2011 NFL Draft Grades: Miami Dolphins Day 1 Analysis, GM Jeff Ireland Comments

Zack DuarteContributor IIIApril 29, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Mike Pouncey, #15 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

So Day 1 of the NFL Draft came and went with the Miami Dolphins making the unattractive but smartest choice with the 15th overall selection.

As I explained in one of my previous articles, Miami needed to address it's offensive line in round one and did so Thursday night selecting Mike Pouncey from the University of Florida.

In Pouncey the Dolphins plug the biggest hole on it's team and now look forward to addressing the skill position players in the upcoming days of the draft.

Many fans made complaints that Miami left Mark Ingram on the board but it is clearly obvious that Ingram just doesn't fit the value of a 15th overall selection as he was barely claimed on day one and were it not for a trade back into the first round by the New Orleans Saints, Ingram may have been available come day two tomorrow (Last year's top three rookie running backs were arguably LeGarrette Blount who was undrafted, Chris Ivory who was undrafted, and James Starks who was chosen in the sixth round. Clearly running back talent is available late in the draft and after it).

"Right now we're going to line him up at center. That's where I have him on my board, but that's up to the coach," Ireland said in his press conference. 

Ireland also added "He only played the center position for one year....We have great flexibility with he and Richie [Incognito]."

Most fans also wanted Miami to trade back and acquire more picks but it is clearly obvious with the Vikings selection of Christian Ponder, maybe the biggest reach of the first round with the 12th overall selection, that other teams were not calling and trading up into the middle of the first round. 

"When the phone doesn't ring. You kind of lose your leverage calling people, 'Hey, you want the pick,' That's not the way to do it," Ireland said.

Overall Miami made the best pick it possibly could have in its spot. 

They addressed a position of dire need with a solid, versatile interior lineman and now can address the rest of the offense with confidence that one area has been completely satisfied.

They didn't reach too much as Pouncey likely would have gone 18th to the Chargers or 19th to the Giants.

A few other possible picks Miami could have made at 15 were Mark Ingram, who went 28th to New Orleans while Ryan Mallett and TCU quarterback Andy Dalton are still on the board.

With the draft being the first way teams can improve themselves, Miami got the most value and the best player available at its spot.


Day 1 Draft Grade: A-

Would be an A/A+ if Miami could have traded back and acquired more picks.


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