MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Matt Barkley, Barkevious Mingo, Robert Woods, and Star Lotulelei are the names Miami Dolphins fans should try to start learning because those are the players at the top of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Dolphins have entered into a full-fledged rebuilding year. During the past six months, the Dolphins have traded Brandon Marshall, cut Chad Johnson, named a rookie the starting quarterback, and traded Vontae Davis.
Marshall was the team’s only difference maker at receiver and Davis was arguably the most physically gifted cornerback the team had, and one who played very well down the stretch last season. After the Dolphins’ recent drafts and free agency moves, the team is left with a pretty bare cupboard for playmakers.
Since Jeff Ireland took over as general manager of the Dolphins in 2008, only one player from his first draft is still on the team, number one overall pick Jake Long. With the trading of Davis, Only Sean Smith and Brian Hartline remain from Ireland’s second draft class of 2009.
In 2010, Ireland’s draft netted three potential starters in Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, and Reshad Jones, and also has a backup in Nolan Carroll. In 2011, only Mike Pouncey has made any significant contribution on the field.
In addition, of all the big money signings that Ireland has pulled off since taking over with the Dolphins, only middle linebacker Karlos Dansby and Cameron Wake have worked out to be major contributors. Several signings like Jake Grove, Justin Smiley, Samson Satele, and others aren’t even with the team anymore.
The trade of Davis didn’t really do anything to make the Dolphins immediately better, unless he was turning into a locker room cancer, which wasn’t being reported by Dolphins beat writers. Davis’ immaturity cost him a chance here, but he has plenty of room to make up for it in Indianapolis.
The Dolphins now have a first-round pick, two second round picks, and three third round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. But, they also have a 2012 season still to play and have zero difference makers in the wide receiving corps.
Outside of Davone Bess, the question is whether the Dolphins receivers can even catch the ball. The poor receiver and tight end play could also hamper the development of rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who the Fins invested the number eight overall pick in this year.
The Dolphins do have some pieces to build around, including an up and coming offensive line, a rookie quarterback, a decent running game, and a few decent defensive pieces. But, for players like Dansby, Reggie Bush, and Kevin Burnett, if the team starts losing a lot, they may be ready to leave town for a winner.
All of it is putting a dark cloud over the 2012 season for the Miami Dolphins and could push the team further down the pecking order of South Florida sports if something drastic doesn’t change in a hurry.