Earlier today, the Miami Dolphins announced the waiving of linebacker A.J. Edds. It's a surprising move, given that Edds seemed to play well during the preseason, and, given he was last year's fourth round draft pick. It seems that the Dolphins have given up on Edds, who has never appeared in a regular season game after he tore his ACL during last season's training camp.
The Dolphins could be trying to get Edds through waivers and stash him on the practice squad, but that does open him up to poaching from other teams, and he is a prime candidate to see that happen.
The move also got me thinking. It seems like this front office, since they took power in 2008 (including the Bill Parcels years), have often given up on mid-round picks. Does Jeff Ireland, and to a lesser degree Tony Sparano, really miss that often on mid round choices? Or, is it just perception? To find out, I went back and looked at every pick this regime has made (bold players are still with the team).
|1||Jake Long (OT)||Starting LT; 3 x Pro Bowl, 1 x All Pro 1st Team|
|2||Chad Henne (QB)||Starting QB|
|2||Phillip Merling (DE)||2nd String RDE|
Kendall Langford (DE)
|4||Shawn Murphy (OT)||Miami 2008-2009, Tampa Bay 2009, Carolina 2010, Denver 2011, Currently FA - Career Game Appearance|
|6||Jalen Parmele (RB)||Miami 2008, Baltimore 2008-2010, Currently FA|
|6||Donald Thomas (G)||Miami 2008-2010, Detroit 2011 - Started 13 Total Games in 2008 and 2009 for Miami|
|6||Lex Hilliard (RB)||3rd String Running Back|
|7||Lionel Dotson (DT)||Miami 2008-2009, Denver 2010, Miami 2010, Buffalo 2011 - Appeared in 7 Games Total for Miami from 2008-2010|
The 2008 Draft wasn't that bad for the Dolphins. They are still playing their top four picks, and they have a depth running back from the sixth round. Donald Thomas served as the team's starting guard briefly, and Lionel Dotson gave some depth at the nose tackle position.
|1||Vontae Davis (CB)||Starting CB for Miami since rookie year; Named to Pro Football Weekly All Rookie Team in 2009|
|2||Pat White (QB)||Spent 2009 with Miami serving as the "Wildcat" QB; retired from the NFL upon being released in September 2010; Played in KC Royals minor league system before retiring from baseball; Now with Virginia Destroyers (UFL)|
|2||Sean Smith (CB)||Starting CB for Miami since rookie year|
|3||Patrick Turner (WR)||Miami 2009; NY Jets 2010-2011; Served on Miami Practice Squad in 2009, released before 2010 season and claimed by Jets; 2 Appearances with Miami in '09, 5 with Jets in '10 (2 Receptions for 26 yards).|
|4||Brian Hartline (WR)||Starting WR; 26 Appearances (13 Starts) for Miami (74 receptions, 1121 yards, 4 touchdowns)|
|5||John Nalbone (TE)||Miami 2009-2010, Minnesota 2010, Denver 2010, Philadelphia 2011, Cincinnati 2011; Has spent every season on a team's practice squad|
|5||Chris Clemons (S)||Starting Free Safety - 26 Appearances (17 starts) for Miami (1 interception, 5 passes defensed, 1.5 sacks, 67 tackles)|
|6||Andrew Gardner (OT)||Miami 2009, Baltimore 2010, Cincinnati 2010-2011, Houston 2011 - 1 career appearance (Miami 2009)|
|7||J.D. Folsom (LB)||Miami 2009-2010, Bears 2010, Arizona 2010, Tampa Bay 2010, Currently FA - 2 career appearances (Miami 2009)|
The Dolphins were nearly 50/50 with the 2009 draft. The Dolphins have two of the best young cornerbacks in the game in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, a quickly developing wide receiver with Brian Hartline, and a solid, always in the right position safety in Chris Clemons. However, they also spectacularly failed with the pick of Pat White, Patrick Turner didn't develop as the Dolphins had hoped, and John Nalbone never turned into the tight end the team had hoped. Andrew Gardner and J.D. Folsom both were solid practice squad players, who the Dolphins hoped to develop, but eventually cut bait.
|1||Jared Odrick (DE)||3rd String RDE; Started 1 game last year before broken foot last year placed him on IR|
|2||Koa Misi (LB)||Starting SLB; Appeared in all 16 games last year, starting 11 - 4.5 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 2 fumbles recovered, 1 touchdown|
|3||John Jerry (OT)||2nd String RG; Appeared in 12 games last season, starting 10 - missed 4 games due to illness|
|4||A.J. Edds (LB)||Tore ACL in training camp last season and was placed on IR; released Sep. 5, 2011|
|5||Nolan Carroll (CB)||2nd String RCB; Appeared in 13 games last year, starting 1; 24.3 yards per return average|
|5||Reshad Jones (S)||2nd String FS; Appeared in 13 games last year, starting 1; 1 interception, 2 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery, 14 tackles|
|7||Chris McCoy (DE)||Miami 2010, Houston 2010, Pittsburgh 2011; Placed on Miami's practice squad at start of 2010 season, released and signed by Houston during the season|
|7||Austin Spitler (LB)||2nd String ILB; Appeared in 12 games last season|
The 2010 draft was again pretty decent for the Dolphins. Jared Odrick appears string comig back from his injury, adding depth to the defensive end position behind Pro-Bowler Randy Starks. Koa Misi is developing into a threat from the linebacker position, trying to offset Cameron Wake in the pass rush. John Jerry needs to develop some more before he becomes a starting fixture on the line, and, although many fans want to see him go, he still could develop. Nolan Carroll and Reshad Jones both have flashes of ability, and add depth to the secondary. Austin Spitler seems to be developing behind Karlos Dansby, and beat out Edds for the position.
|1||Mike Pouncey (C)||Starting Center|
|2||Daniel Thomas (RB)||2nd String RB|
|4||Clyde Gates (WR)||4th WR|
|6||Charles Clay (FB/TE)||Starting FB|
|7||Frank Kearse (DT)||Cut on Sep. 4, 2011 - Placed on Miami Practice Squad|
|7||Jimmy Wilson (CB)||3d String RCB|
The 2011 draft has some potential. Mike Pouncey is developing into a solid center, hoping to get near the level of his twin brother in Pittsburgh. Running back Daniel Thomas will share the work load with the newly acquired Reggie Bush. Wide out Clyde Gates brings exceptional speed to an offense looking to become explosive. Charles Clay beat out fan favorite Lousaka Polite, and adds flexibility to the offense, as he is capable of lining up at fullback or tight end. Jimmy Wilson has shown an incredible ability at the CB position, and may be the steal of the draft as a seventh round pick.
The Dolphins surprisingly get a lot out of their draft picks. However, they also aren't afraid to cut bait on someone they don't feel is developing. I would not be surprised to see Edds stored on the practice squad if he clears waivers (possible due to rumors he is still trying to recover from his ACL tear).
I think the Dolphins have shown a desire to take a few chances each draft, especially in rounds where they have multiple picks (i.e., Pat White and Sean Smith in round 2 and John Nalbone and Chris Clemons in round 5 of 2009), looking to find that solid performer, while also taking a project. It hasn't hit every time, but occasionally it does (Lex Hilliard as the third 6th round pick in 2008).
The Dolphins draft has been more surprisingly successful than I realized. With 32 draft picks since 2008, 20 of those are still on the rosters (62%), and 10 are starters (31%). It's not always perfect, but it's been decent. What are your opinions?