It's hard to believe that a general manager that inspired FinsNation Blog founder Chris Joseph to purchase a plane with the message shown in the picture at the end of last season (the plane was flown during the Dolphins' season finale against the Jets) will still have a job at the end of this season.
Part of that is because Dolphins' general manager Jeff Ireland's draft record is better than most people think, at least in the first round.
Of Miami's first rounders under Ireland, all of them except for Vontae Davis (traded for a second and sixth round pick prior to this season) are still on the roster and producing well. Of those four players (Jake Long in 2008, Jared Odrick in 2010, Mike Pouncey in 2011 and Ryan Tannehill in 2012), only Long might be out of Miami (and that's due him being good enough to warrant a large contract that the Dolphins might not be interested in paying him due to his declining play).
So the first round has actually been good to Ireland. So why does he have to hit in the first round in 2013?
Because the second and third rounders since 2008 have been sketchy at best. His two 2008 second round picks were defensive end Philip Merling (who was supposed to be Jason Taylor's successor) and quarterback Chad Henne.
In 2009 he did slightly better since one of his selections is still on the team, but it's the consistently inconsistent Sean Smith. The other second rounder from that draft? Quarterback Pat White, who retired to play baseball after the 2009 season.
The 2010 pick Koa Misi has improved this season, so that one looks successful until you remember that he passed on Rob Gronkowski to make that selection when Miami needed a tight end. He would pass on Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez in the third round to select John Jerry.
Ireland has improved in second round selections with Daniel Thomas in 2011 and Jonathan Martin in 2012, but it is disconcerting that Miami's second third round pick of 2012 is a healthy Michael Egnew, a tight end who hasn't seen any playing time.
Does Ireland have to hit in the first round of this draft? Yes, he does. He will have to hit on the entire draft and provide weapons for Ryan Tannehill. If he fails to do so, he's as good as gone.