In just the past four weeks, several events have transpired that have greatly lessened the Miami Dolphins’ chances to become the long term NFL powerhouse franchise that its fans have yearned for since the early 1990’s.
First, the two teams whose number one picks the Dolphins traded for, the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers, have become virtually unbeatable in recent weeks; whether on the strength of bad officiating calls in the closing seconds, missed field goals by their opponents or just by playing good football, the first round pick Miami got from Houston now sits at 26th overall, while the Steelers pick the Dolphins recently traded for is now worth only the 22nd slot, hardly the place you’d expect the next household name NFL star to be found.
Worse still, that number one overall pick Dolphin fans had in their sights just a few weeks ago is now gone forever. Those two quarterbacks, from the University of Alabama and LSU? Both gone; The Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins are no doubt exceedingly grateful for Miami’s largesse. That awe inspiring defensive end from Ohio State? He’s gone, too, probably to the New York Giants. If the Dolphins win just two more games the rest of the way, which they should do easily, they’ll miss out on that stud offensive tackle from Georgia, too, as well as several other franchise altering players. Like a child’s snowman on an unseasonably warm late Winter’s day, the Dolphins vast collection of draft picks they worked so hard to accumulate is now melting away, decreasing in value before our eyes. What had been a once in a lifetime opportunity for the team and its fans is now going to be just another collection of college athletes that other teams will have passed on in favor of better players farther up the board, long before the Dolphins are able to make their selections.
Oddly, though, large numbers of Dolphin fans are unabashedly thrilled that the team’s draft picks are now worth but a fraction of their value a month ago, and they haven’t been shy about voicing their disdain for those of us who had hoped for a draft with decidedly more star power than the pedestrian affair that we’re saddled with now. Hopefully the Dolphins will be able to make their decades long search for a franchise quarterback a successful one next year; it may actually be a blessing in disguise that they probably won’t be drafting high enough to land one of the top two marquee signal callers. Here’s to hoping some of these other teams ahead of us start winning some games, too.