Above, Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn in New York for the 2007 NFL Draft -as seen on ESPN- reacting to the news that the Miami Dolphins had chosen Ohio State WR Ted Ginn, Jr. with their first-round selection and not him, to the vocal consternation of the Dolphin fans assembled around me at the Dolphins HQ in Davie, Florida. Screenshot by Mario J. Bermudez.
That's not a chill, that's a Draft!
Will the Miami Dolphins continue their recent feeble track record of confounding their frustrated fans by 'missing' and overestimating some player's "upside" or under-appreciating talented players who didn't play in big conferences, that other teams routinely score coups with?
(Don't forget, they didn't draft WR Devon Bess of Hawaii, though for long stretches of the past two seasons, he has been their best, most-consistent and hardest-working player. I'm glad he's on the team obviously, but what does that say about the actual draftees? Exactly.)
Well, since I was never in favor of the Stephen Ross regime as owner, or his hiring of Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano as general manager and head coach respectively, I would guess the answer is NO.
In fact, my guess is that if the team performs as poorly as I expect this season if they don't show some imagination and make some good decisions in the draft that involve a certain amount of gambling, as well as sign solid guys during free-agency over the next four months, I expect the Dolphins to be in last place in the AFC East by the time December rolls around.
Then they will be playing the Eagles, Patriots and Jets in three of the last four regular season games, and the fourth game is at Buffalo the week before Christmas, and with the Patriots game in Foxboro on Christmas Eve.
Yes, at Buffalo and at New England in late December.
Hmm-m... what's the Dolphins record in cold weather games in December the past ten years? Exactly.
Given that, I expect that this will be Ireland and Sparano's last year with the Dolphins.
Their track record is completely unsatisfactory and the Dolphins feeble efforts at home games last year was one of THE biggest embarrassments in the recent history of the NFL.
Not just losing at home, mind you, but seeming at times to not even be trying or to even know what plays they were supposed to be doing.
It was worse than exasperating and nobody looked worse than Chad Henne, whom I was never ever sold on to begin with.
And three hours before the draft starts, the most recent video on the nfl.com site for the Dolphins is about the Brandon Marshall stabbing, not something about draft strategy.
To me, based on all the available information available and the games I've watched via the myriad regional sports packages of DirecTV, the Dolphins absolutely have to draft QB Ryan Mallett of Arkansas if he is still available and has not been selected by either the Redskins at #10 or the Vikings at #12.
While clearly not without some flaws, Mallett has the physical ability to get the ball to spots that few others can -on a dime- and the mental ability to learn from his mistakes and correct them, something that Chad Henne has repeatedly proven he can't do, no matter how obvious it is to players and fans alike.
NFL.com video: QB Quandry: Worst case scenario
If they draft an offensive lineman with this selection, as many of the experts on ESPN and the NFL Network have suggested, save Mike Lombardi,
http://www.nfl.com/draft/2011/mock-drafts to me, they will have officially become the woeful Lions of the early '80's or the St. Louis Cardinals before they fled west to Arizona: a couple of very talented guys in places, maybe even a pro Bowl player here and there, but by no reasonable measure a real team that can hope to win more than 8 games without their opponents collapsing.
Is that what Dolphin fans want?
I don't think so, but there is nothing on the resume of Ireland and Sparano that shows that either separately, much less when working together, they can help themselves from drafting a talented-but-safe player like Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey.
The past is prologue.