Mandatory Credit: MiamiDolphins.com
The Dolphins 1980 draft wasn’t bad by any means. It produced defensive back Don McNeal in round one, David Woodley in round eight, and Joe Rose in round seven. McNeal had a productive career with the Dolphins and Joe Rose had a fantastic career that continued into broadcasting the Dolphins games. David Woodley may have not been the greatest quarterback to ever play for the Dolphins but he led the team to a Super Bowl. While all three players were good the steal of the draft was in round two when the Dolphins selected Dwight Stephenson. Stephenson’s career was cut short by injuries but it was so good at the center position that he made it to the Hall of Fame. He only played eight seasons in the NFL.
Perhaps one of the best drafts for contributing players, the 1981 selections had big impacts on the Dolphins. David Overstreet the teams first round pick played only one season, in 1983. His life was cut short in an accident. Andra Franklin had a decent career with the Dolphins after being drafted in round 2. In round five the Dolphins found receiver Tommy Vigorito and Fulton Walker was taken round 6. William Judson played well after being taken in round 8 but the best player of this class was Jim “Crash” Jensen. Jensen was the formidable all-around player who could run, catch, throw, and just about everything else. Making him even more of a steal was the fact Don Shula found him in round 11.
Guard Roy Foster would likely be the best of this years class taken in round 1 but in round 2 Miami drafted receiver Mark Duper. We all know what “Dupe” has meant to the franchise and to the success of Dan Marino. Other notables, Paul Lankford in 3, LB Charles Bowser in round 4, and tight-end Dan Johnson in round seven.
To say Dan Marino was the best of this class would be an understatement. He is probably the best draft pick ever in Dolphins history, especially given the fact he was drafted so late and after four other quarterbacks came off the board. While Marino is the best of this group the Dolphins drafted Reggie Roby in 6 and some dude named Mark Clayton in round 8.
The Dolphins began a bit of a downturn after the ’83 draft. In ’84 Bud Brown was a serviceable DB taken in round 11. First round pick Jackie Shipp, a linebacker shares five years of Dolphins service with Brown. This is our only pick-em draft class.
The Dolphins drafted center Jeff Dellenbach in round four. Dellenbach played 10 seasons of his long NFL career in Miami making him an easy choice in a class that also produced running backs Lorenzo Hampton in round 1 and Ron Davenport in round 6.
By far the best player in this class is first round pick, LB John Offerdahl. Johnny-O is the only player in Dolphins history to make both the Silver Anniversary team and the Gold Anniversary team.
The top of the draft wasn’t favorable to the Dolphins. Miami wasted their first two picks on John Bosa and Rick Graf and their third on Scott Schwedes a wide-receiver who played a bit role with the Dolphins. The best pick of this class came in round 4 when they drafted running back Troy Strafdford. Mark Dennis taken in round 8 also played well for the team.
Following the miserable pick of Eric Kumeron in round 1, the Dolphins drafted Jarvis Williams and Ferrell Edmunds in rounds two and three. Guard Harry Galbreath played very well for the Dolphins and he was taken in round 8 but the best of this class? By far DE Jeff Cross taken in round 9.
In round one the Dolphins continued their search for a featured running back and drafted Sammie Smith. Smith wouldn’t have a very good career in Miami. In round 8 the team selected kicker Pete Stoyanovich who would have a solid career with the Dolphins. Round 5 found Jeff Uhlenhake and round 12 nabbed J.B. Brown but this draft was highlighted by the hard-hitting safety in round two. Louis Oliver.