Five Stages of the NFL Draft for Miami Dolphins Fans

Happy NFL Draft Eve, Dolphins fans! Hold onto your butts, because the next chapter of Miami Dolphins draft history is just a day away. It's like the day before a new season of House of Cards, except it's been going on for 50 seasons, Kevin Spacey retired years ago, and things haven't been the same since. 

Pardon us for being a smidgeon pessimistic these days about the Dolphins' draft, but they've made us this way. In fact, after so many years of botched drafts and false hopes, there are five stages every Dolphins fan goes through during every draft.

1. The end-of-season dilemma 

By the time the end of the season rolls around, Fins fans are certain the team not only doesn't have a shot in hell at a Super Bowl championship but also very little chance of making the playoffs. They're dead inside. They're too tired to sleep. They're trying to poop, but nothing happens. They want to have sex, but they can't. The end of a Dolphins season is all of those feelings wrapped into one. It makes fans wonder if the Dolphins losing their final few games to improve their draft position might make more sense than winning just to say they almost finished .500. 

Fans scream at one another and type letters really hard on keyboards. It's unpleasant.

2. Mock draft season! 

In the end, the Dolphins do whatever they can to get a draft slot that is somehow just outside the area in the draft that most feel the best prospects will go. Even if they land in a good spot, the talent for whatever position they really need is somehow really shallow that year. Remember Ronnie Brown? The Dolphins picked him second overall. Why do we even bother anymore?

Mock drafts are everywhere. Blogs put together pie charts that show what percentage of experts think the Dolphins will pick certain players. The consensus of whom the Dolphins will draft is inevitably always sexier than the guys the Dolphins actual draft. Alumni of local schools tweet how much of a steal one of their players would be for the Dolphins. It's a mess. Knowing it's an absolute mess, we enjoy it.

3. Draft weekend arrives 

Anticipation. Excitement. Disappointment. Dolphins' fans emotions usually flow in that order. Back when the draft was a two-day marathon, the feeling was more of a Band-Aid, but now it's more of a slow burn. It's a hemorrhoid. The Dolphins draft is a long, excruciating hemorrhoid. Only once every four years, like the Winter Olympics, the Dolphins make an exciting and sexy pick, like Lamar Miller. 

The names at the top don't excite, and the names in the middle underwhelm. The Fins pick a guard in the third, a linebacker in the fifth, a safety in the sixth, and a defensive lineman in the seventh. Every year, it's the same script.

4. Hyping the draft class

Fans talk themselves into believing the team may have known what it was doing all along, even though every bone in their body knows that's an absurd thing to think. Once in a while, the Fins will hit on a legitimately good draft pick, but to believe a tight end from Georgia taken in the fifth round will ever make the team is to believe that flying turtles will one day rule the world — it's just comic-book nonsense.

5. Watching the drafted players play

Watching a player the Dolphins drafted is like taking the ice-bucket challenge, because the realization hits you so fast and hard: This guy won't be a difference-maker. He won't change the franchise's future. He won't be a steal like some had insisted he would be. Do the Dolphins occasionally hit on a guy like Jarvis Landry? Of course. Did they take 13 second-round swings to connect on one home run? Definitely. 

The circle of life that is watching the Dolphins draft over the past decade-plus has been anything but satisfying, and even when it's turned out well for them, those picks have since moved on to other teams. The Dolphins are an average team full of average talent, much of which they chose in the draft. 

Let's hope this new regime changes how Dolphins fans experience the draft. 


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