2011 NFL Draft: 5 Possible Draft-Day Head Scratchers By Miami
Jeff Ireland is under intense scrutiny as the NFL Draft looms around the corner
Let's be real.
The last decade of drafting for the Miami Dolphins has been a bigger dud than Charlie Sheen's first stand up comedy gig.
Sure there have been some bright spots like Jake Long (that was a hard pick to mess up) and Vontae Davis but more often than not fans and experts alike have been scratching their heads and asking why?
Miami has passed on Drew Brees for Jamar Fletcher, traded away a second-round pick for A.J Feeley, and more recently dropped the ball on early round picks such as Tedd Ginn Jr, Pat White, John Beck, Lorenzo Booker, Derek Hagan and Patrick Turner.
While the drafting as of late has been better, the jury is still out on many of the selections in the early parts of the draft such as Kendall Langford, Phillip Merling, John Jerry and Chad Henne.
Even last year's first round pick of Jared Odrick was a shocker to most since Miami's front line seemed fine especially with the great play of Randy Starks and Cameron Wake late in the 2009 season.
So here is a look into a few possible trades, picks and decisions that Jeff Ireland and company could make that will leave you wondering "what the heck just happened".
5) Trading out of the First Round
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While most fans would love for Miami to trade down in the first round and acquire more picks for the entirety of the draft, the biggest mistake could be trading out of the top 32 selections all together.
Acquiring more draft picks is nice but getting top quality value out of your picks is more important.
One could argue that value can be found later in the draft but with Miami's resume of not maximizing the value of their picks, it is wiser to take a top tier player than a bunch of secondary guys and hoping to find a diamond in the rough.
Miami is not a few plugged holes from competing for a Super Bowl.
The Dolphins need game changers, and at the least solid players who will produce year in and year out.
Those types of players are acquired in the first round.
If we were discussing a team with the resume of the New England Patriots then by all means "In our front office we trust", but in all honesty that has not been the case since most Dolphins faithful can remember.
4) Drafting in Order to Prevent Divisional Foes from Acquiring a Player
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Pat White is arguably one of the biggest Miami Dolphins draft bust of all time.
After selecting White with the 44th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, he left the game of football after being waived by Miami in early September of 2010 in order to pursue baseball (which coincidentally White retired from prior to the 2011 season).
No one will ever know but rumor has it that Miami took White in order to prevent other teams, more specifically divisional foes who were trying to implement the 2008 version of the Wildcat that Miami used, from drafting White.
Even though Miami selected a quarterback in the second round of the draft in 2007 and 2008 (and trading away second round picks in 2005 for A.J. Feeley and 2006 for Daunte Culpepper) the Dolphins deemed it necessary to draft White and make it five consecutive years that a second round pick was used to acquire a quarterback.
If Miami is sitting there with the 15th overall selection and hasn't found a partner to trade down with, then it needs to draft the player that it feels will be the biggest help to their team.
Whether that's Mark Ingram, Mike Pouncey, Ryan Mallet or someone else Miami must not use that selection in order to prevent the Patriots, who have the 17th, 28th and 33rd picks, or the Jets from acquiring a player that Miami covets.
In this case the issue would be drafting Mark Ingram in order to prevent New England from selecting him.
If Miami feels that Ingram is the wisest pick at 15 then that's fine but drafting Ingram because of what he could possibly do on another team would be another case of the Miami Dolphins dropping the ball in what has already been a controversial offseason.
3) Trading Up in the Draft
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In a draft in which players under contract cannot be swapped, trading up and spending valuable draft picks is one of the biggest mistakes Miami could make.
For starters there is the issue of the cost.
It certainly would cost multiple picks in this years draft but since the Phins lack a second-round selection then the team on the other end of the deal is going to want at least two more picks in the 2011 draft and at minimum a first-round selection in the 2012 draft.
The cost: New York's first and second-round selections, Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff and Abram Elam.
If Miami were to trade up, for it to be justifiable it would have to be for a guaranteed Hall of Famer and a player that could change the dynamic of the team right away. That guarantee never exist in any draft.
Besides, Miami's biggest holes can all be addressed where they currently select.
By selecting Ingram, Miami would get the top rated running back in the draft. By selecting Pouncey, Miami would get the best guard in the draft.
Selecting Mallett, while probably the least popular amongst the three, would still address a team need and Miami would get one of the best players at the quarterback position available in the draft.
2) Selecting Another Quarterback in the Second Round
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Obviously Miami does not currently have a second round pick but this is in case Miami acquires a second round pick via a draft day trade.
As mentioned before, in five out of the last six years Miami has used a second round pick, either via trade or draft, to acquire a quarterback.
That trend finally was snapped last year but there is the potential that a quarterback could be taken early in the draft by the Dolphins.
If Miami is to select a quarterback it NEEDS to be in the first round or on day three of the draft. Either they get a sure-fire player to compete against Chad Henne or pick up a developmental prospect down the road.
Using a selection with the value of a second round pick on a quarterback such as Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton would be monumentally wrong especially when the draft is the first way this offseason that teams can improve themselves and Miami has bigger needs than a potential week 1 backup quarterback.
If the Dolphins somehow wiggle their way into acquiring a second round draft pick they must find a way to get the best player at their biggest weakness, not a player that has more question marks than certainties.
1) Using the 15th Overall Selection to Draft a Defensive Player
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When Miami traded back in last year's draft, most fans and experts applauded the trade.
Then when selection time came and Roger Goodell announced that Miami had chosen Jared Odrick, nobody knew who he was or why the Dolphins selected a defensive lineman when their front seven was one of their stronger points coming to a close in the '09 season.
Neglecting to improve the offense would be Miami's biggest mistake, and the makeover needs to begin when Miami is on the clock.
If you think Miami doesn't want to improve on it's defense then just go back to midseason last year when Miami put in a waiver claim on injury prone line backer Shawne Merriman instead of wide receiver Randy Moss.
With an offense that ranked 30th in scoring and a new offensive coordinator that called plays for the team that was ranked 31st, Miami needs to be looking at using most of their draft picks on the offensive side of the ball.
Miami used seven out of eight 2010 draft picks on defense last year and now needs to flip the switch and do the same for a much maligned offense.
If the Dolphins can find value, especially in their later selections, then the youth on both sides of the football can carry this team to success in the years to come and finally compete with the Patriots, Jets and deep into the playoffs.