Grading a draft in the minutes following its conclusion is a foolhardy task.
At that point, we're simply guessing how teams did based on pre-draft perceptions of value and whether or not a team filled its needs.
As we all know, neither pre-draft perceptions nor team needs will matter if the players a team picks are talented enough.
The best time to provide perspective on a draft is three years after the fact, when the body of work is large enough to help draw conclusions. With the 2010 NFL draft now three years in the rear-view mirror, now is as good a time as any to look back at the Miami Dolphins' draft haul that year.
For context, critics were hot and cold about the Dolphins' draft haul immediately after the fact. Mel Kiper Jr. (subscription required) gave them a C- and said the draft was "Jared Odrick and the rest," while Emory Hunt of FootballGameplan.com gave them a B+ for the talent they acquired at multiple defensive spots.
How did they do? Let's take a look back and give them more accurate grades than any immediate context could have provided.
DE Jared Odrick—First Round, 28th Overall
Jared Odrick played defensive tackle in a 4-3 front in his four years at Penn State. He earned a first-round grade for his disruptive capabilities, logging 20.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in his final two years as a starter and showing improvement throughout his college career.
The Dolphins, however, drafted him to be a 3-4 defensive end. That stunted his growth, as did a broken foot that ended his rookie season. Then, the team brought in defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, whose preferences and tendencies lie with the 4-3 front. The team plugged Odrick in at right defensive end in the 4-3 front last year, and the results were shaky at best.
There was some debate over whether he was a better fit as a 3-4 defensive end or a 4-3 defensive tackle. Most anyone would have agreed, and still do, that he's not fit to be a 4-3 defensive end. It's nothing against him, it's just not his skill set.
Even three years after the fact, the jury is still out on Odrick. He's shown the talent to play at the NFL level, but he's not being utilized as he probably should—Odrick logged five of his six sacks as a defensive tackle in 2012. If the Dolphins begin plugging him in at defensive tackle a bit more, they could be pleased with the results.
LB Koa Misi—Second Round, 40th Overall
Koa Misi was a starting defensive end for Utah from 2007 through 2009, and he improved statistically each year. He led the team with 9.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as a senior while ranking second on the team with five sacks.
Like Odrick, there's been a lot of transition for Misi. He went from defensive end at college to 3-4 outside linebacker in 2010 and 2011 to 4-3 outside linebacker in 2012.
The Dolphins have confidence that Misi can play the spot. At least, that's the impression, as he remains the last man standing among the starting linebackers in 2012. The team dumped Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett for Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
Misi was sound in run defense, but as might have been expected from his original position, he struggled in coverage, allowing 1.45 yards per cover snap (just .14 lower than the league-worst), according to ProFootballFocus.com. He has value against the run, but it's tough say he has the skill set to be a three-down outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense.
OL John Jerry—Third Round, 73rd Overall
Coming out of Ole Miss, Jerry was regarded as one of the most experienced linemen in the class, having started 25 games at right guard and 17 games at right tackle in his four-year college career. He has played primarily right guard for the Dolphins, but he started two of the final three games at left tackle when Jake Long went down with an injury in 2011.
There were weight concerns around him, as he tipped the scales at 340 pounds at the 2010 scouting combine. Those concerns carried into the 2012 preseason, when he showed up to camp overweight. He has since taken 12 pounds off that number.
He has developed into a viable starter for the Dolphins at right guard, but there's a caveat. Just like with the defensive players listed above, Jerry was brought in to execute one style of play as a man-blocking linemen, and the new coaching staff brings with it a different style of play in the zone-blocking scheme that requires a totally different kind of linemen.
Jerry doesn't have the lateral speed that's ideal for a guard in that style of offense, so although GM Jeff Ireland says Jerry has "a big arrow up on his future," the Dolphins may look to fill his spot with a more fitting player in the draft.
LB A.J. Edds—Fourth Round, 119th Overall
He tore his ACL in training camp of 2010 and never played a down for the Dolphins, as he was claimed by the Patriots shortly afterward.
The Dolphins can take solace that, at least this time, a former Dolphin didn't go on to have incredible success in a Patriots uniform.
CB Nolan Carroll—Fifth Round, 145th Overall
Scouts loved Carroll from a height-weight-speed standpoint. The Dolphins were clearly willing to live with him as a raw prospect because of his 6'1", 202-pound frame, along with a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Carroll contributed in both the base and nickel defense in 2012, playing 653 snaps in an injury-riddled secondary. He allowed completions on a respectable 56.9 percent of passes into his coverage and gave up just two touchdowns. He was exposed by Andrew Luck and Mark Sanchez, of all people, in back-to-back games, but his numbers were mostly impressive outside of that.
The coaching staff wasn't as impressed with his play. Carroll's snaps were scaled back down the stretch, as he lost snaps to the likes of R.J. Stanford, Dimitri Patterson and Jimmy Wilson.
It wouldn't be a shock for Carroll to be part of the starting lineup at cornerback, but that's not by design. The team has lost its two most talented cornerbacks, Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, over the past nine months.
There's still a good deal of work to be done on his overall game, but the raw talent is still there. Maybe some stability in the coaching staff will help him along the way.
FS Reshad Jones—Fifth Round, 163rd Overall
Jones has to be in the discussion among the steals of the draft. The Dolphins were able to nab a safety with All-Pro talent in the fifth round.
How he ever fell that far is a surprise to some, as more than one scouting report indicated he was an NFL-ready prospect. One particular scouting report said he'd be an even better NFL player than he was in college.
Jones' ball skills were evident at Athens, where he finished his senior season with a team-leading seven pass breakups and four interceptions. He has trended upward since joining the Dolphins and finished the 2012 season with a team-leading four picks and the second-most pass breakups.
There's reason to believe Jones is a top-10 safety. He graded out as the third-best safety in the league, according to ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required), third-best against the pass and fourth-best against the run as well.
The Dolphins got one of the most well-rounded safeties in the game in the fifth round. Wow.
DE Chris McCoy—Seventh Round, 212th Overall
McCoy never played a down for the Dolphins and was cut before the 2010 season. He signed with the Steelers prior to the 2011 season, and although he played four preseason games and made it to the final round of cuts, he was ultimately let go.
He was most recently signed by the Eagles after spending a year in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders.
LB Austin Spitler—Seventh Round, 252nd Overall
Spitler has played just 14 defensive snaps in his three-year career, but he has become a core special teams player. He has logged 19 special teams tackles and at least four a season, with a career-high nine coming in 2011.
The Dolphins are pleased with what they've seen from Spitler—enough, at least, that they brought him back as a free agent on a one-year deal.
The standout player of the draft was a fifth-round pick who turned out to be potentially one of the best players at his position in Reshad Jones. The Dolphins should be thrilled with what they got there.
Jared Odrick and Koa Misi are in tricky situations, because while both are talented players in their own rights, neither of them have been used to the best of their abilities to this point.
The Dolphins picked up some talented players in the draft, but with so much change in the coaching staff over the years, the schemes those players were drafted for are no longer in place.
Continuity in the coaching staff could go a long way in sorting out which players fit the schemes. The moves the Dolphins make in the 2013 draft could go a long way in revealing how they feel about several of those players.
Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained first-hand or via team press releases.