Interesting data collected today while I was looking something up.
Here is a list of 6th-7th round picks Miami has made in the past 7 years that are regular contributors in the NFL (not necessarily with the Dolphins). My standard was that they appeared in an average of at least 8 games each season. I got my data from http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/mia/draft.htm
2012 Rishard Matthews (rd 7) 8 games
2011 Charles Clay (rd 6) 28 games
2011 Jimmy Wilson (rd 7) 30 games
2010 Austin Spitler (rd 7) 43 games
2008 Donald Thomas (rd 6) 43 games
Lex Hilliard (rd 6) 50 games
2007 Brandon Fields (rd 7) 96 games
2006 Devin Aromashodu (rd 7) 61 games
That's 8 of 22 players taken in the last 2 rounds (or 36%), where it's really a crap shoot. That's pretty good.
Now here are the results for the first 2 rounds. I included only those players who would be considered starters or solid contributors for their teams in 2012, since that is what you should be expecting (at least) from high draft picks.
2012 Ryan Tannehill (1)
Jonathan Martin (2)
2011 Mike Pouncey (1)
Daniel Thomas (2)
2010 Jared Odrick (1)
Koa Misi (2)
2009 Vontae Davis (1)
Sean Smith (2)
2008 Jake Long (1)
2007 Samson Satele (2)
That's 10 out of 16 players picked, or about 62.5%. That seems pretty poor for the 1st 2 rounds.
My conclusion is that we have been better at scouting the late rounds than the early rounds. Although the last 3 years have netted us solid players in the first 2 rounds, so maybe Ireland was not as much of the problem as Parcells/Sparano.
Just fodder for thought as the offseason roles along, not trying to push any particular agenda.