FanPost

Myth or Reality: Are perceptions of Jeff Ireland accurate?

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Ireland_parcels_top_medium

Jeff Ireland is a polarizing figure. Within NFL circles, we are told he is highly regarded at finding talent. Stephen Ross certainly thinks so. This is in stark contrast to perceptions of Jeff Ireland from us, Miami Dolphins fans. Was it the Dez Bryant fiasco? Maybe. Has it been his inability to find playmakers? Perhaps. To cut it short, the purpose of this article is to provide a balanced and unbiased view of Jeff Ireland's tenure as General Manager. While doing this, I'll be comparing his record from the last two years since Bill Parcells has left his position, to the three years prior to that when Bill Parcells was still in town.

With me yet? In addition, I'll be looking to compare Miami's draft record in comparison to all thirty-two NFL teams. But it doesn't stop there. The GM's role goes far beyond the draft, so I'll also be looking at Miami's record of securing free agents and undrafted free agents (UDFA's). I also want to make clear that I am counting those players that have played this year but who are set to hit free agency, as still our players and still on the roster. It would become completely confusing to count them as not on our roster until we know who will re-sign and who will leave during free agency.

With all this out of the way, let's begin with the draft.

Miami Dolphins 5-Year Draft Table

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Round 1

Ryan Tannehill, QB.

Mike Pouncey, C.

Jared Odrick, DE.

Vontae Davis, DB.

Jake Long, T.

Round 2

Jonathan Martin, OT.

Daniel Thomas, RB.

Koa Misi, OLB.

Pat White, QB.

Sean Smith, DB.

Phillip Merling, De.

Chad Henne, QB.

Round 3

Olivier Vernon, DE.

Michael Egnew, TE.

N/A.

John Jerry, G.

Patrick Turner, WR.

Kendall Langford, DE.

Round 4

Lamar Miller, RB.

Edmund Gates, WR.

A.J. Edds, LB.

Brian Hartline, WR.

Shawn Murphy, G.

Round 5

Josh Kaddu, LB.

N/A.

Nolan Carroll, CB.

Reshad Jones, FS.

John Nalbone, TE.

Chris Clemons, DB.

N/A.

Round 6

B.J. Cunningham, WR.

Charles Clay, FB/TE.

N/A.

Andrew Gardner, T.

Jalen Parmele, RB.

Donald Thomas, G.

Lex Hilliard, RB.

Round 7

Kheeston Randall, DT.

Rishard Matthews, WR.

Frank Kearse, DT.

Jimmy Wilson, DB.

Chris McCoy, LB.

Austin Spitler, LB.

J.D. Folsom, LB.

Lionel Dotson, DE.

This is the very first of a series of tables that I have compiled in order to chart the success stories and failures. As you can see, the top row signifies the draft years in which the prospects were taken, while the far left hand column signifies the rounds in that they were taken in.

So, what can we take from this? First, lets take a look at the picks round by round.

  • Round One: In round one we have had no complete busts. All have been solid contributors for the team. I don't want to class Davis as a bust because we still got decent trade value out of him. He was traded because of work ethic and character issues, just like Brandon Marshall was. While Davis was in town, we also got solid production out of him.
  • Round Two: The major bust here has been Pat White. He came under the Bill Parcells era. Phillip Merling didn't fare too well either. Meanwhile, the Chad Henne experiment tells us it's harder to hit on a QB after round 1.
  • Round Three: Patrick Turner is another complete bust, again from the Bill Parcells era. John Jerry has been serviceable, while Kendall Langford was a solid player for us until he sought pastures new. Olivier Vernon shows promise and Michael Egnew is still an unknown quantity that I'm not ready to classify as a bust just yet.
  • Round Four: This has been a tougher round for Miami. Clyde Gates, A.J. Edds and Shawn Murphy were busts. Gates was the first bust of the ‘Ireland' era. Hartline is a first teamer, while Miller shows promise.
  • Round Five: This has been a really good round for Ireland. Apparently the staff are high on Kaddu despite him not getting more snaps this year. Chris Clemons, Nolan Carroll and Reshad Jones have all started this season, which is excellent for fifth rounders. John Nalbone has been the only bust, again under the Bill Parcells era.
  • Round Six: Out of this group only Charles Clay has seen decent production.
  • Round Seven: Ireland did well getting Randall and Matthews; they have been solid in their first year. That is excellent for 7th rounders. Frank Kearse has since left the team, but started eight games for the Carolina Panthers this year. Jimmy Wilson is continuing to see increased snaps and production. He's a valuable special teamer. Then, lastly, we have Austin Spitler who is still on the team.

Now, I know this will appear pretty simplistic. But, just by looking at who we have drafted over the past five years gives us a much better picture of how the team is faring. To break it down better, let's look at Miami's round by round success rate, in terms of the percentage of players that are still on the Miami roster:

  • Round One: 80% success rate
  • Round Two: 57% success rate
  • Round Three: 60% success rate
  • Round Four: 40% success rate
  • Round Five: 80% success rate
  • Round Six: 17% success rate
  • Round Seven: 50% success rate.

So what can we deduce from this? Well it's a good thing we are not picking in the sixth round this year, that's for sure. What I find interesting is that rounds five and seven are unusually successful. Meanwhile, rounds two, three and four have been solid.

But how do these numbers compare to the rest of the NFL? That's where we will start to see the true colours.

Enter the NFL Draft Table:

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2 year average

3 year average

5 year average

MIA

8/9

89%

4/6

67%

6/8

75%

3/9

33%

1/9

11%

78%

40%

55%

ARZ

6/7

86%

5/8

63%

6/7

86%

4/8

50%

2/7

29%

75%

55%

63%

ATL

6/6

100%

5/6

83%

6/7

86%

6/8

75%

6/11

55%

92%

72%

80%

BAL

8/8

100%

8/8

100%

6/7

86%

3/6

50%

2/9

22%

100%

53%

72%

BUF

6/9

67%

7/9

78%

5/9

56%

3/8

38%

1/10

10%

73%

35%

50%

CAR

7/7

100%

3/8

38%

5/10

50%

1/7

14%

2/9

22%

69%

29%

45%

CHI

4/6

67%

3/5

60%

4/6

67%

3/9

33%

4/12

33%

64%

44%

52%

CIN

10/10

100%

6/8

75%

4/9

44%

4/11

36%

1/10

10%

88%

30%

53%

CLE

11/11

100%

8/8

100%

5/8

63%

2/8

25%

1/5

20%

100%

36%

62%

DAL

7/7

100%

5/7

71%

3/7

43%

2/12

17%

2/6

33%

86%

31%

53%

DEN

6/7

86%

6/9

67%

4/9

44%

3/10

30%

1/9

11%

77%

28%

48%

DET

7/8

88%

3/5

60%

5/6

83%

3/10

30%

2/9

22%

74%

45%

57%

GB

8/8

100%

6/10

60%

7/7

100%

4/8

50%

3/9

33%

80%

61%

69%

HOU

8/8

100%

7/8

88%

4/9

44%

5/8

63%

1/7

14%

94%

40%

62%

IND

8/10

80%

4/5

80%

4/8

50%

4/8

50%

1/9

11%

80%

37%

54%

JAX

6/6

100%

4/5

80%

3/6

50%

4/9

44%

0/5

0%

90%

31%

55%

KC

7/8

88%

7/9

78%

6/7

86%

3/8

38%

4/12

33%

83%

52%

65%

MIN

9/10

90%

9/10

90%

4/8

50%

4/5

80%

2/5

40%

90%

57%

70%

NE

6/7

86%

7/9

78%

6/12

50%

5/13

38%

2/7

29%

82%

39%

56%

NO

5/5

100%

6/7

86%

3/5

60%

2/4

50%

1/6

17%

93%

42%

63%

NYG

7/7

100%

7/8

88%

2/6

33%

2/9

22%

1/7

14%

94%

23%

51%

NYJ

5/8

63%

5/6

83%

3/4

75%

2/3

67%

1/6

17%

73%

53%

61%

OAK

5/6

83%

5/8

63%

5/9

56%

3/6

50%

2/5

40%

73%

49%

58%

PHI

8/9

89%

8/11

73%

6/13

46%

2/8

25%

3/10

30%

81%

34%

53%

PIT

6/9

67%

5/7

71%

4/10

40%

2/9

22%

1/7

14%

69%

25%

43%

SD

7/7

100%

7/8

88%

4/6

67%

3/8

38%

1/5

20%

94%

42%

63%

SF

3/7

43%

6/10

60%

4/8

50%

2/7

29%

1/6

17%

52%

32%

40%

SEA

10/10

100%

5/8

63%

7/9

78%

2/7

29%

0/7

0%

82%

36%

54%

STL

10/10

100%

3/8

38%

3/11

27%

2/7

29%

1/8

13%

69%

23%

41%

TB

6/7

86%

6/8

75%

7/9

78%

3/6

50%

1/7

14%

81%

47%

61%

TEN

7/7

100%

9/9

100%

6/9

67%

6/11

55%

3/7

43%

100%

55%

73%

WAS

9/9

100%

9/12

75%

2/6

33%

1/6

17%

0/10

0%

88%

17%

45%

What can we deduce from this table? Well, what I have done here is list all the NFL teams in the left hand column. Miami is top, but then the order descends in alphabetical order. Then I have the success rate of each team from the last five drafts. The top numbers are those players that are still with the team out of those drafts. The bottom numbers are the success rates from each draft. I then took the average success rate as a percentage from the past two years, where Ireland has been in sole charge. You can then compare this with the average success rate from the previous three years when Bill Parcells was still here. Lastly, I worked out the success rate over the past five years.

Now, before we proceed, I would like to add a few things. The further back we go in the drafts, the lower the percentages. That's pretty normal. The closer we get to the 2012 draft, the higher the numbers should be. Theoretically that should be correct, anyway. Furthermore, the last two years is not a great body of work. This time next year, I'll release another one of these tables to give us a better idea as to whether we are on the right track. That's if this article is well received!

Right, so lets compare the numbers to all NFL teams.

  • From the past two years (2012 and 2011), Miami are 21st in the NFL in teams of the talent that has been retained on the roster since the draft. The top five teams are Baltimore, Cleveland, Tennessee, Houston and the New York Giants. The bottom five teams are San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.
  • From the past three years (2010, 2009 and 2008), Miami has surprisingly fared better. We are 16th in the table. The top five are Atlanta, Green Bay, Minnesota, Tennessee and Arizona. The bottom five are Washington, St. Louis, New York Giants, Pittsburgh and Denver.
  • From the past five years, Miami is 17th in the league. The top five are Atlanta, Tennessee, Baltimore, Minnesota and Green Bay. The bottom five are San Francisco, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Washington and North Carolina.

Next, let's look at the undrafted free agents from the past two years.

Again, let me reiterate, this is pretty much just a statistical analysis. Numbers don't tell the whole story. Sometimes they can be misleading. I'm not trying to suggest whether Ireland is a success or failure. That's not what I'm trying to do. Instead I'm trying to arm you guys with the statistics to help come up with your own decision. Hopefully that can create some debate below in the comments box.

2012 UDFA

Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri

Jonas Gray, RB, Notre Dame

Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah

Derek Moye, WR, Penn State

Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M

Kelcie McCray, S, Arkansas State

Derek Dennis, OL,Temple

Albert Evans, S, Purdue

Jarrell Root, DE, Boise State

Josh Samuda, OL, UMass

Terrance Brown, OL, BYU

Dustin Waldron, OT, Portland State

Deandre Presley, CB, Appalachian State (from San Diego)

Brian Tyms, WR, Florida A&M (from San Francisco)

2011 UDFA

Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware

Nic Grigsby, RB, Arizona

Phillip Livas, WR/KR, Louisiana Tech

Brett Brackett, TE, Penn State

Garrett Chisolm, G, South Carolina

D.J. Jones, OT, Nebraska

Jonathan Freeny, OLB, Rutgers

Vince Agnew, CB, Central Michigan

Jose Perez, CB, San Diego State

So, lets work out who is still on the roster and the practice squad. Bear in mind that our roster is currently weak, so it might be worthwhile to suggest who's place is in jeopardy next year. In 2012, we recruited fourteen UDFA's. Out of fourteen, six have made the practice squad and roster. In other words, we have had a 43% success rate, which is pretty encouraging. In 2011, we recruited nine UDFA's. Two still remain with the team; at 22%. That can be seen as all the more impressive because they went back to the team after their first year and managed to beat out players in camp to come back. But it doesn't stop there, when you look at players like Bess, you start to think that maybe Jeff Ireland is good at getting UDFA's onto the team in some capacity. That's important, because depth is everything in the NFL.

Lastly, we have the free agent signings from the past two years.

2012 Free Agent Signings

Chad Johnson (WR) signed on Minimum Veteran contract on one year deal

Paul Soliai (DT) declared free agent | re-signed March 14 a two-year contract

Phillip Merling (DE) | Restricted Free Agent | signed $1.26 million one-year deal

Lydon Murtha (T) | Restricted Free Agent | signed $1.9 million one-year deal

Richard Marshall (CB) | signed March 15 a three-year deal

Artis Hicks (G) | a one-year deal

Jeron Mastrud (TE) exclusive rights free agent

David Garrard (QB) | signed one-year deal

Jamaal Westerman (LB) signed as an unrestricted free agent

Ryan Baker (DE) | signed a one-year deal

Steve Slaton (RB) | signed a one year deal

Austin Spitler (LB) | signed as a exclusive rights free agent

Tyrell Johnson (S) | signed to a one-year deal

Anthony Armstrong (WR) Veteran Minimum to a one year deal

Jabar Gaffney (WR) Veteran Minimum to a one-year deal.

Legedu Naanee (WR) One year deal.

Dimitri Patterson (CB) Took over contract he had with Cleveland.

Julian Posey (CB) Practice Squad

RJ Standford (CB) one year deal from Carolina Panthers (Exclusive)

Patrick Brown (OT) Claimed off waivers from NY Jets.(Exclusive)

Javorski Lane

Marcus Thigpen

2011 Free Agent Signings

Kevin Burnett (OLB) signed four-year, $21 million deal

Marc Columbo (OT)

Reggie Bush (RB) signed two-year, $9.75 million deal

Jason Taylor (DE/OLB), one year contract

Matt Moore (QB) signed two-year, $5 million deal

Kevin O'Connell (QB) signed one year deal

Here, I'm not going to do any sort of statistical analysis. Doing so would be pointless as it's pretty clear that some were brought in on shirt contracts. They were stop-gap solutions or high reward, low risk signings. From 2011 we can see that Burnett, Bush, Taylor and Moore are solid contributors. In 2012, the re-signing of Paul Solai was an important one and somewhat of a coup at that price. Richard Marshall is still an unknown quantity as a result of his injury this year. Javorski Lane and Marcus Thigpen were good signings for cheap. All the rest are pretty much meh. What can we deduce from this? Jeff Ireland won't overpay for free agents. And also, he's willing to take those high reward, low risk signings. You can't really criticize him for that. The interesting part will be what direction he takes this year with all the free cap space we have.

Well, that is it. I hope the article wasn't too much of an arduous read. I really wanted to take an unbiased view of Ireland. Sure, some of the statistics might be a little bit misleading, and please discuss that below. But sometimes, the statistics give a different view from looking at Ireland's role from a purely subjective view. So, I'd like to hear your thoughts! What do you think? Has Ireland been a success or a failure?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker