Yesterday, being an off day for me I found myself on Twitter, wasting time and I see a tweet come across that claims that of the 53 men roster of the Green Bay Packers 50 of them were their draft picks. Perhaps it was on opening day if you included the number of players that they also signed as college free agents in to that number and consider the number of players on the IR or PUP list's. As it sits at present they have 32 draft picks and 10 un-drafted college free agents on the active 53 for a total of 42 players. Still damn impressive. They also sit with the fewest FA's signings and no players on their roster via trade.
So now everyone probably want's to know where the Dolphins fall in comparison. Well, we fall 8 short of that combined Packers number, but still are right in line with much of the NFL at 34 (29 draft picks and 5 C. FA's). The three top teams in the NFL in the minds of many, the Chiefs (26 & 2), the Seahawks (22 & 6) and the Broncos (23 & 6) all have fewer then the Dolphins at this point.
I have always believed building through the draft was the right way to go about things and I still believe that for the most part, but by the numbers, at least the number of free agents vs. draft picks we have on the roster, are not the issue. As much as I have defended Jeff Ireland for a long time it's become apparent that some poor decisions have been made somewhere. That debate is a contentious one around here but in my mind, looking back (hindsight is always 20/20 of course) I like most of you can see that overlooking the offensive line or at least not making more of an issue to address it in the off season was a HUGE mistake that has come back to bite the team in it's collective rear.
Also its not always an issue of you how many you draft or sign as FA's but did you sign or draft the right players? I think in Miami's case that is yet to be seen as Ireland does have a tendency to draft on potential. I think that is great for later round picks but we have seen many of those players never develop, not be able to start day one despite their high draft status and in some cases, after we have given up on them all together, see them go elsewhere and finally blossom. Granted that happens to a lot of teams but we seem to be really good at it.
There are some other things that jump out at me from this chart. The two teams with the most and the only two in double digits as far a waiver claims are two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Browns and the Jaguars. Always a bad sign when such a high percentage of your roster is made up of others castoffs. Oddly the team with the lowest number combined of drafted players and free agent college signings is the Colts at 19 who many cite as the model of how to get things done. The Colts also lead the list in the most trades at 8. The Cowboys have 14 college free agents on their roster. Many of who are playing well but this is also what happens when you are totally screwed on your salary cap figures this and all the years in the near future.
Using information from ProFootballRosters.com, below is the chart with all the numbers of all 32 teams as currently constructed. I have also added a chart with a full breakdown of the current 53 man roster of the Dolphins and how we acquired each one. What stands out for you in these numbers if anything?
|Draft||College FA||Draft+C FA||Free Agent||Trade||Waiver Claim|
|Draft||College FA||Free Agent||Trade||Waivers|
|Paul Soliai||John Deney||Randy Starks||Bryant McKinnie||Nate Garnger|
|Brandon Fields||Pat Devlin||Cameron Wake||Will Yeatman|
|Brian Hartline||Jonathan Freeny||Richie Incognito||Dimitri Patterson|
|Chris Clemons||Derrick Shelby||Matt Moore||R.J. Stanford|
|Jared Odrick||Jordan Kovacs||Jason Trusnik|
|Koa Misi||Marcus Thigpen|
|John Jerry||Brandon Gibson|
|Nolan Carroll||Mike Wallace|
|Reshad Jones||Tyson Clabo|
|Austin Spitler||Danny Watkins|
|Mike Pouncey||Isaako Aaitui|
|Daniel Thomas||Daniel Ellerbe|
|Charles Clay||Phillip Wheeler|
|Jimmy Wilson||Brent Grimes|