Dolphins best drafts pick by season

2 of 6

Mandatory Credit: Miami


1970 is a tough season to call for best draft pick. Since I’m the one writing it, I’m going with Jake Scott. Scott was taken in the 7th round of the draft and became the teams first Super Bowl MVP. At the top of this years draft were no slouches. Jim “Mad-Dog” Mandich was selected in round one, Tim Foley in round two, and Curtis Johnson in round 3. All of whom played signficant roles in the Super Bowl years and beyond.


Vern Den Herder was taken in round 9 of this draft. He spent 12 years at defensive end for the Dolphins starting 144 of 166 games played. While Vern Den Herder was the best player taken in this draft, it was a quarterback that would have an impact on the Dolphins a decade later. In the 4th round the Dolphins chose quarterback Joe Theismann. The Dolphins would send Theismann to the Redskins where a decade later he would lead the Redskins to a Super Bowl victory over the Dolphins.


The undefeated season wasn’t as kind to the Dolphins in the draft. Cornerback Charlie Baab taken in the 5th round was the best product of that class. He spent seven seasons in Miami.


The Dolphins had two great historic players come out of the ’73 draft. Don Strock in round 5 and Ed Newman in round 6. Of the two you could argue semantics. The reality is both had a major impact on the Dolphins whether by a supporting role, like Strock, or line domination like Ed Newman who played guard for 12 seasons and four pro-bowls. While both spent a decade on the Dolphins roster, Newman’s contributions on the field slightly tip the scales in his favor over Strock’s contributions behind the scenes.


In round three the Miami Dolphins selected wide-receiver Nat Moore. Moore’s 13 years with the team still ranks as one of the highest tenured receivers in Dolphins history. Moore to this day still works with the Dolphins and resides over the teams Alumni Association.


In the 6th round the Miami Dolphins selected linebacker Steve Towle. Towle would play six seasons for Miami, the only team he would play for in his career. While Towle played well he is the best of this class because wide-receiver Freddie Solomon who drafted in round two spent three seasons in Miami before being traded to San Francisco. Solomon would go on to have a great career with the 49’ers that would last another eight seasons. Solomon would get a Super Bowl ring as part of the 49’ers team win over the Dolphins in 1984.


Round two belongs to Kim Bokamper. Bokamper was drafted by the Dolphins in round two of the ’76 draft. One spot below Larry Gordon who was drafted in round one. Gordon played seven seasons at linebacker for the Dolphins and had a pretty good career. Bokamper played nine seasons at linebacker. Both had really solid numbers for the Dolphins. In round three the Dolphins drafted wide-receiver Duriel Harris who played seven seasons in Miami before moving on to play for a few other clubs. In 1985 he returned to Miami where he played his final NFL season. Later in the draft, Miami drafted DB Gary Fencik in round 10. He would not play a game in Miami but instead play his entire career in Chicago.


The NFL saw fit to shorten the number of rounds in the draft. Thus dropping from 17 to 12 rounds. The Dolphins had three players taken in this draft that stand out.  First round pick A.J. Duhe parlayed his rookie season into the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the year Award winner. Sadly injuries would force his career to end after eight seasons. Duhe was great to say the least but he isn’t the best that came out of that class. In round two, the Dolphins drafted defensive tackle Bob Baumhower. Baumhower would play nine seasons for the Dolphins and be voted to the Pro-Bowl five times in his career.


The ’78 draft produced more than just a few key players to the Dolphins future. Number one on the list by an extremely small margin is DT Doug Betters. Betters was drafted in the 6th round and spent 10 seasons with the Dolphins. In 1983 he made his only Pro-Bowl but was awarded the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Slightly behind Betters is tight-end Bruce Hardy who spent 12 seasons with the Dolphins. Behind Hardy is receiver Jimmy Cefalo who spent seven seasons with the Dolphins. Other notables from the 78 draft are lineman Mark Dennard and DB Gerald Small. The Dolphins wasted their first round pick on quarterback Guy Benjamin would be in Miami only two seasons.


The 1979 draft produced longevity for the Dolphins. Six of the players drafted who made the team spent seven or more seasons with the Dolphins. Kicker Uwe Von Schammaan drafted in round seven would spend six seasons with the Dolphins. The best player to come out of this class is tough to call. Tony Nathan (3rd) really stands out as one of the best players in Dolphins history and is a member of the Dolphins 50th Anniversary team. Yet offensive lineman Jon Giesler (1st) spent 10 seasons with the Dolphins. Lineman Ronnie Lee (3rd) spent 10 of his 14 NFL seasons with the Dolphins. Need more? Jeff Toews (2nd) spent 7 seasons in Miami. Glenn Blackwood (8th) spent nine seasons in the Dolphins secondary and Mike Kozlowski (10th) played seven seasons in the secondary as well.

Next: 1980's