Most of you who’ve known me for any length of time know that I’m fairly adamant about three specific things when it comes to building a perennial playoff contending football team. Number one, given two players (excluding quarterbacks) at the same point of the draft, and given the same approximate need at both positions, you generally choose the defensive player. Similarly, it should be the unending goal of every head coach and GM in the NFL, every year, to have the number one defense in the league. My reasoning for this is simple: any time a team with the NFL’s top defense advances to the Super Bowl, they almost always win, while plenty of teams with the league’s top offense have reached the big game, only to come away empty-handed.
The second of my three base tenets is that I much prefer bigger, stronger offensive linemen over smaller, quicker guys who can dart and sting, and am willing to sacrifice quickness for strength and power. In my view, when you’re at or close to the line of scrimmage, power will still beat speed more often than speed will beat power, even in today’s watered down, run averse game. The reason a lot of us still have a bad taste in our mouths, over-drafting offensive linemen, is, in my opinion, because we drafted so many guys during the Philbin regime whose game was based more on speed and finesse than pure power, and our offenses suffered for it. Fortunately, it looks like Dolphins GM and coach Brian Flores agree with me on that point.
Finally — and this is the area of contention that has probably made me the most enemies on this site — I’ve never been a big proponent of using high draft picks on a position that, outside of quarterback and edge rusher probably carries the highest bust rate of any position in football — wide receiver. Let’s go back for a moment to the Spring of 2015, ahead of the draft that year. Every press pundit in America had the Dolphins taking one, and only one, player: Louisville WR DeVante Parker. Miami couldn’t possibly pick anyone else, according to them. Parker to the Dolphins with the fourteenth overall pick was a match made in heaven, they said. I remember thinking, if Parker is so magnificent, then why aren’t any of the thirteen teams picking ahead of the Dolphins projected to be drafting him? Of course, Miami did draft him, and only a middling performance by DeVante during his first four years in the league made it possible for the team to re-sign him in 2019, Flores’ first year in Miami. Perversely, perhaps, Parker’s own mediocrity ensured that his asking price remained low, thus making him an attractive target for Miami to keep around for their rebuilding project.
I can’t really argue with Gil’s (Gllmiaspr) point of view that receiver is probably the area of greatest need on the Dolphins’ roster right now, nor can I disagree with The Paw’s (Panther Paw) belief that if Grier doesn’t trade down from number three, we as fans should be none too pleased. After all, anytime you have something that others want, and may want badly, it stands to reason that you’re going to get some fairly attractive offers for that pick, and the Dolphins still have holes all over the place. So, assuming that Miami’s first pick is somewhere in the 8th to 20th range, where do you see them pulling the trigger for a wide receiver/tight end, and how many do you think they’ll take? I say they’ll take Chase or Waddle somewhere around 6th to 12th, and probably select two other WR’s or TEs in the later rounds. While I’m lukewarm on the idea of taking a WR in the top ten picks, there are exceptions to everything, and if the team believes that’s what will give us the greatest chance of success, so be it. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.