by Adam Fournier, Ourlads’ Intern
The Miami Dolphins have been a simply average team over the past five seasons with zero playoff appearance. Miami has finished at or just below .500 in each of the last five years. The same can be said about the production of their drafts during that time, as they have been simply average. While they have found some very good players in the last five drafts, the output is part of the reason for the lack of success.
The 2010-2012 Dolphins drafts were pretty average having some hits and some misses; however, the same cannot be said about the 2013 draft which has been a huge flop, most notably 3rd overall pick Dion Jordan. Jordan has failed to make an impact on the field in his two seasons in Miami and on top of that was suspended for part of last season. Jordan is now suspended for the entire 2015 seasons after he violated the NFL performance-enhancing drugs policy for the third time. He is well on his way to becoming one of the biggest draft busts in the past five years. As stated earlier, the rest of the 2013 draft class has not been that much better as only Jelani Jenkins has made a significant impact so far. There is still time for them all to turn it around, but they have not shown positive signs so far.
Two players from the aforementioned 2010-2012 drafts are bigger flops than the others given their early round status. Their 2012 2nd round pick Jonathan Martin left the team following the bullying by teammate Richie Incognito. While it’s hard to blame the Dolphins for the pick, the fact that they only got a season and half out of a second round pick makes it a miss. Martin’s play has never really lived up to the second round level either. The 2nd round pick from 2011 was not much better as Daniel Thomas made a contribution at running back for four years but nothing warranting a second round pick. Thomas was even released at the start of the 2014 season but was re-signed after an injury to Knowshon Moreno. He signed with Chicago in 2015 after his disappointing time in Miami.
The Dolphins have found quite a few good players in the past five drafts but only one is a Pro Bowler. That is Mike Pouncey who has been one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL the past few years playing both center and guard. Pouncey will be under center for many years to come as he received a five-year extension in the 2015. The Dolphins have also found their quarterback for the future with the 2012 1st round pick Ryan Tannehill. While not quite at elite status, he has started every game in his career and has been a very good quarterback. Tannehill has gotten better every year and signed a huge extension in 2015 that will make him the Dolphins’ quarterback through 2020. The team has surrounded Tannehill with some weapons on offense from the draft such as 2012 4th round pick Lamar Miller and 2014 2nd round pick Jarvis Landry. Miller has been a solid running back making contributions in all three seasons with 32 starts and will be starting this season as well. Landry was a part of a 2014 wide receiver class which looks to be one of the best all time. He had a fantastic rookie season, outperforming many of the receivers drafted before him. The Dolphins also found some solid contributors on defense in Reshad Jones, Olivier Vernon, and Jelani Jenkins. All three players will be starting for Miami in 2015. With the addition of some very good players alongside the emergence of their young stars, the Dolphins could be looking at a potential return to the playoffs in 2015.