Free Trial Ad
Why Subscribe?
  • Player/Prospect News
  • Exclusive Insider Info
  • Members-Only Forums
  • Exclusive Videos
  • Subscribe Now!
InboxChat RoomChat Room (0 fans in chatroom)

Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland

  • mlb1399
  • Member
  • 1781 posts this site

Posted: 1/12/2013 3:24 PM

Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

We've discussed the topic of Ireland ad nauseum here.  Any time his name gets brought up, a polarizing debate usually ensues.  I wanted to start a thread that attempted to remove emotions and look at some facts with a little bit of subjective analysis.

I decided to do some research on the NFL draft to see how good or bad he's been.

Before I jump into it, I want to clearly state my opinion to remove any shadow of doubt on where I stand.  I, like many other people, are on the fence about him.  I don't think he's done a great job but I also don't think he's done a horrible job.  There's a part of me that's nervous as hell having him with so many picks this year.  But at the same time, he's the person who put us in that situation.

My aim is to remove bias and opinion and look at facts as much as possible.  I'm also giving him all the blame and credit for every draft pick while he's been here.  Obviously a players success hinges on talent(his job), how well they develop(coaches job) and the players ability to stay healthy(tough to predict).

I also wanted to remove any hindsight moves like he should have drafted Gronk in the 2nd or taken so and so in the 1st.  This analysis is purely evaluating the decisions he made at the time and how they've panned out.

The first thing we should cover is his philosophy.  Like any philosophy, all decisions derive from that philosophy.  He doesn't believe in building through free agency.  He believes you build a team through the draft and add some small pieces through free agency.

People tend to be critical of lack of free agent signings and anoint teams champions based on free agency.  If history shows anything, throwing around a lot of money in free agency rarely works.

To start, I wanted to look at the success rate of NFL teams in the first 3 rounds of the draft.  After doing some research on several different sites, I found the following success rates:

1st round- 56%
2nd round- 50%
3rd round- 46%
4th round- 44%

The next part comes down to what is success in each round.  At the very least, you need an impact player in the 1st round, starters in the 2nd round, starter/contributors in the 3rd round and contributor/special teams in the 4th rounds.

The subjective part of this analysis is whether the picks were successful.  I went with a star system based on met expectations, exceeded or didn't meet expectations.  5 star meaning great pick, 4 being above average, 3 being average, 2 being a below average pick and 1 being a bad pick.  If a player didn't contribute at all on any level, they get 0.  3 star or above means success

So here goes:

1st round:  

Expectation: Impact Player

Jake Long- 5 star
Vontae Davis- 3 star
Jared Odrick- 2 star
Mike Pouncey- 4.5 star
Ryan Tannehill- 1 star

In terms of impact players, Long and Pouncey were or are one of the best at their position.   Odrick is a starter but hasn't lived up to the billing of an impact player yet.  Davis was a very good corner and an impact player for our defense.  Tannehill is incomplete.

Success Rate: 60%/Potential of 100%
NFL Success Rate: 56%

2nd Round:

Expectation: Starter

Chad Henne- 2 star
Phillip Merling- 1 star
Pat White- 0 star
Sean Smith- 3.5 star
Koa Misi- 3 star
Daniel Thomas- 2.5 star
Jonathan Martin- 3 star

Let's start with the bad.  Pat White and Merling were horrible picks.  Chad Henne is a solid backup but not a NFL quality QB.  Daniel Thomas is not a starting caliber RB but is a contributor.  Misi and Sean Smith are both starters, while far from dominant or impact playmakers.  The entire success or lackthereof comes down to your view of Martin.  I put him as a 3 star because once he moved to LT, he looked much better after the drubbing by Smith.  He graded out as a B his remaining games.  With some more muscle and development, I think he could be good.  I simply gave him a 3 star at this point.  You could certainly debate that.

The success or lackthereof of his round, not including 2013, hinges on Thomas and Martin.

Success Rate: 43%
NFL Success Rate: 50%

Clearly has not done a good job here.

3rd Round:

Expectation: Starter or Contributor

Kendall Langford- 4 star
Patrick Turner- 0 star
John Jerry- 3.5 star
Olivier Vernon- 3.5 star
Michael Egnew- 0 star

Clearly Turner and Egnew were horrible picks.  Nothing more needs to be said there.  Langford, while not with the Dolphins, is starter and contributed for the Dolphins.  Jerry is a starter for the Dolphins.  Vernon appears to ne on the verge of not only being a starter but maybe even an impact player for us.

Success Rate:  60%
NFL Success Rate: 46%

4th Round:

Expectation: Contributor/Special Teams

Shawn Murphy- 0 star
Brian Hartline- 5 star
AJ Edds- 0 star
Edmond Gates- 2 star
Lamar Miller- 4 star

Edds and Murphy were bad picks.  Hartline is a good starter for us.  Miller appears to be not only a contributor but could develop into a playmaker.  Gates contributed to the Jets but had very little impact while in Miami which is why I gave him a 2.

Success Rate:  40%
NFL Success Rate: 44%


Cameron Wake- Our best player and an All-Pro.  Worthy of a top 10 pick and was signed as a FA from Canada.
Devonne Bess- A solid contributor and slot player for us.  Would certainly be worthy of a 3rd pick.
Thigpen- solid special teams player and worthy of a 4th round pick
Jones- a stud and our best secondary player.  Taken in the 6th, was worthy of a 2nd or even late 1st round pick.
Reggie Bush- traded for a swap of 6th round picks.  Got 2nd round pick value out of him. 


Brandon Marshall- traded 2 2nd rounders and got 2 3rd rounders in return.  Now Philbin likely was the reason for this trade but I'm given all credit/blame to Ireland for the purposes of this analysis.


Jeff has done an above average job in the 1st and 3rd rounds.  If Odrick moves to DT and Tannehill continues to develop, you could even say he's done a great job in the 1st round.

He's done a below average job in the 2nd round and 4th rounds of the draft.  They are close to the NFL mark but still doesn't get it done.

When you add in the bonus of Wake, Bess, Bush, Thigpen and Jones, minus the bad move of Marshall, I think this pretty much confirms my opinion coming into this.  He's done about an average job, maybe even slightly above average.

The critics will lament about lack of Free Agents and some bad signings, they certainly have a point.  Understanding his philosophy, I can support most of what he's done.  I think he certainly has earned another year but this analysis and your opinion is for you to decide.

Probably the biggest negative is while he has done, what I think, is an above average job drafting, he hasn't done a good job of keeping that talent on this team.  Part of that could be because of Philbin but then again, the buck stops with Jeff.

Last edited 1/12/2013 3:34 PM by mlb1399

Reply | Quote

Posted: 1/12/2013 3:44 PM

RE: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

Good stuff mlb. I want him gone, but I don't know who I would want to replace him.

I'm worried about this draft and who he will select, but hopefully he proves me wrong.

Reply | Quote

Posted: 1/12/2013 6:07 PM

RE: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

Good attempt at the analysis. Like you say, there's no perfect way to handle it, but kudos for trying.

How do you factor in trades? I.e. Does the 2nd rounders we've spent on B Marshall come into factor?

Reply | Quote
  • mlb1399
  • Member
  • 1781 posts this site

Posted: 1/12/2013 6:33 PM

RE: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

DolphinFanCA wrote: Good attempt at the analysis. Like you say, there's no perfect way to handle it, but kudos for trying.

How do you factor in trades? I.e. Does the 2nd rounders we've spent on B Marshall come into factor?

That's a good question.  Looking at the trade value chart, 2 mid round(16th) 2nd round picks equals 840 points.  2 mid round 3rd picks are 380 points.  That results in a loss of 460 points or the 12th pick in the 2nd round.  

Now we did get good production from for 2 years so it's hard to factor that in.  He was an impact player, which would equal a 1st round pick.  Assuming a mid round 1st round value, that's 1000 points.  Let's say the average 1st round picks contract is 5 years, we had him for 40% of that time.  So we got 400 points worth of value out of him. 

Using my unprofessional formula, that would result in a loss of 60 draft points.  460 in the loss of picks less 400 points of impact value resulting in the loss.

What dictates whether that trade is successful is whether you use 5 years or 4 years.  At 4 years, you had 50% of that 1st round value resulting in 500 points.  That would result in a 40 point gain in draft value from the trade.

At the end of the day, that is up to you to decide.

It would be interesting to go through all of the drafts to see what percentage of all of his draft value points we utilized.  Highly subjective but the data would be interesting.

Based on this year, we have 2525 draft points.  Interesting that amount equals roughly the 2nd pick in the 1st round of the draft.  That's why missing out on a top 5 pick is so costly.  You are essentially losing an entire drafts worth of points in 1 pick.
Reply | Quote

Posted: 1/12/2013 7:04 PM

RE: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

I personally think it's completely unfair to judge Ireland while Parcells was here, he may of had input but he was absolutely not the trigger puller that was Parcells 100%...
Reply | Quote
  • mlb1399
  • Member
  • 1781 posts this site

Posted: 1/12/2013 7:11 PM

Re: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

As I've thought about this more, it's interesting that people who want him removed usually judge him by what he didn't do versus what he did do.

Didn't get Manning, didn't get a good WR, didn't draft Gronk instead of White.

When you look at what he's actually done:

good 1st round drafting
below average 2nd round drafting
great 3rd round drafting
below average 4th round drafting

Key Trades:
Fasano: 4th round pick for 3rd round value
Bush: swap of 6th round picks resulting in a 7th round value for a 2nd to 3rd round value
Marshall: 2 2nds for 2 3rds plus 2 years of production resulting in a loss of 60 points or a mid 4th round pick

Key Signings:
Wake: All Pro Player, top 5 pick value
Bess: Good slot receiver, 3rd round pick value
Burnett: 3rd round value
Dansby: Top 10 MLB, not top 5.  Late 1st round value
Incognito: 3rd round value

It's better than I thought.  Especially considering how void of talent we were when he got here.  He's been far from perfect, of course no one is.

You add some bad Parcells decisions, bad coaching with Sparano and a scheme change and maybe he's done an ok job.  

When you factor how loaded we are this year for the draft and free agency, we are heading in the right direction.  Especially when you look at the youth movement we've made and that we have some key pieces in place with Jones, Pouncey, Wake and potentially Tannehill.

He's still a far cry from GM of the year or even a great GM but he's better than what a lot of people think.
Reply | Quote

Posted: 1/12/2013 9:45 PM

Re: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

wins and losses is the bottom line
Reply | Quote
  • mikdo
  • Member
  • 698 posts this site

Posted: 1/12/2013 10:49 PM

Re: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 


nice post

Ill stay biased as well.
Remember, ireland has extra picks this year only due to: (1) trading Vontae a 1st round pick by ire for a 2nd (failure) & trading the Pro Bowl receiver this year away for two thirds, after we spent two seconds on him. If u call that his earning extra picks then i think your wrong.

IMO, look @ the rotating IN/OUT of FA's this guy has had. U kidding me, u say you slightly nervous he will be the GM with 5 picks in three, i am 99.9 confident he will blow this opportunity again.

He doesnt have it, doesnt grasp talent, hes not the man, sadly its gonna take another 3 years to prove it. Egnew in the 3rd, u kidding me
Reply | Quote

Posted: 1/13/2013 8:04 AM

RE: Objective Analysis of Jeff Ireland 

Brandon Marshall is a great wr but he is also an a$$hole. You can't have your top WR and player be that much of an alpha male. If you throw an incomplete pass to Brian Hartline he's going to let you know about it...he was open. If you get sacked because nobody was open...he was open. When start forcing the qb to start looking where he shouldn't be he throws interceptions. Brandon Marshall would have helped Ryan Tannehill pass for more yards and TDs but he would have destroyed his decision making and position as a leader of this offense and then thrashed him in the offseason. Yeah it sucks we lost value for him but he wanted to leave and he would have made life for everyone including himself miserable to get what he wanted. Look what happened too. He got paired with his "great" QB and he had a great season but his team missed the playoffs and his QB threw a lot of picks.

Last edited 1/13/2013 8:10 AM by dstock21

Reply | Quote