Draft Flashback: Bad Timing

As we stare at a 2007 draft that is ripe with blue-chip prospects, we can't help but think back to two years ago when the Dolphins found themselves with the second overall pick. It was their highest draft pick ever. Unfortunately, it also came in the absolute worst possible year.

This is not meant as a shot at Ronnie Brown, who the Dolphins selected with that pick. Brown has turned in two solid seasons for the Dolphins and looks like he will have a productive NFL career.

But, really, does Brown really look like a running back who should have been a No. 2 overall pick. It's not that it's Brown's fault; the truth is there just wasn't anything overly exciting that year.

Don't believe us? OK, let's run down the top 10 that year.

1. QB Alex Smith, Utah, drafted by San Francisco

2. Brown

3. WR Braylon Edwards, Michigan, drafted by Cleveland

4. RB Cedric Benson, Texas, drafted by Chicago

5. RB Carnell Williams, Auburn, drafted by Tampa Bay

6. CB Adam (Pacman) Jones, West Virginia, drafted by Tennessee

7. WR Troy Williamson, South Carolina, drafted by Minnesota

8. DB Antrel Rolle, Miami (Fla.), drafted by Arizona

9. CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn, drafted by Washington

10. WR Mike Williams, USC, drafted by Detroit


The rest of the first round isn't much better, really. Of the 32 first-round picks that year, only DeMarcus Ware (11th), Shawne Merriman (12th), Jammal Brown (13th), Luis Castillo (28th), Heath Miller (30th) and Logan Mankins (32nd) have made a significant impact in their first two seasons in the league.

Going back to the top 10, how many of those guys do you really think would be in the top 10 this year?

Smith clearly would be rated behind both JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, and probably would stand in the middle of the second tier that includes Trent Edwards, John Beck and Drew Stanton.

The running backs? Clearly, Brown, Benson and Williams, would be ranked behind Adrian Peterson and they probably would be on par with Marshawn Lynch.

Braylon Edwards? He clearly would be ranked behind Calvin Johnson and would be a borderline top 10 pick at best. Williamson and Williamson might not crack the top five at wide receiver this year.

Jones and Rolle? Jones is tough to gauge because on talent alone he would have been a top 10 pick in most years, but Rolle wouldn't have sniffed the top 10 this year. Same goes for Carlos Rogers.

Had the Dolphins had that second overall pick this year, they would have come away with either a stud wideout (Calvin Johnson), a franchise quarterback (Russell or Quinn) or an anchor for the offensive line in the form of Joe Thomas.

The second overall pick has produced more than its share of busts over the years -- think Charles Rogers, Ryan Leaf, Darrell Russell, Tony Mandarich -- but that was either bad scouting or bad luck.

The fact that Brown is a good but not special player shouldn't reflect poorly at all on the Dolphins. In practically every year, there are guys who are bigger difference-makers than Brown.

The one year the Dolphins were in prime position to get one of those guys was the one year there simply weren't any out there.

The Dolphins have had their share of good fortune in the draft -- think Dan Marino -- but the 2005 draft being so lackluster in a year when the Dolphins finally had a prime pick was a severely bad break.

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.