The Miami Dolphins have been in the midst of a resurgence since they made the 2010 draft. Despite Channing Crowder’s departure, the team still had a strong running defense in 2010. The Dolphins finished in the top eight in yards allowed per rush in all three directions and allowed more than five yards per carry on third down. Crowder was replaced by Kevin Burnett by the Dolphins, who should help them to stop opposing running backs.
The Dolphins’ 2010 draft was filled with strong defensive players, but they struggled to score points. The team’s 2011 draft class will focus on improving on the offensive side. Miami will be able to keep Ronnie Brown (free agent) and Ricky Williams (free agent). They may also look to add a young running back. Mark Ingram, a former Alabama star, may be the answer for the Dolphins.
Wide receiver Mike Pouncey is another member of the 2011 draft class. Pouncey was selected by the team from Florida in round one. Although he was considered a sleeper by some, he hasn’t played wide receiver in college. In fact, he was cut by the Dolphins before the start of the 2012 season, and was eventually picked up by the New York Jets. Gates has a combined 25 receptions, 329 yards, and 0 touchdowns.
The Dolphins made a good choice in selecting Clay. The former Oklahoma wide receiver played the H-back role at the University of Tulsa and was a productive contributor in Miami. Clay showed flashes of great play in his first two years, but put it all together in his third year and became a franchise-record-breaking tight end. Clay was drafted and ranked 89th among the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players.
Although the Dolphins were unable to pick a quarterback in the first round this year, they did have a glaring need at running back. Chad Henne was the incumbent quarterback and was entering his final season. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams were also leaving the team. Even with all these things, the draft was not a good one for Miami. In fact, they may have reconsidered Bush as their primary running back.
Despite the disappointing season, the Dolphins’ 2011 draft class still has some promising prospects. Clyde Gates is a wide receiver who transferred from Division 2 Abilene Christian to join the NFL. Although Gates struggled early in his career, Davone Bess has been impressed with his performance. Gates caught his two only catches of the season last week against Dallas, but showed great speed on a 39-yard kickoff return.
Jason Taylor, another Miami Dolphins 2011 draft selection, spent his first twelve years with the team. A fifth-round pick from Texas Tech, Taylor quickly rose the ranks as a starter. He finished his rookie year as the NFL’s leading tackler, earning five Pro Bowl selections. Taylor was able to make a remarkable transition after the players’ strike. He spent the 2010 season playing for the New York Jets, who were a division rival. This is his story.