The Michigan State Spartans are often considered the “other” Big 10 school in Michigan but make no mistake, they can produce quality NFL talent, sometimes.
MSU has produced two more Miami Dolphins draft picks than Michigan but have they all worked out? The first player, Jerome Stanton, was drafted in 1979 but didn’t play in the NFL. In 2005 the Dolphins drafted Kevin Vickerson in the 7th round. Vickerson spent 9 years in the NFL but never played a down for the Dolphins.
In 2012, the Dolphins spent a 6th round pick on B.J. Cunningham. Cunningham wouldn’t make it out of the Dolphins training camp and signed with the Eagles. He had three seasons never making a single reception and appearing in only two games.
The best to come out of MSU may very well be a punter. Brandon Fields was drafted in the 7th round of the 2007 draft and played in the NFL until 2015. He spent 8 of his 9 seasons with Miami and make the Pro Bowl in 2013.
Two other draft picks, Dion Sims in the 4th round of the 2013 draft and Tony Lippett in the 5th round of the 2015 draft found limited success in the NFL. Sims lasted in the NFL for six years with four in Miami as a back-up TE hybrid runner. Lipett was a back-up corner for two seasons in Miami and played a third year in the league.
Overall, the two Michigan schools haven’t produced much for the Dolphins but Michigan still has a small edge on MSU.
Ten players have been drafted out of Wisconsin with the last one coming in 2019’s 3rd round when Miami took guard Michael Dieter. Dieter hasn’t made an impact yet and this could be the final year for him in Miami if he can’t take a step forward.
In 1972, the Dolphins made their first pick from the school. Al Hannah but it was in 1985 that they hit big with Jeff Dellenbach. Dellenbach spent 16 years in the NFL with 10 of those coming in sunny South Florida. He started 87 of 145 games played in Miami and played every position across the line including center.
In 1987, the Dolphins drafted linebacker Rick Graf who played seven years in the league with four coming in Miami. A 2nd round pick, Graf started 25 of 40 games for the Dolphins during that time.
Things got a lot better again in 1992 when Miami spent a first-round pick on cornerback Troy Vincent. Vincent played only four years in Miami and they were good, he left via free agency and spent the next eight seasons in Philadelphia making the Pro Bowl five times in a row and earning First-Team All-Pro honors in 2002. He finished his career with Buffalo and a stop in Washington. He is a big part of the NFL/NFLPA executive branches today.
Another fantastic pick came in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft when the Dolphins drafted receiver Chris Chambers. Chambers became a fan favorite for the seven years he was in Miami. He was traded to the Chargers in 2007 and would play three years for San Diego and two years for the Chiefs before calling it a career.
In addition to Dieter, the Dolphins drafted Andrew Van Ginkel in 2019 as well. Van Ginkel was injured most of his rookie season but in 2020 was part of a defense that finished in the top five of the league. He showed a lot of potential in Brian Flores’ defense.
Finally, the worst pick ever made from the school came in 2001 when Dave Wannstedt chose Jamar Fletcher in the first round. Fletcher made the roster which some of the other draft picks can’t claim but the fact he was a huge bust and that Wannstedt passed over Drew Brees to draft him makes it even worse.