Signs that we're getting agonizingly close to the NFL Draft:
- Numerous "best of, worst of" draft lists start popping up on the Internet
- Numerous draft busts are exhumed on this site, leading to angry fanposts about the Dolphins' decision to draft Jamar Fletcher over Drew Brees
- The names "John Bosa" and "Eric Kumerow" actually come up in conversation
Leave it to NFL.com to sweep the above criteria with its current "best and worst draft picks" series. Yesterday, NFL.com writer Harry Hodgson took on the dubious task of identifying the Miami Dolphins five best and five worst draft selections in the team's 47-year history.
Actually, check that. The task to identify the greatest draft selections in Dolphins history doesn't become an unenviable one until you get to No. 2 on the list.
1. Dan Marino - 1983 (No. 27 overall)
(Duh. Of course Marino's No. 1 on the list. He'd be No. 1 on just about any team's list.)
"It's a story that we all know—Marino slid to the Dolphins at the end of the first round of the much-heralded 1983 draft, behind the likes of John Elway, Jim Kelly, Ken O'Brien, Tony Eason and Todd Blackledge," Hodgson wrote. "Over the next 17 seasons, Marino emerged as one of the best QBs to ever play the game, cemented a Hall of Fame spot, but never won a Super Bowl ... more about that later. Marino jerseys still outnumber any other at Dolphins games, even 14 years after his retirement."
2. Larry Csonka - 1968 (No. 8 overall)
3. Zach Thomas - 1996 (No. 154 overall)
4. Jason Taylor - 1997 (No. 73 overall)
5. Dwight Stephenson - 1980 (No. 48 overall)
First off, I want to disclose something: I've been planning on writing a similar best-of list, and will probably publish it sometime later this week. That said, I can't argue with a single pick on the above list. If anything, it's just too difficult to narrow the Dolphins' greatest draft selections down to a list of five. I mean, where do you fit in greats like Bob Griese and Richmond Webb? In hindsight, a 10-item list would've been an easier path—I think I'll go that route with my best-of ranking. Yes ...
(Also, the thought of the Jets taking O'Brien over Marino still delights me to no end.)
Ah, and now for the yucky stuff. Barf bags are located in the seat pocket directly in front of you.
John Bosa - 1987 (No. 16 overall); Eric Kumerow - 1988 (No. 16 overall)
Damn you, Hodgson, for stealing my leading candidates for worst-ever Dolphins draft pick. Also, good move slotting both of these turkeys into the top two slots. Whenever the "Marino never won a Super Bowl" conversations, I almost immediately point the Bosa/Kumerow selections as where the Dolphins truly and utterly blew it in their attempt to get Marino back to the Super Bowl. The Bosa pick was a bad one, but the fact that Miami selected Kumerow—a positively giant linebacker-defensive end at 6-foot-7, 264 pounds—over Oklahoma State running back Thurman Thomas puts him at No. 1 on my "no bueno" board.
3. John Avery - 1998 (No. 29 overall)
4. Jamar Fletcher - 2001 (No. 26 overall)
5. Ted Ginn Jr. - 2007 (No. 9 overall)
Oh lord, the John Avery pick. It's no wonder why Miami started giving away its first-round selections after '98. What's interesting is that the Dolphins put together important drafts in 1997 (Sam Madison, Taylor) and '98 (Patrick Surtain) despite completely whiffing on their first-round selections both years (yes, the '97 first rounder is high up on my list).
"Jimmy Johnson's reputation for being a draft guru produced the likes of Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith from first-round picks in Dallas. His in Miami was less successful," Hodgson wrote. "The poster boy for his failure on this front has to be running back John Avery, an undersized back who lasted just two years before being tossed out with the trash into the XFL. Avery joins Cecil Collins and Karim Abdul-Jabbar as running backs who Johnson drafted—and whiffed on—to play the Emmitt Smith role in Miami."
The line for eye bleach begins to the left.
You can read Hodgson's article here.