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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
To Dolphins fans, Chris Grier has been almost as polarizing a figure as the QB he selected 5th overall in the 2020 draft. Critics will point to his lack of ability to “fix” the offensive line in spite of the fact that there have been significant resources invested in doing so. Others will never get past mistakes that were made while he was in the front office but not necessarily in charge, as people like Mike Tannenbaum and Adam Gase.
But I believe it’s past time to put some respect on Grier’s name. It’s time to look at the FACTS and not just spout emotional vitriol. So here are some facts to consider. Since Grier was in charge, the following players have been added. You may argue which category some of these players belong in but I do believe most of us would agree based on current production that this list is pretty accurate.
Players that can be considered above-average to elite-level NFL players
Christian Wilkins (2019); Tua Tagovailoa, Robert Hunt, and Emmanuel Ogbah (2020); Jaylen Waddle, Jalen Phillips, and Jevon Holland (2021); Tyreek Hill, Terron Armstead, Thomas Morstead, Connor Williams, Alec Ingold and Bradley Chubb (2022).
Players that can be considered solid NFL starters
Zach Sieler, Andrew Van Ginkel (2019); Brandon Jones and Byron Jones (2020); Raheem Mostert, Melvin Ingram, Kader Kohou, Jeff Wilson (2022)
Players that are valuable depth players
Eric Rowe, Miles Gaskin (2019); Clayton Fejedelem (2020); Duke Riley, Nik Needham, Robert Jones, John Jenkins (2021); Trent Sherfield, River Cracraft, Verone McKinley, Justin Bethel, Keion Crossen, Cedrick Wilson (2022)
While it’s true that there have been some noticeable whiffs in the early rounds of the draft such as Noah Igbinoghene, Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg, I would answer that for every one of those examples there’s a Kader Kohou, Robert Jones, and Nik Needham. Similarly, not all of our free agent signings have panned out the way we had hoped (Chase Edmonds and Cedric Wilson) but that is more than balanced by under-the-radar signings that have seriously over-performed expectations like Brandon Shell, Trent Sherfield and Jeff Wilson.
Currently, our 53 man roster has 13 players that were originally undrafted free agents. 13! That’s almost 25% of the roster! That doesn’t even include players like Braylon Sanders, Trill Williams or Nik Needham that have shown promise but are either currently injured or on the practice squad. Grier has shown a great knack for finding hidden gems.
Ultimately though it really comes down to this: It’s virtually impossible to dispute now that Grier got the 2 most important decisions right. Head coach Mike McDaniel and QB Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins are 7-3 for the first time in decades and are clearly a rising, exciting team that is fun to watch and it’s time Chris Grier gets some flowers for the job he’s done assembling this roster.
Come by and talk about it here.
Tua Tagovailoa had another monster game, completing 78% of his passes for 285 yards, 8.9 YPA and 3 TDs with no picks. This is the third consecutive game in a row where Tua throws 3 TDs and no picks. He is only the 4th player in NFL history to do this, along with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. That is rarified air. Tua is currently 2nd in the league in completion percentage, 3rd in yards per game, 1st in yards per attempt, 1st in QB rating, 1st in QBR, tied for 3rd in TD passes and only has three interceptions all season. During the game, Miami fans were chanting "MVP" during timeouts. Perhaps a little premature, but Tua is certainly quieting his naysayers this season.
The two-headed monster of Jeff Wilson Jr. and Raheem Mostert combined for 184 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Wilson in particular has been a revelation, gaining 119 yards on 17 carries and catching 2 passes for 24 yards. What an upgrade over Chase Edmunds! Overall, the Dolphins rushing attack gained 195 yards at a 5.9 ypc clip. As productive as the passing game has been, to see the running game show up only makes this offense that much more dangerous. Running the football is critical in the cold weather, which the Dolphins are sure to face later this year, especially if they make the playoffs.
The offensive line helped pave the way for the rushing attack and protected Tua well against two very good defensive ends. You would often see Dolphins offensive linemen blocking 4-5 yards downfield on running plays. As I stated in the offseason, for the Dolphins to run the ball, they need a real center and Connor Williams has provided that.
Overall, the offense gained 491 total yards, 29 first downs, didn't turn the ball over and controlled the clock for 33:14.
The defense also had a good performance. After a rough start where the Browns drove the ball down the field for a touchdown, the Dolphins only allowed 10 points the rest of the game. They held Nick Chubb to 63 yards rushing and were shutting him out until he broke one run for a 33-yard TD late in the game. They were able to sack Jacoby Brissett 3 times and force a fumble. The Browns only had 297 yards of total offense. Overall, a solid performance against a team that ranks 5th in total yards, 5th in rushing yards and 10th in total scoring.
Not a lot of bad when you blowout the opponent, but the Dolphins special teams need work. Kick coverage is iffy. Check the results of the first play of the game. Jason Sanders hit two field goals, but missed two extra points. At this point, special teams appear to be the weakest unit on the team, although the defense can give them a run for their money at times.
Emmanuel Ogbah, The Dolphins largest cap hit this season, is out for the year with a torn tricep.
Thomas Morstead is eating up $1.047M in cap room to walk around the sideline.
7-3. First place in the AFC East. This is the Dolphins best record through 10 games since 2001. The passing game is clicking. The running game is showing signs of life. The defense is playing complimentary football when it's needed most. Mike McDaniel seems to be pushing all the right buttons, especially with his young QB. As Dolphins fans, we have to be thrilled with the results so far. It is almost disappointing that we have a bye week this week, as I want to keep watching more.
We've not been this excited about these Dolphins in a long, long time.