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NFL Draft Post-Mortem

April 29, 2012

I want to take a break from my normal nonsense to give my two cents about the NFL draft weekend that just passed. Most of it is Dolphins heavy, as usual. To all housewives and non-football fans, umm, I dunno, go clean or cook something, I guess..

– Might as well start with the draft: Draft grades 24 hours after a draft is completed are completely goddamn useless. I don’t care who you are or what your background is, you do not have any idea how any teams draft is going to pan out for at least three years, give or take. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and thoughts, of course, but I am not going to get all worked up because Kiper graded the “value” of our draft picks at a “D”. I think “value” is a bit over rated anyway. If a guy can play, or even excel, in the league, I don’t care when he was drafted. Was Jason Taylor a better defensive player because he was drafted late? Tom Brady? So when people tell me that Olivier Vernon is a good pick and can develop into a good pass rusher, but we didn’t get good “value” on him in round three, I gotta tell you, I really don’t give a shit. If he can get into a backfield on third down and get us the ball back, I don’t care when he was drafted.

And to grade a draft implies that the person grading can say with any certainty how these kids will perform on the big stage. How many times have we seen “experts” be dead wrong about guys? So I wouldn’t get too wrapped up in it.

One last thing on this: Invariably, the team with the greatest number of picks gets the highest grades every year. That’s why everyone is drooling over St. Louis this year. Quantity doesn’t always mean success, however. Remember a few years back, the year after the Chiefs traded Jared Allen away, they had something crazy like fourteen picks. That was three or four years ago, and everyone tripped over themselves to rave about the draft KC had. Well, a few years later, and KC is only slightly better than they were a few years ago. So volume doesn’t always equate to success, but a lazy analyst can always point out the team with the most picks as having “won” the draft…

– Having said that, allow me to give you my thoughts on our draft weekend: I am very pleased. Not because I have any insider information on anyone we drafted, but because this draft just felt different. In years past, our drafts have felt like the FO was over-thinking things and trying to be too smart for the room (Translation: Very Parcells-like). This year felt like we went in with a plan, and made sure we were able to execute it. Obviously finally being ballsy enough to take a chance on a first round QB was very popular with me, as I have been crying over this issue for years. But the Lamar Miller pick was a nice change of pace for us. RB wasn’t really a need, but we identified the BPA and moved up to get him and drafted a guy who could turn out to be an electrifying offensive weapon. You know who else consistently drafts the BPA regardless of need? Teams like the New York Giants. That’s why they have consistently drafted exciting pass rushers even when they aren’t a need. And they have ridden those pass rushers to two SB wins in the last four years. Meanwhile we have been drafting only to “need” for as long as I can remember and it has gotten us nowhere. I am very positive about our draft, and keep in mind that I am not an overly “positive” fan (Just ask Phinphanatic.)

The other thing I like is that all of our draft picks are high ceiling “developmental” guys. I like that because, although I hate that we have to rebuild again, it says to me that we are going about it in a better way this time. The Parcells way in 2007 seemed like it was all about getting as many average players as you can in as many different positions as you can. Quantity over quality, which leads to an average team, at best. This time it feels like we are drafting guys that may take a year or two, but can be exceptional, which will hopefully manifest in an exceptional team a few years from now. We are building a new ship this time, rather than just taping over the holes on our sinking ship and hoping it can tread water…

– Regarding the Johnathan Martin second round pick: At first, it made me nervous because he ls a LT, and when we draft an LT in the second round it tells me that we are not optimistic about signing Jake Long, which is upsetting to me. However, then it dawned on me: This is EXACTLY what winning franchises do. They draft guys to replace their stars when they get too old or expensive. Now, with a little development and some added strength, maybe if and when Jake Long goes elsewhere we won’t be scrambling to find a sub-par replacement. How long have we all been pissed at the franchise for never having had any kind of plan for when Marino retired? So best case, we can re-sign Long and we have top-notch bookend tackles for almost a decade. Worst case? We have a good LT to step in and be ready to hold the position down, which may mean we don’t have to use another first rounder on a new LT in a couple of years…

– The media has the league broken down into roughly three categories. First, you have the favorites. New England, Pittsburgh, NYG, even Baltimore has become a member of this category. These are the teams that are NEVER criticized. They never do anything wrong and are always making genius moves. Teams in the second category are the lovable losers of the league. These are clubs that have been so bad, for so long, that the media tends to be very sympathetic towards them. Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis fall int this category. The third and final category is the punching bag category. You know, teams that are never shown the least bit of respect and are never given credit for, well, anything. The teams that come to mind here are the Redskins, our beloved Dolphins, and even the New York Jets. This rears its ugly head in the draft analysis. New England is being lauded for their “genius” draft, for about the fifth straight year. As of Friday morning, the Patriots had used 27 draft picks on defensive players since 2007. Yet their defense has been brutal every year in that time span. So how do I keep hearing about the brilliant scout that Bill Belicik is? If a team from category three, like us, had a defense as bad as the Pat’s has been after using so many picks on that side of the ball, the team would be eviscerated for their poor draft strategy.

(Take note of this as this will be the only time you ever sense any kind of sympathy for the goddamn Jets.) Another case in point is the first round pick of the Jets, Quentin Coples. I understand there are questions about Coples motor, but this is a guy that has the natural talent and the athleticism to be an ELITE talent on the D-line for that team. Not good. ELITE. yet the Jets are getting killed for taking a first round flyer on him. Had this guy come out last year, he would have been a top five pick, and the Jets picked him up in the middle of round one this year. Maybe a slight reach, but with the potential upside this guy has (think Julius Peppers) I can’t fathom why they are being ridiculed so harshly for it. A few years back, the Giants took a big chance on a freakishly athletic, yet completely inexperienced and raw pass rusher in the first round (Jason Pierre-Paul) and they were immediately lauded by everyone for “the steal of the draft”.

I wanted to point his out because I know I am always whining about how the Fins are treated by the media and I wanted to acknowledge that we aren’t the only ones who get pissed on constantly. Even though I thoroughly enjoy watching the Jets get pissed on.

There are also people the analysts love. Like Jeff Fisher. I heard from multiple analysts this weekend that St. Louis was the perfect place for Janoris Jenkins because Jeff Fisher is so adept at handling poor character guys. Your kidding me right? So we are just gonna pretend the Pacman Jones’ and Vince Youngs’ of the world just don’t exist? Laughable…

– The tight end we just drafted is 6’5 with a tremendous vertical leap and soft hands, supposedly. One word: RED-ZONE! RED-ZONE! RED-ZONE!

– I ordered my Tannehill jersey today. (God, I hope he was serious about taking number 17.) This is my leap of faith. I am faking it till he makes it. And worst case scenario, I can always say its a Laura Tannehill jersey. Because no matter how bad he is, I will ALWAYS be a fan of hers…

– Biggest disappointment of the draft? That I will not be able to proudly wear a Dolphins jersey with “Mcnutt” proudly displayed on the back.. God, what a great last name. Screw you, Philly…

Christ, I just peeked over at the word count. So much for keeping it from getting too wordy, huh?

  1. Siobhan permalink

    Um, football? The Rangers are in the fucking playoffs! GO NY! :oP

  2. Hey Mon! permalink

    Not a huge NFL fan, but the husband has been religiously watching the draft. I’m only commenting because you linked to Julius Peppers, who is the husband’s man crush. He was broken hearted when JP left the Panthers. We live in NC and the husband is a fan. I try to be, but they’re so irritating sometimes.

  3. Niki permalink

    I’m a Texas girl through and through (f%*k Dallas) and must admit I don’t follow your team very much, however, I will be this year! Fingers crossed Tannehill has a good season! I have had the pleasure of watching him grow and build with A&M these last few years and he will be missed.
    P.S.- GO TEXANS!!!!

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