AFC East: Abraham Wright
Just three years later, one keeper is a lousy return.
But consider how the rest of AFC East drafted in 2007.
Only six of 30 AFC East draftees from 2007 still are with the team that drafted them: two New York Jets, two Miami Dolphins, one New England Patriot and one Bill. (See chart below.)
The Patriots were the least efficient on nine picks, but they had only two selections inside the first four rounds. Their lone keeper was Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather in the first round.
The Dolphins made 10 selections in what was the final draft class for general manager Randy Mueller and the only one for rookie head coach Cam Cameron. They famously misfired on ninth overall pick Ted Ginn, who was traded for a fifth-round pick this offseason, and second-round quarterback John Beck. Still around are defensive tackle Paul Soliai and punter Brandon Fields.
The last man standing from Buffalo's seven-man 2007 draft class is second-round linebacker Paul Posluszny.
So that's a 20 percent retention rate for the AFC East on all draftees and a 40 percent rate for those selected in the top three rounds.
With help from ESPN researcher Keith Hawkins and the Elias Sports Bureau, I wanted to find out how those percentages compared leaguewide.
Poorly, it turns out.
Of the 225 players chosen in other divisions that year, 100 have remained with the teams that drafted them. That's 44.4 percent overall, more than twice the AFC East rate.
When narrowing the field to players taken within the first three rounds, 89 prospects were absorbed into other divisions, and 54 have stuck, a success rate of 60.7 percent.
A few notes turned up by the research:
- The Dolphins are the only team that has gotten rid of their top four picks.
- Twenty-six teams have parted ways with at least one of their picks from the first three rounds.
- Of the 19 teams that had at least one pick in each of the first three rounds, only the Pittsburgh Steelers retained all of them (Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Matt Spaeth).
The Dolphins have given up on a decorated college quarterback the previous front office drafted with the 40th overall selection a mere 24 months ago. Beck was supposed to be the quarterback of the future.
Monday's move underscores what the Dolphins emphasized after they drafted West Virginia's Pat White: They consider him a quarterback who also will play some receiver, not a ballhandler who can throw a little.
But what stands out to me is how abysmal Miami's 2007 draft class turned out to be. Conventional wisdom states a draft class should be evaluated after three years. This one has been gutted after two years.
That was former general manager Randy Mueller's last year and the only draft head coach Cam Cameron participated in before Wayne Huizenga hired Bill Parcells to handle football operations. Parcells fired Mueller and Cameron.
Of the 10 players Miami drafted in 2007, only three remain on the roster: a receiver, a punter and a reserve defensive tackle.
- Ted Ginn, Ohio State receiver: Still on the roster ... A sometimes-flashy receiver and return man but has done little to prove the Dolphins didn't reach by taking him ninth overall.
- John Beck, Brigham Young quarterback: Released on Monday.
- Samson Satele, Hawaii center: Traded to Oakland Raiders in March for a sixth-round draft choice and flopped fourth-round picks.
- Lorenzo Booker, Florida State running back: Traded to Philadelphia Eagles at last year's draft for a fourth-round pick.
- Paul Soliai, Utah defensive tackle: Still on the roster ... Zero career starts ... Dolphins gave him two one-game suspensions for undisclosed reasons.
- Reagan Mauia, Hawaii fullback: Failed to make the team out of training camp last year.
- Drew Mormino, Central Michigan offensive lineman: Failed his physical and was waived in May 2008.
|G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images|
|The Dolphins traded Wes Welker to the Patriots for draft picks, one of which Miami used on Samson Satele, who may be out of a starting job.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
The Miami Dolphins got rolled in the parking lot.
As if Welker's 223 receptions and 2,240 yards in two seasons weren't enough to declare the New England Patriots clear victors, the Dolphins are extracting Satele from the middle of their offensive line.
Former Miami general manager Randy Mueller traded Welker to New England for second- and seventh-round draft picks in 2007. The Dolphins selected Satele and linebacker Abraham Wright.
Although the Dolphins waived Wright last spring, Satele had shown promise. He started all 16 games as a rookie, something no Dolphins center -- not even Hall of Famer Dwight Stephenson -- had done. Satele was Miami's first rookie offensive lineman since 2003 to start every game.
But it doesn't look like Satele will be Miami's center anymore, making the Welker trade even more lopsided.
It's becoming common knowledge in the NFL community the Dolphins already have decided Satele won't snap the ball next year because the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hawaiian isn't physical enough.
An NFL source informed me Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano have made finding a new O-line anchor their priority -- and they don't care if they land one through free agency or the draft. Satele could be rendered a depth player if he doesn't evolve into an effective guard.
Draft gurus rank California's Alex Mack and Oregon's Max Unger as the best centers in this year's class.
The Dolphins own the 25th pick, and Mack seems to be in that neighborhood. ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay predict the Pittsburgh Steelers will take Mack with the 32nd selection. Scouts Inc. ranks him the 32nd-best prospect in the draft.