This is my first attempt at a post so bare with me here. There is great deal of heat going on between us phans and I wanted to make sure to remind everyone, that despite our opinions, wishes, hopes, and relevant draft ideas, ole’ Bill has a recipe in place and our banter is unfortunately reserved for the court of public opinion; though it’s damn fun to argue and speculate!
Call me psycho if you will…But in order to understand anything fully we must get under the hood, sometimes to the brink of insanity. This is my attempt to better grasp the genius behind the Parcell’s draft strategy and validate
Parcell’s has a formula, no doubt. His success from place to place is undeniable. His formula is deep seeded in honor, pride, the basics, and surrounding himself with football enthusiasts. His model coaches and players are die-hards who understand sacrifice, team, and work ethic. All others will not be tolerated. You don’t win with track athletes and athletic directors, you win with football players. You also win with team chemistry which is easy when everyone is on board. So what’s his secret? (insert picture of Parcells in lingerie here)
How important then is the draft, since most of Parcell’s turn-arounds had started with poor teams and high draft picks? Also consider that he brings these draft pick and free agents with him wherever he goes too. Because I really don’t know exactly how much input Bill had at each team, I am giving him full responsibility for the successes and failures. Basically, I looked at each draft and each pick since 1983 to see what their overall value was and to also see if Bill struck gold or missed out completely. I had uncovered a few surprising trends and interesting MOs.
1: 1st Rounders:19 picks: 14 legitimate pros or Probowl types: 4 decent contributors: 1 bust: G Adams, GIA 85’
I call that success !
2: Early Rounds: Similar success in the 2nd round as well, with maybe only 4-5 real "busts" in 20 years!
3: GEMS: Many people see Parcell’s drafts as having great success in the late rounds but actually that is not so. The success is that he DOESN’T MISS in the first three. Rarely, like any team, you will find that occasional late round gem. Some include:
D Reisnenberg 6th 87’
M Guyton 8th 89’
M Stover 12th 90’
M Lane, 6th 94’
A Vinatieri, 7th 95’
J Ferguson, 7th 97’
J Ratliff, 7th 05’
Donald Thomas, 6th rd 08’ ?????
4: Drafting for Needs! The flow of Bill’s drafts directly relate to the teams needs and very rarely does he ever take a reach outside of the team’s needs. In fact, there are drafts where he addresses the same position or need with several picks.
83: back to back TEs
84: C Banks and G Reasons
86: first 6 picks Defense (3 DLine) next 3 picks WR
87: 3 of first 4 picks WR- Igram, Baker, Turner
88: Top two picks O Line- E Moore, Jumbo Elliot
89: Top two picks O Line-B Williams, B Kratch- Two Safeties- G Jackson and Guyton
95: Two CBs: T Law and J Hitchcock, Two RBs C Martin and Phiyaw
97: 2 of top 4 DLine: Terry and Day (huh? and who?)
99: First three Oline, 5 overall! R Thomas, D Loverne. J Wiltz, JP Machado, R Young
04: Two of top 3 OLine: J Rogers, S Peterman
05: 6 of 8 Defense- 1st two DLine: D Ware, M Spears (Canty, Ratliff)
08: 2 of top 4 D Line: Merling and Langford.
There’s usually always a run on his team’s needs…. sometimes unprecendted like in 1999 going OLine with 5 picks!
5: Big Misses. There were some, few, instances where Bill flat out missed. In some cases a great player was available but instead passed up because he did not meet a need. Most of the time, when Bill did miss so did the rest of the league. In other words, if Bill went QB in the 3rd round, a gem may have been found in the 7th. Not his fault of course. When I speak of a miss, I mean with 20 or so picks and typically with the top three picks. Some notables:
83: Terry Kinard S, 1st: passed on Marino in a year he benched Simms. J Browner and D Green were overlooked.
85: Stacy Robinson WR 2nd: Andre Reed
86: G Lasker DB 2nd: V Glenn, T McTyer
E Dorsey DE 1st, J Washington DE 3rd: missed C Haley, P Swilling, C Simmons, K Fagan
88: Eric Moore G 1st: R McDaniel
89: Brian Williams C 1st: M Stepnoski, S Wisnewski
93: Chris Slade LB 2nd: M Strahan, Chad Brown
96: Terry Glenn WR 1st: M Harrison, E Moulds, T Owens, J Horn
97: D Ward WR 3rd: D Mason, M Robinson,
L Johnson RB 4th: Priest Holmes
98: D Boose DE 1st: L Little,
99: R Thomas G 1st, D Loverne G 2nd: E Mulitalo, J Saturday
03: T Newman CB 1st: T Polamalu
05: M Spears DE 1st , K Burnett LB 2nd: J Tuck,
06: B Carpenter LB 1st: M Kiwanuka, D Ryans,
Surprisingly not much missed!! Even most of the players, who were selected, were serviceable in comparison to the relevant all-stars that had been missed.
6. Setting the Tone. While researching what was “missed”, I was drawn into the fact that most of the "star players" ,that had been overlooked, were simply not of the position Bill was trying to fill. This is a testament that he truly does stick to his guns and draft what HIS TEAM really needs, not what Mel Kipper Jr. feels is the best value.
Above all the micro-trends and things that we could not understand, which became relevant or irrelevant during each of these drafts, I had noticed that Bill’s draft appeared to ride against the current. I first noticed that once a particular “run” went on any given position, where teams fight for the scraps, Bill is busy securing the best available elsewhere. Many times, while teams fight over the remaining “top” corners, QBs, and pass rushers, other keys positions still remain very top heavy with talent; positions like ILB, TE, C, FS, K, and guys who can play Special Teams. Here is where Bill gets some bargains and his “lifers”, if you will.
Most interestingly is that, not only does Bill draft against the current, he also tends to spoil the runs on particular positions. Maybe they go hand in hand, but this trend is hard to explain. Let’s say you see a run on offensive players and QBs and WRs in particular start coming off the board. All of a sudden, here comes Bill and he takes a free safety. What happens time after time is that teams begin to avoid whatever position Bill had just picked. It really is hard to explain and you can get a better flavor for what I mean if you check out a few drafts for yourself. Everyone runs from Bill!
7: Draft Day Maneuvers: What I don’t know, is when Bill had traded up or down for certain picks. This is a huge dunno, and can validate his successes and failure for sure. I did seam like he always traded for late picks, and that could explain his successes with special teams.
So, what are Bill’s (Miami’s) needs based on:
1) Win now
2) Immediate Playoff Run
3) 2 year plan
4) 3-5 year plan
We have to be careful here, because the only thing that points to choice one is consistency from Chad Pennington, J Ferguson, Porter, and Ricky, all which can be replaced, and by supplementing them with FAs. As such, we need to keep focused on #3 with the draft and sprinkle in #2 with some FA help.
Many drafts can be predicated off of the free agent market, but that is not necessarily Bill’s blueprint. Everything must be scrubbed and built ground up at some point. So, keep the blinders on when it comes to free agents and look at the 2010 Dolphins as legitimate contenders and a perennial playoff powerhouse.
IMO: In the meantime, 2009 Draft Needs:
3) PassRush (DE or OLB)
6) OT (will move up if Carey leaves)
8) RB or LB depth
IMO: Depending on where the “talent” lies in the 2009 draft, look for a run on defense, likely on DBs or defense in general. Above everything, as I had already pointed out, these draft picks are building blocks and Bill will be sure to bring in high character guys who are football players first and foremost.
Free Agents I like: (There’s not much out there)
1) DT A Haynesworth
2) CB N Asomugha
3) DE T Suggs
4) WR TJ Housyerdaddy
5) OT J Gross
6) OT Tra Thomas
7) CB J Miller
Just a little light reading to start the off-season!
Let the predictions, prognostications, pontifications, and prophecies fly!
Go Dolphins. 2008 AFC East Champions