Jon Giesler, Jeff Toews, Ronnie Lee. Miami was in fix the offensive line mode when they drafted three lineman in the first five picks. They added defensive help as well with Don Bessilleu in round 5 and Mike Kozlowski in round 10.
Miami also added this kid named Glenn Blackwood in round 8. Blackwood and eventually his brother Lyle would be make-up a very stingy secondary along with Bessilleu and Kozlowski but it was the drafting of Tony Nathan in round three that really helped Miami’s offense.
The Dolphins draft in ’79 produced longevity. Giesler spent his entire 10 year career with the Dolphins. Toews spent all 7 of his in Miami. Ronnie Lee bounced around the NFL and had two stints with the Dolphins. He spent 10 seasons with Miami, one in Atlanta, and finished his final three seasons in Seattle.
Bessilleou spent only three years with Miami while Blackwood spent his entire 9 year career in Miami. Even 10th rounder Kozlowski spent seven seasons, his whole career, with Miami.
Nathan’s nine seasons in Miami earned him 3,543 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. He added 3,593 yards receiving and another 16 touchdowns through the air.
Who was the best?
Nathan was an all-around solid player who could block, catch, and run. Any one of those players however could have fit in as “the best”.