Together…the way it should be
The best first/second round punch in perhaps the Dolphins modern era outside the early 70’s had to be the drafting of Richmond Webb and Keith Sims. The Dolphins two best selections by far in this draft. Quarterback Scott Mitchell was taken in round 4.
While Randall “Thrill” Hill didn’t thrill anyone in round 1, the Dolphins got an extremely intense and fiery linebacker in round 5. Bryan Cox remains one of the best linebackers in Dolphins history and one of the most entertaining.
The best of this class came in round one when the Dolphins drafted Troy Vincent. As free agency would enter into his playing career, Vincent would leave Miami for Philadelphia after only four seasons. DE Marco Coleman had an o.k. career with the team, drafted in round 2. Another LB, Dwight Hollier would play well for the Dolphins as well. He was drafted in round 4.
Terry Kirby never became the running back Miami envisioned when they took him in round three, he would have needed a very big career to beat O.J. McDuffie as the best in this draft class. McDuffie was drafted in round 1.
The Dolphins have two standouts from this draft class of seven players. First round pick Tim Bowens and center Tim Ruddy. Ruddy spent 10 seasons with the Dolphins at center and Bowens spent 11. While it’s close, Bowens was the best player in this Dolphins class. His contributions to the team along the defensive line were hard not to notice.
This draft class is notable for two reasons. One, it was the last of Don Shula’s draft classes and two it was by far the worst. No player taken in this draft lasted in Miami more than two seasons. Tackle Billy Milner played two years after being taken in round 1. Andrew Greene, a guard, lasted one after being taken in round 2. The other five draft picks combined for two seasons.
The Jimmy Johnson era came to Miami with a bang but his first draft class didn’t produce the results that Miami fans had hoped for after seeing what he had done in Dallas. Miami drafted Daryl Gardner in round 1 and he had a pretty good career with the Dolphins but 3rd round picks Dorian Brew and Karim Abdul-Jabbar were wasted picks. Despite a few names like Shawn Wooden and Jeris McPhail, the best of this class was by far 5th round linebacker Zach Thomas. We know his place in Dolphins history.
Jimmy Johnson was on a tear for the 2nd year in a row. This time drafting wide-receiver Yatil Green in round one. Green, to his credit, was injured in training camp and never truly recovered in his short career. The best however came in round two when Johnson selected cornerback Sam Madison. Madison is still part of the Dolphins organization today and is one of the most entertaining Dolphins alumni you will ever meet. O.k. I kid. Madison is actually a close second to the only post-70’s era Dolphins favorites who come close to Marino. Jason Taylor. Johnson hit on Taylor in the 3rd round and Taylor became one of the Dolphins best players in history.
Johnson whiffed again in round one as he drafted John Avery but like he did so many times, he hit well in round two drafting his best pick of the class, DB Patrick Surtain. Sadly, Surtain was about the only one of this class that mattered, although DE Kenny Mixon drafted in round two after Surtain did play four years in Miami.
Another first round bust for Jimmy Johnson, J.J. Johnson was yet another failed attempt by Johnson to find his Emmit Smith in Miami. What makes this draft class so weak is that the best player from this class was FB Rob Konrad drafted in round two. Konrad played well for the Dolphins but he isn’t going to make any all-time lists. Except this one.