Miami Dolphins Top 10 draft busts
The NFL Draft is an inexact science. Sometimes the best players in college don’t pan out, while players chosen later in the draft become stars, and in rare cases, Hall of Famers.
With the NFL Draft a couple of weeks away, the Miami Dolphins are hoping to select several players who can help them take the next step toward a Super Bowl.
While the Dolphins have found success with players such as quarterback Dan Marino, defensive end Jason Taylor and linebacker Zach Thomas, they have also had their share of draft day blunders.
Who are some of the worst draft picks in the team’s history? Here are the 10 worst picks made by the organization since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
10. GUY BENJAMIN, QB, STANFORD (1978, SECOND ROUND, 52ND OVERALL)
The Dolphins already had Bob Griese and decided to take a quarterback with their second round pick. The Stanford graduate only spent two seasons with Miami before moving on to the New Orleans Saints.
During Benjamin’s time with the Dolphins, he appeared in 14 games, starting in seven. He went 9-of-12 for 119 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Not many players selected around him went on to productive careers, but the Dolphins could have drafted defensive end William Gay out of USC. The lineman racked up 44.5 sacks during his career.
9. JOHN AVERY, RB, OLE MISS (1998, FIRST ROUND, 29TH OVERALL)
After a 9-7 season and with Marino nearing the end of his Hall-of-Fame career, the Dolphins were looking for the final piece to give the quarterback a chance at winning an elusive Super Bowl ring.
The team thought Avery would be the answer. For a player who rushed for only 1,650 yards in two seasons with the Rebels, the pick did not make much sense. That notion was reinforced during Avery’s rookie season as he rushed for 503 yards and two touchdowns while splitting time with Karim Abdul-Jabbar.
Avery played one game for the Dolphins before being traded to the Broncos for receiver Marcus Nash the following year. Avery would play five more games before finding himself out of the league until 2003 when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings.
Few notable players were selected after Avery, although the Dallas Cowboys picked up offensive tackle Flozell Adams with the 38th overall pick.
Miami may have botched the first-round selection, but by not taking a cornerback such as Corey Chavous (33rd overall) or Tony Parish (35th overall), the Dolphins ended up selecting one of the best players franchise history Patrick Surtain with the 44th overall pick.
8. PAT WHITE, QB, WEST VIRGINIA (2009, SECOND ROUND, 44TH OVERALL)
After a 2008 season in which Miami went 11-5 with quarterback Chad Pennington, the Dolphins made a curious decision to draft White. The team had just launched the newest NFL fad — the Wildcat offense — and it was presumed White, who was as much of a runner as a passer in college, could be effective in the scheme when paired with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown in the backfield.
White barely saw playing time and the Wildcat was nothing but a pipedream. The quarterback played in 13 games his rookie season, but only rushed the ball 21 times for 81 yards and attempted only five passes. White did not take another snap until 2013 when he signed with the Washington Redskins. Even then, he rarely played.
Who else could Miami have drafted? Guard Andy Levitre went a couple of picks later as well as tackles Phil Loadholdt and Nate Solder. Considering the Dolphins’ offensive line troubles in 2013, hindsight suggests this was a waste of a draft pick.
7. JOHN BOSA, DE, BOSTON COLLEGE (1987, FIRST ROUND, 16TH OVERALL)
The Dolphins needed defensive line help heading into the 1987 NFL Draft. When they selected Bosa with the 16th pick, Miami figured he would improve line that produced only 33 sacks the season before. The Boston College graduate spent only three seasons in the NFL.
During that time with the Dolphins, Bosa amassed seven sacks in 31 games. He started 12 as a rookie, but only nine over the last two seasons combined. And as one might anticipate, Bosa did little to improve the Dolphins defensive line during this span.
If Miami wanted a pass rusher, it should have opted for BYU defensive end Jason Buck or Pittsburgh defensive end Tony Woods. Both players went in consecutive picks after Bosa and recorded 19 and 24.5 sacks during their careers, respectively.
6. EDDIE BLAKE, DT, AUBURN (1992, SECOND ROUND, 42ND OVERALL)
How bad was this pick? Blake never played for the Dolphins.
Blake, who came into camp before his rookie season weighing over 350 pounds, gave the impression he did not have to work hard.
A year after being drafted, the Dolphins tried to salvage this pick by switching Blake to the offensive line. It failed to impact his career and Blake was gone from the NFL in two years.
5. EDDIE MOORE, LB, TENNESSEE (2003, SECOND ROUND, 49TH OVERALL)
The Dolphins were without a first-round pick and had to settle for making their first selection in the middle of the second round. With Zach Thomas, Junior Seau and Morlon Greenwood on the roster, linebacker was not a position of need.
Regardless, the Dolphins took Moore and it turned out to be a failure from the start. He appeared in 13 games his rookie season, started in three and recorded 18 tackles. Moore appeared in five games the following season. After just two seasons, Miami’s second round pick was not on the team.
Among the players Miami could have selected with that pick? Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Boldin could have paired nicely with Chris Chambers. Umenyiora would have learned from soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jason Taylor and eventually replace Taylor when he left the team in 2007.
4. DAVID OVERSTREET, RB, OKLAHOMA (1981, FIRST ROUND, 13TH OVERALL)
Overstreet’s path to the NFL was an interesting one. Drafted out of Oklahoma after playing for head coach Barry Switzer in the Wishbone offense, Overstreet ended up in a contract dispute with the Dolphins.
Overstreet instead went to play for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes for two seasons. He returned to Miami in 1983 to play his only season in the NFL. That season, he rushed for 392 yards and a touchdown in 14 games.
Sadly, his life was cut short in June 1984 when he was killed in a car accident.
3. ERIC KUMEROW, DE, OHIO STATE (1988, FIRST ROUND, 16TH OVERALL)
The 6-foot-7, 264-pound Kumerow was an intriguing prospect because of his size and ability to play as a linebacker or a pass-rushing defensive end.
Kumerow played in 42 games for the Dolphins, but never had much of an impact beyond the five sacks he registered in three seasons.
One player Miami could have ended up with was Hall-of-Fame guard Randall McDaniel, who went two picks later to the Minnesota Vikings. McDaniel played 222 games and retired in 2001.
2. YATIL GREEN, WR, MIAMI (FL) (1997, FIRST ROUND, 15TH OVERALL)
The Dolphins took a chance on Green, who played for the hometown Hurricanes. The receiver put up unimpressive college numbers, having caught 84 passes for 1,477 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons.
Green never got the chance to prove himself as he suffered season-ending injuries during his first two training camps. When he finally returned to the field in 1999, Green played eight games and caught 18 passes for 234 yards. He was never on the receiving end of a touchdown pass in what ultimately ended up being his only season in the NFL.
The Dolphins, who could have used a defensive upgrade since they had no dominant interior lineman, might have gone with defensive tackle Trevor Price who went to the Denver Broncos with the 28th overall pick. Another miss was offensive tackle Tarik Glenn, who went at No. 19.
1. TED GINN JR., WR, OHIO STATE (2007, FIRST ROUND, NINTH OVERALL)
Ted Ginn Jr. ranks as No. 1 on this list because of his inability to live up to expectations that come with being drafted in the Top 10.
Ginn was regarded as one of the most explosive players in college football when he declared for the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, his problems may have started right after he brought the opening kickoff back for a touchdown during the BCS National Championship against Florida. Ginn suffered an injury celebrating the play and missed the rest of the game.
Ginn’s ankle was a concern heading into the draft, but the Dolphins saw him as a Devin Hester-type who could change the game in an instant. Ginn never became the threat Miami projected for its return game. In three seasons with the Dolphins, he returned one punt and two kickoffs for touchdowns.
As a receiver, Ginn was not a deep threat who could take the top off the defense either. He caught 128 passes for 1,664 yards and five touchdowns.
What makes this pick sting further is that Miami could have selected linebacker Patrick Willis (11th overall), running back Marshawn Lynch (12th overall) or cornerback Darrelle Revis (14th overall). All went on to become Pro Bowlers.