Draft picks are valued like gold in the NFL community, but people forget that a draft pick is just a ticket to bid on potential prospects coming into the draft. Having the draft pick does not guarantee that a player drafted will be beneficial to the team. The community assumes that every selected player will be a guaranteed lock to be a star player. This is always the wanted hope as every team and fan wants every draft pick to be a positive contributor to their team in order to win a Super Bowl. However, for every bid on potential, there is a player that falls short of the expectations of the organizations and the fans. The NFL is a game of potential when you think about it. And in a league where the game is betting on potential, you would want to place your bet in the position to achieve the best potential talent possible.

The 2022 draft doesn’t exactly have that potential star player that everyone is looking to come into the league and dominate at the next level.

The draft class has good players. It is a deep class to fill out the roster if you need a lot of solid players. But Miami doesn’t need to bet on the player potential to fill out a starting roster as they have a solid core of players. Miami needs star players at critical positions that push them into the contending category. The 2022 draft class did not have those key players. Free Agency and trades with other teams did.

If a team has a choice between an elite veteran player who has proven themselves in the league or a young player who has nothing on their resume, it is only logical to assume that you go with the elite veteran player.

In Miami’s case, that would be Tyreek Hill. Yes, there was plenty of potential in the wide receiver class this year from Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, and Treylon Burks, but they aren’t Tyreek Hill. There is the argument of potential regression. Age is always something to consider when choosing because you want good players for a long time. Money is a big factor because teams want to be able to pay all the positions they need to pay. But elite-level production does not grow on trees. And when a team has a chance to grab that potential, they should jump at the chance. The 2022 prospects have not had a chance to prove they will survive in the NFL.

So if Miami is to logically bet on the best potential to succeed, then they would go with the one already proven. And logically, Miami can always place a bet on another wide receiver class in the future if need be, as the floor for talent in prospects stays the same.

All players coming into the draft have the potential to be elite as the NFL is the best of the best competing against one another. In a logical sense, it’s the same bet on potential based on scouting and research every draft year. Unfortunately, not all players reach that level of potential. If elite talent came into the league all the time, then no one would get paid, and everyone would be replaced after their first rookie contract ended. Tyreek Hill has already been considered to reach that potential of an elite-level wide receiver. And based on betting on the potential, it’s better to take someone with a higher ceiling than a lower floor. This is not to say that those players won’t reach that potential in the future. However, there is a benefit to going with someone that has shown elite potential compared to betting on the possibility of being elite.

Look at the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams had not had a first-round pick since 2016, when they took Jared Goff as their number one overall pick. After that pick, they started selling their picks for veteran players and had two Super Bowl appearances with one Super Bowl win. And even with that 2016 pick in Jared Goff, they traded him and more picks to grab Mathew Stafford to push them over the edge and win a Super Bowl.

Miami is doing a moderate version of what the Rams did in their plan. Miami has already bet on a lot of prospect potential in previous draft classes building a team core roster. Howard, Tua, Waddle, Holland, etc. Now Miami needs guys like Hill to push them to the next level. Not a rookie that you’re betting will pan out and change the franchise. If I’m a Miami Dolphin fan, I’m ecstatic about where my team is, potential-wise. Because while other teams will be spending time trying to figure out if their high-value draft pick was worth the bet on potential. Miami’s team already knows the floor of everyone’s potential on the roster, and it’s better to see what you have compared to what you don’t. And the potential to be elite again is a lot higher than being elite for the first time.