[Note: Main Dolphins draft blog is in post directly below this. Look for our new Heat-Celtics post topping the blog today beginning at 1:30 p.m. sharp. Twitter.com/gregcote].
GRADE THE DOLPHINS' DRAFT: Interesting six-man draft for Miami, bookended by Mike Pouncey and a cornerback who did time for murder before ultimately being acquitted. OY! I know, I know. "You can't fairly judge any team's draft for at least two years. Dummy!" I get it. The thing is, I'm writing a daily blog here, not an encyclopedia. We're at Internet-speed, not waiting for carrier pigeons. This grade isn't science, it's simply a first impression by Dolfans, the aggregate response to a few questions I'd ask you to consider:
Based on what you know or have read/heard do you like the players drafted? Do they target the right needs? Were players bypassed who should have been taken? What overall feeling do you take out of the draft?
My own thoughts: Mike Pouncey was a solid, safe pick but might have been had later with a trade-down. Hated to see other teams -- Bengals with Andy Dalton and especially rival Patriots with Ryan Mallett -- take the calculated shots on big upside with available QBs. Miami should have, even later with a guy like Ricky Stanzi. RB Mark Ingram also seemed a higher-impact 1R pick for Miami. Thought 2R pick Daniel Thomas fits but was maybe was a reach with the trade-up. Liked Edmond Gates and that speed a lot in 4R. Charles Clay in 6R brings receiving element to blocking role. The last-round guys -- Frank Kearse and acquitted murderer Jimmy Wilson -- are a crapshoot. My overall gut-reaction grade might be a B or C, leaning B. (For what it's worth, draft god Mel Kiper Jr. graded Miami a B-plus on needs, a C on value and an overall B-minus). Now what are your thoughts?
Here's the poll. Vote now, and say why in a comment. I know there are no plus/minus grades. Hey, I pay you to make the tough decisions! A synopsis of Miami's 2011 draft is included just below the poll:
2011 DOLPHINS DRAFT
1st round (15th overall): Florida C/G Mike Pouncey -- Should help interior blocking line immediately.
2nd round (62nd): Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas (after trade-up) -- Fits in Wildcat, but is he up to being a featured back?
4th round (111th): Abilene Christian WR Edmond Gates -- Speed alone gives him a tantalizing upside.
6th round (174th): Tulsa FB Charles Clay (after trade-up) -- A productive receiver in a typical block-first role.
7th round (231st): Alabama A&M DT Frank Kearse -- Wide-load guy supposedly looked great before scouts at school's pro day.
7th round (235th): Montana CB Jimmy Wilson -- Whatever his talent, his past including a murder charge and an acquittal, will be the story.