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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
The first half was perfection. The Dolphins scored 30 points and allowed 0 points. This was the expected performance by a team contending for the playoffs versus the team with the worst record in the league.
The passing game was gaining yards at will. The Texans did slow down the run a bit, despite being one of the worst run defenses in the league. Hill and Waddle did their thing, catches passes in that 10-19 yard zone they have been attacking all season.
On defense, turnovers were produced. An interception by Andrew Van Ginkel and a forced fumble by Eric Rowe on a vicious hit that was scooped up by X for a touchdown.
The first half couldn't have gone any better.
Overall, the defense allowed 210 total yards, 14 first downs, 2 of 13 on third down, forced three turnovers and sacked the QB 5 times.
In the second half, the Dolphins were outscored 15-0 by a hapless Texans team. The offensive line fell apart after Terron Armstead went down. Austin Jackson went out with an injury late after having a solid game. So the bad news here is the offensive line that was starting to look like a strength, is now a MASH unit. That could have a huge impact on the rest of the season.
Tua got sacked 3 times in a row when the game was well in hand. He probably should have been taken out earlier.
Questionable approach, aside from keeping Tua in, was to continue being pass happy in the second half given the score and the situation that was materializing with pass protection.
Skylar Thompson had a rough outing, in large part due to the poor protection.
The Dolphins are 8-3, in first place in the AFC East, own the second seed in the AFC. But things are about to get real. Their opponents are a combined 38-29 and they have four games on the road. Some out west, some in the cold. This is the part of the season that will tell us how good this team actually is.
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.