, and pretty good moves by Ireland.
However, gotta look at what "coulda been" if draft picks worked out.
A few examples are VD and Smith at CB, which would have given us another $10-15M on the cap. Clay, Egnew, and now Simms and Miller at TE in place of Keller @ $4M. Add in others if ya like.
That's another $15- 20M we would not be paying if some of our draft picks worked out. The past two drafts appear to be much better but, have to be proven or, we will be looking at FA, and mediocrity for years to come.
Having home grown talent is more that money saved in FA. It adds stability to the franchise, which we are sorely lacking. It adds familiar faces to the franchise for Phans, and kids growing up to be Phans. It adds to players knowing and trusting each other, which turns into better team play, and more wins.
In the NFL, you win with play makers, and I cannot remember the last time we drafted one (not counting Soliai, Long or, Pouncey). Out of all the draft picks, over many a moon, you would think that we would have gotten at least one or two by dumb luck alone but, not a one. There is no reasonable explanation.
Now, maybe the odds are catching up with us. Tannehill, Miller, Jordan, and/or maybe a TE, WR, CB have the potential to be play makers 9along with Jones), and make us forget the past. That would be very special.