Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Full 2012 NFL Draft order revealed; Dolphins receive no compensatory picks

The entire 2012 NFL Draft order has been revealed by the league, and as a result we now know exactly where each of the Miami Dolphins' picks falls among the 253 selections on the weekend of April 26-28.

Round 1, Pick 8
Round 2, Pick 10 (42nd)
Round 3, Pick 9 (72nd)
Round 3, Pick 10 (73rd)
Round 4, Pick 8 (103rd)
Round 5, Pick 10 (145th)
Round 6, Pick 27 (196th)
Round 7, Pick 8 (215th)

Six of these picks are the Dolphins' own, while the 73rd overall pick comes from Chicago when the Bears acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall earlier this month, and the sixth-round pick is from a swap with the Saints for running back Reggie Bush. Essentially, the Dolphins acquired the 1,000-yard rusher for the price of moving down 17 sots in the sixth round. Not too shabby.

There's also the luxury of having consecutive picks in the third round of the draft at No. 72 and 73 thanks to the trade with the Bears. As Ben Volin points out, some exceptional talent has been found by other teams in the third round of the draft.

However, all eyes are certainly on the Dolphins' No. 8 overall pick, which was landed in a coin flip with the Carolina Panthers at February's NFL Scouting Combine.

Most of the Dolphins' needs entering the offseason remain partially or entirely, and the team is expected to consider positions like quarterback, offensive tackle, and defensive end.

A trade down is also a possibility, especially if a blue chip prospect like Alabama running back Trent Richardson or Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon remains on the board. Moving down from No. 8 would potentially give the Dolphins more ammo to move up in the 2013 first round, when the quarterback class is expected to be loaded with talent.

Meanwhile, the NFL announced Monday its annual allotment of compensatory picks awarded for the upcoming NFL Draft, given to teams for the net loss in free agency the offseason prior. As expected, the Dolphins received no compensatory picks and remain with just their eight draft choices.

It's certainly no surprise to see the Dolphins fail to even net a 2012 seventh-round selection, as their departed free agents from 2011 combined to do next to nothing with their new teams:
  • RB Ronnie Brown (Eagles) — 42 carries, 136 yards (3.2 avg.), one touchdown
  • OL Pat McQuistan (Saints) — Appeared in 10 games as a backup and played 164 offensive snaps
  • QB Tyler Thigpen (Bills) — Spent season as backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick; played 22 offensive snaps and went 3-for-8 with an interception
  • RB Ricky Williams (Ravens) — working as Ray Rice's backup, averaged 4.1 yards per carry with 444 yards and two touchdowns on the ground
As you can see, Williams was basically the only departed free agent that did anything for his new team and that was in a backup role. Combine that with the fact that the Dolphins got quality production out of free-agent additions Kevin Burnett (106 tackles, 2.5 sacks, forced fumble, touchdown) and Matt Moore (2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 87.1 passer rating)—plus 16 starts out of right tackle Marc Colombo (even if it was as a horrible level)—there was never any way the Dolphins were going to come out ahead in the compensatory picks department.

On a somewhat related note, if you want to see how the team's future free agents project, you can check out the Year-by-Year Free Agents page here. Also available through the Dolphins Info section of the drop-down menu, this page is constantly updated to reflect players currently under contract, showing when they will be free agents and what their classifications will be.

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