It’s been 28 years since the Miami Dolphins held multiple first-round picks in the NFL Draft. Let’s hope this year is better than years past.
The Miami Dolphins will enter the draft on Thursday with more draft picks than any other team in the National Football League, 14 in total. Three of these picks will take place in the first round. This will be the 6th time in history the team holds multiple picks in round one and the first since 1992.
I understand that former results have no implications for future outcomes but it’s fun to look at the past and the years the Dolphins held multiple first-round picks.
1966 – This was actually the American Football League (AFL) draft. This was the first year of the team’s existence. The new Miami Dolphins held the 1st and 2nd overall picks. With the number one overall pick, the Dolphins drafted running back Jim Grabowski. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Grabowski never played a down in the AFL. Grabowski was drafted ninth overall in the NFL draft by Green Bay and played his entire seven-year career in the NFL, six with Green Bay and one with Chicago. The 2nd overall pick was spent on quarterback Rick Norton. This pick was less than stellar. Norton had a 32 game career in the AFL. During that time he posted a 1-10 record throwing for 7 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Needless to say the Dolphins first-ever first-round draft was not good.
1968 – Two years after their first draft the Dolphins had much better success. Miami’s first pick in the 1968 draft was the eighth overall selection. The Dolphins hit a homerun with future Hall of Fame running back Larry Csonka. Csonka had a 12-year professional career. Eight with the Dolphins, three with the Giants and one in the World Football League. Csonka, in 8 years, became the Dolphins all-time leading rusher with 6737 yards and 53 touchdowns. Miami also held the number 27 overall pick and used that to select tackle Doug Crusan. Crusan had a decent career playing all seven seasons with the Dolphins and was the starting left tackle during the Dolphins historic undefeated season.
1976 – Miami again had two picks in the first round, numbers 17 and 19 overall. At 17 the Dolphins selected linebacker Larry Gordon. Gordon played 7 seasons for Miami, never reaching a pro bowl. Two spots later the Dolphins selected another linebacker/defensive end Kim Bokamper. Bokamper had a little better career than Gordon making the 1977 Rookie Team. Bokamper also made one pro bowl in his career in 1979. Bokamper was a solid piece of Miami’s famed “Killer B’s” defense.
1989 – The Dolphins entered the ‘89 draft holding the 9th and 25th picks in the first round. Miami went offense with the 9th pick selecting running back Sammie Smith with hopes to give Dan Marino a running game. To say Smith was a disappointment would be an understatement. Smith played 3 of his 4 years in the NFL in Miami. During that time he rushed for a measly 1787 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Dolphins did a little better with the 25th pick when they selected safety Louis Oliver. Oliver had an 8-year career, playing 7 with the Miami Dolphins. During his time in Miami, Oliver had 24 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns and tallied 481 tackles. Louis Oliver was a solid safety protecting the deep part of the field for Miami.
1992 – The last time the Dolphins had multiple first-round picks was 28 years ago. The Phins held two picks in the top 12. Both picks were used on the defensive side of the ball. At number 7 overall the Dolphins selected cornerback Troy Vincent. Vincent was a very good player in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, most of them came with other teams. Vincent played 16 seasons in the NFL but only 4 with the Dolphins. Vincent left the Dolphins via free agency signing with the Philadelphia Eagles where he made the pro bowl in 5 of his 8 seasons there. While Vincent was a great pick, it wasn’t much so for the Dolphins. When the 12th pick came around the Dolphins picked defensive end Marco Coleman. Again, Coleman had a solid 13-year career in the NFL but again, only 4 of those were with the team that drafted him. In his 4 years with Miami, Coleman recorded 24 sacks and 226 total tackles. You could argue, outside of drafting a Hall of Famer in 1968, this draft was their best when drafting multiple times in the first round.
This year and next year will be the first time the team holds multiple first-round picks in consecutive drafts. It’s also the first time in team history the Dolphins will hold more than 2 picks in the first round having three total, numbers 5, 18 and 26. Dolphin fans are banking on Chris Grier and company hitting on as many of these picks as possible.