With the 28th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select..
Jared Odrick, Defensive Tackle, Penn State University
I was half asleep when this pick was made, and was definitely put to sleep after it occurred. I would be lying if I said I wasn't mildly (for lack of a better word) disappointed with the pick at first glance. Alas, everybody makes predetermined judgments based off of very limited substance, and this was my doing just that.
After having read all of the comments I knew were coming from the Phinsider Phaithful, I became upset with how quick some people are to judge a pick a "waste." I mean, come on people, it's Thursday night, part 1 of 3. In April for crying out loud! There have been a mere 32 players taken, and this pick was a waste? Jared Odrick, not to mention Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, and Tony Sparano, is the reason we have our (even better than before) 2nd round pick back .
So shut up and listen to why you're absolutely wrong if you hate this pick:
- Size: Jason Ferguson and Jay Ratliff, two of Bill Parcells' masterpieces at NT, and those two are 6'3", 310 lbs. and 6'4", 303 lbs. respectively. Sure, Odrick isn't 6'3", 360 lbs. (Kris Jenkins), 6'3", 345 lbs. (Jamal Williams), or 6'4", 354 lbs. (Terrence Cody), but keep in mind, Vince Wilfork is only 6'2", 325 lbs. Odrick is considered a "tall, lanky" defensive tackle with plenty of room for bulk. The guy could put on 15-20 pounds of muscle and fat and become a space-eater quick. Even then, he'd still likely be quick enough to disrupt the run up the middle and get to the quarterback on some plays. Don't just assign this guy to defensive end automatically, but then again, it would be even better if he stayed that way.
- Style: We have a new sheriff in town, and his name is Mike Nolan. We still have "in-the-trenches" guys leading this team, and Nolan brings the versatility of a 3-4/4-3 hybrid. Worst case scenario: we don't draft or sign a traditional space-eating, fat nose tackle, Odrick has the motor and will to play a very similar style nose as a Ferguson or Ratliff. That's the worst case. Best case, we do manage to grab Cody or Joseph or Thomas, etc., and Odrick can complement Starks and Langford to become the most dominant defensive end rotation in the league in the 3-4. Conversely, on 4-3 situations, Odrick and/or Starks could easily play inside while Merling and Langford man the outside.
- Value: Two things stand out at me here. First off, if you're the Miami Dolphins and just had the free agency period of your franchise's history, you can't go and blow all that money to pick a bust in the first round. Jared Odrick is one of the safest defensive linemen not named Suh or McCoy (I have reservations about the latter, but hope they're incorrect; I love the kid's make-up) in this draft. He was mocked to go as high as the top ten at one point, and mocked to the Dolphins at twelve at another. What did we do? Trade back 16 spots, pick up the 40th overall pick (three better than originally, so the Marshall trade becomes cheaper), and add some depth at ILB/ST. And we still managed to land the same player being mocked to us at our original spot, and mocked even higher otherwise. How can you argue that? I'm not going to use the term "reach," because it's barely even a real word to me, but would you rather Miami improve an area that can always use improvement? Especially with the hybrid defense being implemented? Or would you rather take a player not rated as high on the Dolphins' draft board and miss out on some clear value, just because there's a more dire "need" at a few other positions? I quote that because, hey, we're not arranging the defensive gameplan, and we don't directly evaluate these guys on the field and in the locker room. For all we know, we were just getting by last season, and this was actually a position they were looking to upgrade. If that's the case, and I think it was, we just got a steal by adding Odrick and 40 overall.
- History: How did the Jets fare when they lost Kris Jenkins for the season? Their backup nose is about 6'3", 325 lbs. Odrick could hit close to 320 lbs. fairly easily after all is said and done. The bigger point here is, they didn't lose much after having lost Jenkins, because of the strength of their line. If they can send players who can rush the passer, take on some double teams, and win some points of attack, they don't desperately need Jenkins to eat people. Their talent at LB and their secondary helps, but once again, we're not done. The natural development of talent allows us to make this pick, and everything else I've noted above justifies it rather well.
Call me crazy, or disagree with me; either way, they hit with this pick. It wasn't an offensive play-maker, and it wasn't a free safety. It wasn't an outside linebacker on the strong or weak side. I don't think it desperately needed to be in order to be considered a hit. We addressed something of a need that was over-shadowed by other, larger needs. But considering this is just the first of about eight or nine total picks (I lost count) in this draft, including a shiny new second rounder, it's absolutely ludicrous to call for heads or consider this a waste. We've had one pick, people. One.
Also, this pick is a hit because of our staff. Sure, this pick says Parcells et al, but it screams Mike Nolan. On top of a mountain. Look at Denver's personnel: they had the season they had on defense with DJ Williams at ILB and Elvis Dumervil at WOLB. Robert Ayers had an underwhelming season at SOLB, and Mario Haggan isn't a stud by any means. Dansby and Wake at ILB and WOLB respectively looks a lot like Williams and Dumervil (after OTAs, camp, and preseason that is). Crowder's ability to stuff the run and make tackles is not unlike Haggan, and I'm sure we'll use some combination of a rookie and Charlie Anderson at SOLB. That is, unless we trade for Osi. I'm sure Merling could net us a fourth round pick. Package in a 6th or 7th, and hello new starting SOLB. But that's for another day.
Look, my point is that no matter what your thoughts and opinions are on Odrick, they're probably heavily influenced by the fact that you really wanted to see either Cody, Hughes, Williams, or Kindle at that 28 spot by the time our pick was only a few spots away. It's easy to get upset and question a pick when you don't get your way. Sure. But take a step back, look at the big picture; analyze things with a clear mind. What happened when we didn't move on any of the available WRs? We all threw hissy fits. Until, one day, Brandon Marshall magically arrived, even though our front office was so out-dated and making a huge mistake. Hell, we even made such a stink following our acquisitions of Dansby and Incognito much earlier in the offseason. We're just never satisfied, but whether you're generally for or against the guys up top, I see far too many pitchforks taking rise after a "questionable" decision (according to the fan), even when the front office has given us little other than a positive direction with mostly great decisions. Nobody is perfect, nobody will ever be perfect. Cut your losses with misses like Wilson and Wilford, but don't fault them for not trying to improve the team when nobody wanted to play in the black hole known as the Miami Dolphins following the Saban/Cameron messes.
The fact of the matter is, this front office is building the team like no front office many of us have seen before. Call it what you want; they're doing it the proper way, and continue to do so with this pick.
So drop the damn pitchforks, take a damn step back and consider the move before questioning it, and enjoy the rest of the damn draft, because we're only 12.5% finished with drafting new players for our team to become stronger with.