Grading the Dolphins draft

It's never totally fair to judge a draft right after it has ended, but somehow it must be done. We therefore examine how the Dolphins did in Nick Saban's first draft as Miami head coach.

While it's easy for many teams to score big on the first day of the draft, there aren't too many that can come up with what most consider steals on Day 2.

This is where the Dolphins fall.

With their first three picks on Saturday, the Dolphins had a first day that was about as good as any team in the league.

The Dolphins got three solid players in RB Ronnie Brown, DE Matt Roth and LB Channing Crowder, all of whom were mentioned as first-round possibilities at some point.

The second day wasn't so exciting because we don't honestly see a steal among the Dolphins' three picks -- CB Travis Daniels, T Anthony Alabi and DT Kevin Vickerson.

Of the three, Vickerson might have the biggest upside, but he also might be the least NFL-ready.

Let's offer a quick look and opinion on each pick.

Round 1, RB Ronnie Brown: A totally solid pick even though he's not the type of slam dunk you normally like to see at No. 2 overall.

Round 2, DE Matt Roth: A high-motor, productive guy who doesn't have great size but gets the job done.

Round 3, LB Channing Crowder: Comes with character and injury concerns, but has tremendous potential and could prove a steal at this spot. We like this pick more than any other the Dolphins had.

Round 4, CB Travis Daniels: A decent prospect, but we would have been a lot more excited had the Dolphins been able to get teammate and fellow CB Corey Webster in the second round.

Round 5, T Anthony Alabi: Another decent prospect but one who isn't likely to make a contribution anytime soon.

Round 7, DT Kevin Vickerson: A good gamble in the seventh round, although there were a couple of players left we would have preferred, such as Michigan SS Ernest Shazor, Oregon State CB Brandon Browner, Utah WR Steve Savoy, Cal TE Garrett Cross and Saban's former LSU center, Ben Wilkerson.

Overall, it was a solid effort for Saban, who emphasized versatility in this draft. He mentioned Ronnie Brown's multitude of skills, Daniels' ability to play all secondary positions in his defense and Crowder's ability to line up at all three linebacker spots.

Was it a spectacular draft? No. We also don't think it will get the highest grades when all the various media outlets analyze this year's draft.

But it was a solid effort that should help the Dolphins head back in the right direction.

Our grade: B.


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