Dolphins

2011 NFL Draft: Grading the Miami Dolphins

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Miami came into this draft needing to add talent to the offense. They need more than a final piece to the puzzle, and they could not enter the draft swinging for the fences for that homerun pick. They didn’t take that approach when they took a center/guard with their first pick, but the way they’ve approached this draft has been odd.

First, there was no reason the Dolphins should not have traded back in the first round. I expect they gave it a shot, and the Mike Pouncey pick isn’t a bad one given the need for interior linemen, but it’s disappointing Miami could not pull off a trade that would send them back a few spots to grab a guy like Gabe Carimi, who as Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post wisely pointed out could have played guard for a few years before moving to tackle.

Miami didn’t have to grab a second rounder by trading back from 15th, but getting another third rounder would have been very helpful as the Dolphins look to add a running back and more offensive linemen. Again, Pouncey should be a good addition to the offensive line, but he’s not a player Miami absolutely needed to grab. It’s even possible the Dolphins could have traded back a few spots and grabbed Pouncey, although the Patriots may have nabbed him at 17. 

One of the most curious moves in this draft was trading a third, fifth and seventh rounder to move ahead roughly half a round to grab running back Daniel Thomas. Maybe Miami saw something in Thomas that leads them to believe he’s worth the trade, and maybe they believed he would not have been available at #79 overall, but for a team that needs to add depth across the offense, it’s odd that they did not wait to pick up a running back with their third round pick even if that player was not Thomas.

I’m not saying Thomas will fall flat, and I could very well end up eating crow for questioning whether he’s worth giving up two picks to upgrade your third round pick to a second rounder, but I seriously question whether the Dolphins would not have been better off waiting on players like Dion Lewis, Kendall Hunter or even Jordan Todman, who are all still on the board.

Miami sure could use that fifth and seventh rounder. For a team that needs to add depth on the offensive line, pass rush, secondary and could even stand to add a receiver, the way the Dolphins have handled this draft has me scratching my head.