We expect the Dolphins will be getting mediocre grades when newspapers around the country break down, analyze and evaluate the 2003 draft for every team in the league.

The perception is the Dolphins reached for all three of their first-day picks, which obviously are the premium picks.

Coach Dave Wannstedt fully understands the team's 2003 draft was rather unexciting early because the Dolphins selected a linebacker and two offensive linemen on the first day.

But forget excitement. What you want is a quality draft.

Did the Dolphins get that?

Well, check back with us in a couple of years because it doesn't appear the Dolphins are going to get a whole lot of immediate help from their nine picks.

Wannstedt said he expects two of the team's three offensive linemen on game day; he expects both of the linebackers to be covering the opening kickoff in the season opener against Houston; and he expects tight end Donald Lee to be on the field when the Dolphins go to a two-tight-end formation.

If all of that occurs, then the Dolphins will have done well. But that's a big if.

The bigger problem is the Dolphins didn't get any difference makers. Of course, in their defense, they didn't pick until 49th overall and difference makers are tough to find that late in the draft.

The Dolphins tried moving up in the first round to pick either Stanford tackle Kwame Harris or Iowa guard/tackle Eric Steinbach, but found the asking price (a first-round pick in 2004 and Miami's second-round pick was the starting point) a little too steep.

So how did the Dolphins do?

It isn't likely to go down as one of the great drafts in the history of the NFL, but they probably did better than most analysts will give them credit for.

Here's a quick evaluation of the nine picks:

Round 2, LB Eddie Moore, Tennessee — A major surprise who wasn't expected to go this high. He's on the spot.

Round 3a, T Wade Smith, Memphis — Probably won't contribute that much early but could become a steal.

Round 3b, G Taylor Whitley — Has been described as someone who will never be more than a career backup.

Round 5a, TE Donald Lee — A very good pick at that spot.

Round 5b, WR J.R. Tolver — Here's another pick with a lot of potential.

Round 5c, LB Corey Jenkins — A good athlete, but he's 26 and has never played linebacker.

Round 6a, T Tim Provost — A bright guy but not a great athlete.

Round 6b, S Yeremiah Bell — A good gamble on a guy who sat out all of last season.

Round 7, DT Davern Williams — A big body to challenge Dario Romero for a roster spot.

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