The Miami Dolphins hit the field earlier this week to kick off their organized team activity workouts. The voluntary practices saw the entire roster show up to the team’s practice facility in Davie. The only players that didn’t participate were the ones recovering from injuries, but they were still on the field in uniform.
One of the brightest spots of the OTAs was rookie wide receiver DeAndre Parker. His combination of size and great hands adds a dimension to the Dolphins passing game that quarterback Ryan Tannehill hasn’t had during his three years with the team.
With Parker turning heads it got me thinking about all the past poor draft moves by the Dolphins and how this, though still very early, could end up being a home run of a pick. Our news partners over at the Miami Herald did a three-part series on South Florida sports busts, exploring drafts, free agency and trades. I’ve narrowed down their draft list to just Dolphins picks and separated them by position, so here are the top draft busts in Fins history.
John Beck, 2007- Beck was viewed as a the quarterback of the future when drafted in the 2nd round but never materialized, playing in only five games as a member of the Dolphins. He started a few more games after leaving Miami but never had any real success in the NFL.
Pat White, 2009- After all the success that Miami had in 2008 with their Wildcat offense, Bill Parcells thought it would be a good idea to spend a 2nd round pick on a mobile quarterback. The move didn’t quite pan out, as White didn’t complete a pass in the NFL and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry on his 21 attempts.
Darryl Carlton, 1975- A 1st round pick, Carlton’s career got off to a decent start but it quickly unraveled after several occasions of breaking the law.
Billy Milner, 1995- Miler was also a 1st round pick but only played nine games in a Dolphins uniform before being traded. He made the all-rookie team and continued to have success after leaving Miami but suffered a career-ending neck injury during his third season.
Andrew Greene, 1995- Greene’s NFL career only lasted ten games, six of which were for Miami. He went on to have some success playing in the Canadian Football League, winning a few awards before retiring in 2009.
Jonathan Martin, 2012- This is a pick that will continue to haunt the Dolphins organization and its fans for years to come. Martin played poorly on the field and then quit the team mid-season, telling the media that he had been harassed by teammates in the locker room. This led to an NFL investigation of the Dolphins and national embarrassment for the team.
Don Reese, 1974- Another Miami mid-70’s 1st round pick that ended up in handcuffs, Reese lasted three seasons with the Dolphins before being sentenced to a year in prison for selling cocaine. Following his release, he signed with the New Orleans Saints but the drug problems continued. Reese wrote an article for Sports Illustrated giving details about his struggles with cocaine, including several stories about how common use of the drug was among his teammates in New Orleans.
John Bosa, 1987- Bosa’s career was largely uneventful and didn’t last very long. He played 31 games for Miami, finishing with seven sacks.
Eric Kumerow, 1988- Like Bosa the year before, Kumerow was taken in the 1st round with the 16th overall pick. Another career that ended in disappointment, Kumerow played four years in the NFL, three in Miami, without ever starting a game. He finished his career with five quarterback sacks.
Eddie Blake, 1992- A highly touted 2nd round pick out of Auburn, Eddie ‘Earthquake’ Blake was not the man that Don Shula had hoped. He showed up to his first training camp overweight and never played in game during his two years with Miami.
Dion Jordan, 2013- There is little doubt that Jordan is the biggest bust in Miami Dolphins history. He was selected with the 3rd overall pick in 2013, a pick that Miami had to trade up for (giving up the 12th and 42nd picks in that draft). During his time with the Dolphins, Jordan has as many substance-abuse suspensions (three) as quarterback sacks. He started one game in two seasons, making a total of just 46 tackles.
Sammie Smith, 1989- Smith was a top prospect coming out of college and Miami took him 9th overall in 1989. He only played in three seasons with the Dolphins and despite rushing for 1,787 yards he had as more fumbles (17) than touchdowns (15). Smith played his fourth and final year in the NFL with the Denver Broncos but only appeared in three games, rushing for 94 total yards and no touchdowns. Life after football didn’t get any better for Smith. He had several run-ins with the law and spent seven years in prison for possession and distribution of cocaine.
John Avery, 1998- Another 1st round pick gone wrong, Avery played just two seasons with the Dolphins but averaged just 3.5 yards on 143 carries. After being traded away, he played another year in the NFL before playing in the short-lived XFL in 2001. Avery went on to have some success in the CFL, being named an All-Star in 2002 and winning a championship in 2004.
Jamar Fletcher, 2001- A late-1st round pick, Fletcher’s biggest impact for the Dolphins were his costly mistakes during the final games of the 2002 season. Miami lost the final two games by three points each, starting a playoff drought that would last until 2008. Fletcher lasted in the NFL until 2009 but only made seven interceptions during his eight year career.
Jason Allen, 2006- After Nick Saban failed to recruit Allen during his time with LSU, he used a 1st round pick on him in 2006. He was given plenty of opportunities to succeed during his four-plus years in Miami but was very inconsistent. He showed flashes of greatness at times but looked lost on the field just as much.
Yatil Green, 1997- Green was a local favorite after playing for the University of Miami but some questioned whether he was worth a 1st round pick. He never really got a chance to show what he could do at the NFL level, suffering season-ending ACL injuries during each of his first two training camps with the Dolphins. He finally made it to the regular season in year three but caught only 18 passes, leading to his release by Miami. In three years after college, green had a total of 10 surgeries on his right knee.
Ted Ginn Jr., 2007- Ginn’s selection with the 9th overall pick in 2007 left a lot of people scratching their heads. He played three seasons with the Dolphins and put up so-so numbers, catching a total of 128 passes for 1,664 yards and five touchdowns. Some would say he was better as a kick returner than a receiver, but either way he never came close to proving his worth as a top-10 pick.
Jackie Shipp, 1984- Miami’s offense was kicking some serious butt in the 80’s so it made sense to use a 1st round pick on the defense. Unfortunately, Shipp never panned out after being taken 14th overall. He played five years in Miami but only appeared in 44 games, never starting a game and only racking up one sack and one interception.
Eddie Moore, 2003- Moore was taken in the 2nd round in 2003 and was viewed in a high regard by then-Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt. His career was riddled with injuries, starting with foot surgery during the ’03 preseason that caused him to miss the entire season. He played in 12 games in 2004, starting four, recording 46 tackles and forcing a fumble. He started until a knee injury ended his season, and after another two surgeries he couldn’t make it back onto an NFL roster.
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