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Best Dolphins draft pick in last 5 years

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2012 NFL Draft - First Round

The NFL Draft is just 13 days away, with an entire new draft class ready to come in and make their mark on the league. The Miami Dolphins will head into this year’s Draft likely looking to find key pieces to the defense. Who will have the biggest impact out of the Draft class? Who has had the biggest impact for the team in the past five draft classes?

SB Nation answered that exact question this morning with a look at the best draft pick for each NFL team in the past five years. Who is it for the Dolphins?

Who are the options?

2012 Miami Dolphins Draft

Round 1 - Pick 8 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

Round 2 - Pick 42 - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Round 3 - Pick 72 - Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami

Round 3 - Pick 78 - Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri

Round 4 - Pick 103 - Lamar Miller - RB, Miami

Round 5 - Pick 155 - Josh Kaddu, LB, Oregon

Round 6 - Pick 183 - B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State

Round 7 - Pick 215 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada

Of the 2012 draft class, Tannehill clearly has the lead in terms of impact for the Dolphins. He started every game as a rookie through to the last four games of the 2016 season, when a sprained ACL and MCL finally sidelined him after years of punishment. Everyone knows the Martin drama that, if you want to argue “impact” in a negative way, could be the right answer, but we will skip that talk. Vernon, Miller, and Matthews have all moved on from the team, but proved to be solid, if not great, picks.

2013 Miami Dolphins Draft

Round 1 - Pick 3 - Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Round 2 - Pick 54 - Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

Round 3 - Pick 77 - Dallas Thomas, OT, Tennessee

Round 3 - Pick 93 - Will Davis, CB, Utah State

Round 4 - Pick 104 - Jelani Jenkins, LB, Florida

Round 4 - Pick 106 - Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State

Round 5 - Pick 164 - Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida

Round 6 - Pick 166 - Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida

Round 7 - Pick 250 - Don Jones, S, Arkansas State

This draft class has been completely cleaned off Miami’s roster, with the last three, Jordan, Jenkins, and Sims leaving this offseason. Jordan will likely long be considered the biggest bust in Dolphins history, given the team traded up to get him and he tallied just three sacks to go with his three drug suspensions. Taylor, Jenkins, Sims, Gillislee, and Jones have all had at least decent careers, whether it is as a starter or as a journeyman reserve. It was an ugly draft for Miami, with the top player likely Sims, though Jenkins could have a case.

2014 Miami Dolphins Draft

Round 1 - Pick 19 - Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

Round 2 - Pick 63 - Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU

Round 3 - Pick 67 - Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State

Round 4 - Pick 125 - Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty

Round 5 - Pick 155 - Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia

Round 5 - Pick 171 - Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana

Round 6 - Pick 190 - Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina

Round 7 - Pick 234 - Terrence Fede, DE, Marist

Before we get into the strength of this draft class for Miami, a quick note on the seventh-round picks the Dolphins had these three years. Matthews in 2012 is having a solid career after four years with the Dolphins and a season with the Titans, recording 172 receptions for 2,341 yards with 17 touchdowns in that span (65, 945, 9 last year in Tennessee). Jones in 2013 has bounced around, including two stints with the Dolphins, plus time with the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans before signing this year as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers; he has primarily been a special teams player, but adds safety depth wherever he plays. Fede is continuing to develop with the Dolphins and is a contributor when he is needed. Seventh round picks are fringe guys typically, but for at least three years, Miami found some decent value late in the Draft.

Okay, jumping back to talking about the 2014 Draft, the top of the draft was really good for Miami. James has been the right tackle for the team since being selected (other than when he had to fill in at left tackle briefly). The Dolphins have to make a decision in the next few weeks about whether to use the fifth-year option on him or not, but it seems like it would make sense, or else they should long-term deal him. Landry is clearly the top of this group, setting the team’s rookie record for receptions in 2014, then the franchise record for single season receptions in 2015, earning Pro Bowl berths in 2015 and 2016, and holding the record for most receptions in a player’s first two years and tying for the record for most receptions in a player’s first three years (with LSU teammate Odell Beckham, Jr. who was a first-round pick in 2014).

2015 Miami Dolphins Draft

Round 1 - Pick 14 - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Round 2 - Pick 52 - Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

Round 4 - Pick 114 - Jamil Douglas, G, Arizona State

Round 5 - Pick 145 - Bobby McCain, CB, Memphis

Round 5 - Pick 149 - Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State

Round 5 - Pick 150 - Cedric Thompson, S, Minnesota

Round 5 - Pick 156 - Tony Lippett, CB, Michigan State

It is early to try to say exactly what the Dolphins have in this draft class, but Parker has shown flashes, if only he can stay healthy. Phillips has also shown flashes, but needs to be more consistent - especially as he appears to be the starting defensive tackle next to Ndamukong Suh this year. Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett are both developing as cornerbacks for the team, both playing outside as well as inside as a nickel cornerback. Ajayi appears to have the early lead as the top pick in the class.

2016 Miami Dolphins Draft

Round 1 - Pick 13 - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Round 2 - Pick 38 - Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor

Round 3 - Pick 73 - Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama

Round 3 - Pick 86 - Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

Round 6 - Pick 186 - Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech

Round 6 - Pick 204 - Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State

Round 7 - Pick 223 - Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky

Round 7 - Pick 231 - Thomas Duarte, TE, UCLA

There is no real way to assess what these players will do in their career, but Miami appears to have picked up a couple of really talented players in Tunsil and Howard. Drake, Carroo, and Grant need time to develop, but should be asked to do more in their second season in the league. Lucas, Doughty, and Duarte are all developmental projects.

Best from each draft class

To find Miami’s best pick from the last five years, we look at the best player from each class.

2012 - Ryan Tannehill

2013 - Dion Sims

2014 - Jarvis Landry

2015 - Jay Ajayi

2016 - Laremy Tunsil

Who was the best from those five players? It probably comes down to two, in all honesty. Is it Tannehill or Landry?

(Side note: The fact that all five of these are offensive players should tell you why this is likely to be a defensive focused draft this year.)

SB Nation’s “Smartest Pick” for Dolphins

To start this article, we pointed out that SB Nation had written this for all 32 teams. So, who did they pick for the Dolphins? Landry.

Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Landry, WR

The Dolphins have surrounded Ryan Tannehill with receiving talent in recent years, but their biggest hit came in the 2014 draft. Landry was a late second-round pick out of LSU who made an immediate impact in the big leagues. He’s been a Pro Bowl invitee the past two seasons after combining for 204 catches and nearly 2,300 yards. At 24 years old, he’s still growing into his role — and could soon be one of the NFL’s top wideouts.

The Phinsider’s Best Pick for Dolphins

I am torn here, because a team without a quarterback does not have anything. Tannehill has solidified the position - even if not everyone is sold on him yet - since being selected, so he should be the easy pick here. However, Landry has come to mean so much for this team, including being a fan favorite, the emotional leader on the offense, the player who you want with the ball in his hands and a yard to gain a first down or a touchdown. He never gives up and he really does put everything he has into seemingly every play.

Landry might actually be the right pick, but I will now leave it up to you. Vote in the poll below for the Dolphins’ best/smartest pick over the last five years. (Sorry Google AMP and Apple News readers - the poll likely will be stripped out of your version of the article.)

Poll

Who was the Miami Dolphins best/smartest pick over the last five years?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    2012 - Ryan Tannehill
    (264 votes)
  • 0%
    2013 - Dion Sims
    (0 votes)
  • 51%
    2014 - Jarvis Landry
    (453 votes)
  • 10%
    2015 - Jay Ajayi
    (91 votes)
  • 8%
    2016 - Laremy Tunsil
    (79 votes)
887 votes total Vote Now