Best draft pick from rounds 1-7 in Miami Dolphins history

Jason Taylor - USA Today
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Zach Thomas Miami Dolphins (Photo by Stephen Dunn /Getty Images) /

Best Miami Dolphins draft picks, Round 5: Zach Thomas

He may not have had the results on the field that we expected, but head coach/GM Jimmy Johnson sure knew how to scout talent in the 1990s. A year before he found Jason Taylor in the third round, Johnson found one of the best linebackers the game has ever seen in the 5th round of the 1996 Draft.

Zach Thomas was considered wildly undersized coming out of Texas Tech, and his draft stock suffered immensely due to his 5 foot, 10 inch height. His combine numbers were unimpressive, including his abysmal vertical jump.

But Thomas went out and proved that measurements don’t matter, and it certainly doesn’t matter how high you can jump.

Since the NFL began keeping track of tackles in 1994, Thomas is currently 5th on the all-time list. He finished with 130+ tackles in 9 of his 12 seasons with the Dolphins, intercepted 17 passes, forced 16 fumbles, and even scored four touchdowns.

He finished his career with more tackles than Brian Urlacher and Junior Seau, more sacks than Mike Singletary, Derrick Brooks, or Dick Butkus. Despite the accolades and the decade-plus of dominance on the Dolphins’ defense, Zach Thomas is not a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.