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What if Dolphin listened to ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay for last 7 Drafts?

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We all know what the Dolphins did in the last seven drafts, but what if the ESPN analysts were in charge of the team?

2012 NFL Draft - First Round Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are heading into their second season with Adam Gase as their head coach, looking to continue to build on the success of the 2016 season and improve the roster, filling holes and building depth. Free agency will be used for part of those improvements, but the NFL Draft will have a critical role in the process. The NFL Draft has moved into such a place of prominence in the offseason that mock drafts dominate the web as one of the most published, visited, and discussed topics each offseason. Does this mock draft give you a better player than that mock draft? Does this mock draft provide you with a new prospect you want to study more? Is that mock draft way off in their consideration of which prospects should be selected in the first round? Mock draft season is one full of questions that will only be answered with the actual NFL Draft in April - and even then, it may take a few years to really know the answer.

Two of the top analysts each year, especially when it comes to mock draft season, are ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay. The two of them will eventually get into the rhythm of posting an update to the mock drafts every other week, providing ESPN with a new mock to post weekly. It also means, thanks to the internet, we can go back and see what either of those two were thinking the Miami Dolphins should have done with their draft picks each year. Our friends over at Blogging the Boys came up with this idea of taking a look back at the last seven NFL Drafts, and, using the final mock draft from Kiper and McShay, compare their selections to Miami’s actual picks.

To help in this breakdown, we have included the Approximate Value provided for each player’s career from Pro-Football-Reference. This number is an attempt to provide a single, comparable, value for each player-season, and a cumulative value for a player’s career. It is not a perfect rating system, but it at least is a standard that can provide some measure of how a player has performed in his career, as compared to other players.

Miami Dolphins 1st Round Draft Picks 2010-2016

Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Starter Seasons Games Started Approximate Value
Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Starter Seasons Games Started Approximate Value
2010 Jared Odrick DE 0 0 3 63 32
2011 Mike Pouncey C 0 3 5 77 40
2012 Ryan Tannehill QB 0 0 5 77 55
2013 Dion Jordan DE 0 0 0 1 3
2014 Ja'Wuan James T 0 0 2 39 20
2015 DeVante Parker WR 0 0 1 12 9
2016 Laremy Tunsil T 0 0 1 14 6
Totals: 0 3 17 283 165

One quick note, players like Jared Odrick, who now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars, have their career AV listed, not just the AV for when they were with the Dolphins. This allows for a comparison to the players in the mock drafts from McShay and Kiper, no matter where they were drafted or have moved since being selected.

Obviously, for the Dolphins, the biggest letdown in their actual draft choices over the past seven years has been defensive end Dion Jordan, for whom the team traded up to the third-overall selection, but he has only one start in his career and has not played since 2014. He is still on the team’s roster, but there are indications the team is likely to release him this offseason.

Mel Kiper’s final mock drafts 2010-2016 - Miami Dolphins picks

Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Starter Seasons Games Started Approximate Value
Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Starter Seasons Games Started Approximate Value
2010 Sergio Kindle OLB 0 0 0 0 0
2011 Mike Pouncey C 0 3 5 77 40
2012 Ryan Tannehill QB 0 0 5 77 55
2013 Chance Warmack G 0 0 3 48 20
2014 Ja'Wuan James T 0 0 2 39 20
2015 Kevin Johnson CB 0 0 1 13 7
2016 Myles Jack LB 0 0 1 10 5
Totals: 0 3 17 264 147

Kiper got a few of his projected Dolphins picks correct, including Mike Pouncey, Ryan Tannehill, and Ja’Wuan James. The 2010 pick of Sergio Kindle would have been a horrible one for the Dolphins. Kindle wound up being a second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, staying with the team for three seasons. He lost his rookie season after falling down two flights of stairs in his Austin, Texas home, leading to a fractured skull. After he recovered, he only appeared in three games over the next two seasons before being an in-season release from the Ravens.

Kiper’s pick of Warmack was clearly the better selection than Jordan - but at this point, just about any pick would be better than the Jordan trade and selection.

The Dolphins chose to select wide receiver DeVante Parker rather than selecting Kevin Johnson, who was selected two picks later by the Houston Texans. Miami could still use the cornerback help, especially this season when injuries continued to see secondary players fall to injury, but the selection of Parker, who Kiper had coming off the board with the 10th overall pick, four before Miami’s selection, gives the Dolphins a dynamic duo of receivers in Parker and Jarvis Landry, with Kenny Stills turning it into a dangerous trio of options.

Finally, in the 2016 Draft, no one could have predicted the fall Laremy Tunsil would take. Kiper was one of the later projections for where Tunsil would be selected, going seventh to the San Francisco 49ers. Draft day had its surprise, however, when the now infamous video of Tunsil smoking from a bong was released to the player’s Twitter account just as the Draft was starting. It scared away many teams and the Dolphins snapped up their left tackle heir apparent with the 13th selection. He started 14 games during the season, playing both left guard and left tackle, and demonstrated the potential to be a lock-down player for the Dolphins for years to come. Kiper’s pick of Myles Jack, who was a popular pre-Draft selection for the Dolphins, actually lasted on the board until the second round, when the Jaguars selected him with the 36th overall pick.

Todd McShay’s final mock drafts 2010-2016 - Miami Dolphins picks

Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Starter Seasons Games Started Approximate Value
Year Player Position All-Pro Pro Bowl Starter Seasons Games Started Approximate Value
2010 Derrick Morgan DE 0 0 6 80 35
2011 Mike Pouncey C 0 3 5 77 40
2012 Ryan Tannehill QB 0 0 5 77 55
2013 D.J. Fluker T 0 0 4 59 32
2014 Cyrus Kouandjio T 0 0 0 7 6
2015 DeVante Parker WR 0 0 1 12 9
2016 Vernon Hargreaves III CB 0 0 1 16 6
Totals: 0 3 22 328 183

Like Kiper, McShay was correct in three of his selections: Pouncey, Tannehill, and Parker. The Dolphins traded out of their 2010 pick, moving back from the 12th selection to the 28th pick, still adding a defensive end, though it was a different one than McShay predicted. Derrick Morgan was still on the board for Miami’s original pick, eventually being selected at pick 16 by the Tennessee Titans. Miami added Jared Odrick, who has had a comparable career thus far to Morgan, though, as previously stated, Odrick is now with the Jaguars, having moved there as a free agent after four years in South Florida.

McShay went back-to-back with his projection of offensive tackle first-round picks for Miami in 2013 and 2014, something that likely would not have happened had Miami used that 2014 selection on his predicted selection of D.J. Fluker. That was definitely the better of the two tackles predicted by McShay, as Cyrus Kouandijo has only been able to start seven games as an injury replacement during his career, failing to ever win the Buffalo Bills’ starting right tackle position. The 2013 pick goes back to Miami’s selection of Jordan, but the team did take a tackle with the 2014 pick, using it on right tackle Ja’Wuan James, who has clearly been the better selection when compared to Kouandjio.

Finally, with the 2016 pick, McShay missed, again because no one really expected Tunsil to still be on the board. He predicted the Ravens to select Tunsil with the sixth pick, but the video gave Miami their chance to select him with the 13th pick.

What was the best of the three drafts for Miami? Vote in our poll and let us know why in the comments below.