Analyzing the Dolphins’ Pick

by Greg Pollowitz

What the heck is wrong with sportswriters? Here’s Greg Cote from the Miami Herald:

Can a team’s decision on a first-round NFL Draft pick strike you as OK-solid and disappointing all at once? I think so. And if so, that’s what the Dolphins managed Thursday night.

This team, desperate for a draft home run, a big spark, had a chance to go bold.

Instead it went bland.

There might be more anonymous players than interior offensive linemen, but punters and long snappers don’t get taken with No. 1 picks.

This isn’t meant as a direct knock on Mike Pouncey, the Florida Gators center/guard-turned-Dolphins top draftee. He’s fine. Nice player. He was seen as the best in the draft at his position, and he fills a need for Miami, if not the most urgent one.

Taking Pouncey 15th overall was a reach, though. He could have been had lower. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland sought to trade down, and I’m not sure which is worse: Failing to find a trade partner, or deciding that if you are stuck at 15, the player you reach for might as well be someone who brings neither the star power, sizzle nor palpable impact you need.

Pouncey is seen as NFL-ready. He should start as a rookie. But he isn’t even the best blocker in his own family. That’s twin Maurkice of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Let’s get this straight. Four year starter at Florida. Played DL, guard and center while at Florida. He had 18 bad slaps last year, but that was with three different QBs for the Gators. And, by the way, his clone made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. There are no sure things on Day 1 of the draft, but this one’s pretty close.

This line is what gets me, “This team, desperate for a draft home run, a big spark, had a chance to go bold.” Yeah. Wouldn’t everyone? That’s the thing with NFL — you never know who’s going to be the home run. This pick – a literal clone of his Pro-Bowl brother – was a fine pick. Be happy with it.

But here’s another thing I don’t understand. Cote’s idea of a “home run, a big spark, a chance to go bold” was Ryan Mallet from Arkansas. Really?

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.