Success in the NFL Draft can make or break a NFL team, and no draft class was less productive in 2013 than the Dolphins.
An analysis by The Palm Beach Post shows that the Dolphins draft picks combined for just 866 snaps this year. They were the only team in the NFL that didn’t get more than 1,000 snaps from their rookies. Buffalo linebacker Kiko Alonso himself — a second round pick — was in on every one of Buffalo’s 1,177 defensive snaps.
NFL draft classes averaged 2,112 snaps this year. Check out Wednesday’s Palm Beach Post for an article breaking down Miami’s rookie class. Dion Jordan explains why his offseason shoulder surgery limited him to only 338 snaps despite the Dolphins trading up to the No. 3 overall pick to select him. He said he knew his snaps would be limited coming into the season.
Second-round pick CB Jamar Taylor had his own offseason surgery. But after recovering from the hernia surgery he later dealt with hamstring issues.
The Jets got the most out of their rookie class with 3,810 snaps, and they did it with two less draft picks than the Dolphins. That’s what happens when your 1st round picks Dee Milliner (747 snaps) and Sheldon Richardson (906), 2nd round pick Geno Smith (1,007), 3rd round pick Brian Winters (771) and 7th round pick Tommy Bohanon (379) all contribute as rookies.
The Dolphins spent the most money of any team in free agency but failed to make the playoffs. Linebackers Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe were especially disappointing. A couple of stud rookies might have made a difference this season. Miami again has the 7th-most cap room with about $28 million to spend, so it will be interesting to see if the Dolphins spend big again or try to build a draft class that can have a more immediate impact.
Here are the NFL rookies with the most snaps this year. The list is, not surprisingly, dominated by offensive linemen. But it comes in a year when Miami really could have used help on the line. When the Dolphins traded up for the 3rd overall pick, it was assumed they’d draft LT/RT Lane Johnson. But they picked Jordan, and Johnson ended up with the fifth most snaps.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari, a fourth-round draft choice by Green Bay, ended up with the third most snaps of any rookie.
By comparison, here’s a list of the Dolphins rookies.
And here’s the complete list. While some of the lowest ranked teams on this list (Denver, Kansas City, Seattle) had a lot of success this year, they didn’t necessarily have as many areas of need this year like Miami. The Dolphins really could have used a rookie tackle this season. While undrafted rookie Sam Brenner saw playing time at left guard, it also came at the expense of Dallas Thomas, a third-round pick who couldn’t get on the field.
And when there were depth issues at cornerback because of injuries, neither of Miami’s second and third round rookie cornerbacks were able to be the answer.
*Note: Special-team snaps weren’t factored in and this only looked at draft picks, not undrafted rookies. Also it doesn’t look at players who were drafted and then cut and picked up on waivers. For example, defensive tackle Chris Jones was drafted by Houston in the 6th round and then cut. He was claimed off waivers by New England and ended up with 792 snaps, but he counts as a zero for Houston, not 792 for New England.Rookie fail? No draft class had fewer snaps in 2013 than the Miami Dolphins