|Stephen Ross, right, thinks Jeff Ireland is doing a fine job as GM, though some fans might disagree. (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)|
Since he took over as Dolphins general manager, Jeff Ireland hasn’t had the greatest run.
The first-round picks from 2008-2011 include tackle Jake Long, cornerback Vontae Davis, defensive end Jared Odrick and center Mike Pouncey. There’s no outright busts on that list, though it’d be a stretch to label any of them as superstars (Long perhaps is close, and Pouncey certainly could turn into a standout).
But if you look at who the Dolphins have drafted in the second round, that’s when you have to question the abilities of Ireland and his staff as talent scouts. You might recall Chad Henne (2008) is no longer with the team, Phillip Merling has only started five games in four seasons (2008), Pat White (2009) is no longer in football, and Koa Misi (2010) is facing a battery charge.
Cornerback Sean Smith, drafted in the second round in 2009, has been decent enough, and Daniel Thomas (second in 2011) was usurped by Reggie Bush for carries last season. But for the most part, that’s not a great stretch of drafting.
However if you ask him if he has any regrets, Ireland can point to only one pick.
“I don’t have too many regrets, to be honest with you,” Ireland told the 790 The Ticket in Miami (via sportsradiointerviews.com). “Pat White would certainly be one of them as a second-round pick that you’ve taken and didn’t pan out. So that’s probably the highest draft choice that we’ve taken that didn’t work out. So I would say that’s probably one of them, but certainly not a regret -- wish he had it over again, but you learn and you move on. And at the time we were running the Wildcat and we thought we would continue with that on that path, and obviously that didn’t work out.”
I’m not sure the problem was with the Wildcat necessarily; the problem was that White clearly wasn’t an NFL quarterback and that he clearly shouldn’t have been selected anywhere near the second round. But Ireland doesn’t spend much time worrying about the criticism that comes from the media and fans.
“I’m certainly a critic of my own work,” Ireland said. “I guess you could criticize some draft picks in the past, but you’re not gonna hit on 100 percent of those guys, so sometimes you take a flyer on some guys, you learn a lesson from that and then you move on. But I’m not one to sit and dwell up on what people say about me, that’s for sure.”
Really, the only person he should be worrying about is owner Stephen Ross. And even though the Dolphins are 31-33 since Ireland took over the GM job, Ross seems to have pledged his undying support to Ireland.
Unless, of course, Ireland keeps on drafting Pat White’s in the second round. Then, there might be some regrets.
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