Top 15 Dolphins Drafts of All-Time

EJay

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And speaking of crying after those seventies teams lost, one that stands out to me is that Monday night game at Houston when Earl Campbell made that long TD run...outran Curtis Johnson to the end zone. Just sick. Bad angles and all from the LB's.
Plus, they stole our fight song! Great game, electric kind of night.
Maybe it's just me, but I really miss the Houston Oilers being in the league. The name and colors bring back a lot of memories -- even the sad ones like Bopkin mentions above, which I recall all too well.

Same is going to be true, for me, of the Oakland Raiders since they are now going to be located in Las Vegas. But at least they'll still be the 'Raiders' and still have the same logo and color scheme. So we're not losing that.

The first game I attended as a young kid was a Monday Night game in OAK between the Dolphins and Raiders.

Griese, Csonka, Little, Langer, Baumhower, Nathan, Harris, Moore, Cefalo, Bokamper.
Stabler, Branch, Casper, Shell, Tatum, Hendrick, Hayes, Upshaw, Dalby, Guy, and even a very young Christensen.

Great memory.

But circling back to the Houston Oilers, I wish HOU would have done what CLE did when it retained the Browns name and colors when the original franchise bolted for BAL.

Especially now that Tennessee gave up the Oilers monicker and became the Titans, I'd love to see HOU take back that name and identity. I know it's not going to happen, but IMO the NFL is better with the Houston Oilers in it than the Houston Texans.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but I really miss the Houston Oilers being in the league. The name and colors bring back a lot of memories -- even the sad ones like Bopkin mentions above, which I recall all too well.

Same is going to be true, for me, of the Oakland Raiders since they are now going to be located in Las Vegas. But at least they'll still be the 'Raiders' and still have the same logo and color scheme. So we're not losing that.

The first game I attended as a young kid was a Monday Night game in OAK between the Dolphins and Raiders.

Griese, Csonka, Little, Langer, Baumhower, Nathan, Harris, Moore, Cefalo, Bokamper.
Stabler, Branch, Casper, Shell, Tatum, Hendrick, Hayes, Upshaw, Dalby, Guy, and even a very young Christensen.

Great memory.

But circling back to the Houston Oilers, I wish HOU would have done what CLE did when it retained the Browns name and colors when the original franchise bolted for BAL.

Especially now that Tennessee gave up the Oilers monicker and became the Titans, I'd love to see HOU take back that name and identity. I know it's not going to happen, but IMO the NFL is better with the Houston Oilers in it than the Houston Texans.
I definitely don't like all the movement in the NFL. The Chargers had a nice fan base in San Diego as another example.

I'm amazed by Raiders fans out here. Really great fan base when you consider they moved before to LA.

I think the NFL needs to do a better job in that respect. It isn't always about shiny new stadiums and shouldn't be anyway.
 

EJay

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I definitely don't like all the movement in the NFL. The Chargers had a nice fan base in San Diego as another example.

I'm amazed by Raiders fans out here. Really great fan base when you consider they moved before to LA.

I think the NFL needs to do a better job in that respect. It isn't always about shiny new stadiums and shouldn't be anyway.
Yeah, I grew up as a secondary Raiders fan. Because, in that era of living in NorCal, they were on local TV every week. The 49ers weren't any good and didnt sell out like the Raiders did thus were blacked out in the Sacramento market.
The weeks when our local NBC affiliate had the double header, the Raiders were typically the afternoon 1pm game thus the 10am morning game that was broadcast was typically a marquee team of the time -- usually MIA, PITT, HOU, MIN, or DAL.

So I got to see the Dolphins a lot. Including on MNF.

But, if the Raiders played at the same time, that's who I had to watch. So, as a very young kid, I became very familiar with their team. So they were my distant #2 behind the Dolphins.

Until they moved in 1982. Then I hated them (except for Marcus Allen) pretty much ever since. When they moved back to OAK in 1995, I attended a few games here and there, mostly when the Dolphins came to town, but I never connected to them as I had pre-1982.

As far as secondary teams I followed behind my Dolphins, the Chargers kinda filled that void -- specifically during the LaDainian Tomlinson era. Which is quite odd because I grew up hating SD when I was young. Not only because of the rivalry to OAK but because of the 1981 playoff game our Dolphins should have won several times but ultimately lost. :(

I blame liking SD as a distant secondary team solely on fantasy football. Because I had LT in my primary league as a keeper for numerous years. So I watched a ton of their games in the afternoon after the usual Dolphins morning game.

Like you, I hate that the Chargers aren't in SD. I actually believe they'd be much more supported and better off all the way up here in SAC rather than in LA where they are receiving little to no fan support. I don't believe the new stadium is going to change that long term. There are still a TON of Raiders fan down there that will flock to Vegas now. Still some old school Rams fans too. But I truly feel that once the newness of the stadium settles down, we'll continue to see a lot of opposing fans at both their home games.
 

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Yeah, I grew up as a secondary Raiders fan. Because, in that era of living in NorCal, they were on local TV every week. The 49ers weren't any good and didnt sell out like the Raiders did thus were blacked out in the Sacramento market.
The weeks when our local NBC affiliate had the double header, the Raiders were typically the afternoon 1pm game thus the 10am morning game that was broadcast was typically a marquee team of the time -- usually MIA, PITT, HOU, MIN, or DAL.

So I got to see the Dolphins a lot. Including on MNF.

But, if the Raiders played at the same time, that's who I had to watch. So, as a very young kid, I became very familiar with their team. So they were my distant #2 behind the Dolphins.

Until they moved in 1982. Then I hated them (except for Marcus Allen) pretty much ever since. When they moved back to OAK in 1995, I attended a few games here and there, mostly when the Dolphins came to town, but I never connected to them as I had pre-1982.

As far as secondary teams I followed behind my Dolphins, the Chargers kinda filled that void -- specifically during the LaDainian Tomlinson era. Which is quite odd because I grew up hating SD when I was young. Not only because of the rivalry to OAK but because of the 1981 playoff game our Dolphins should have won several times but ultimately lost. :(

I blame liking SD as a distant secondary team solely on fantasy football. Because I had LT in my primary league as a keeper for numerous years. So I watched a ton of their games in the afternoon after the usual Dolphins morning game.

Like you, I hate that the Chargers aren't in SD. I actually believe they'd be much more supported and better off all the way up here in SAC rather than in LA where they are receiving little to no fan support. I don't believe the new stadium is going to change that long term. There are still a TON of Raiders fan down there that will flock to Vegas now. Still some old school Rams fans too. But I truly feel that once the newness of the stadium settles down, we'll continue to see a lot of opposing fans at both their home games.
Its interesting the difference between 49er fans and Raiders fans. Until this year I saw far more Raiders fans, hats, jerseys etc. Plus, you could tell they had them for a long time, maybe dating back to the 1970's.

This year with the 49ers success, it was the opposite. But all those hats and jerseys looked brand new.

I'm sure there are diehard 49er fans, but seems like a more finicky fan base.
 

EJay

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Its interesting the difference between 49er fans and Raiders fans. Until this year I saw far more Raiders fans, hats, jerseys etc. Plus, you could tell they had them for a long time, maybe dating back to the 1970's.

This year with the 49ers success, it was the opposite. But all those hats and jerseys looked brand new.

I'm sure there are diehard 49er fans, but seems like a more finicky fan base.
Judging by your handle, I’m assuming you’re currently in the Bay Area? Are you from the area and grow up there?

IMO having grown up in NorCal, the masses of 49ers fans are precisely that. Finicky and very much bandwagon fans.

From my experience, there’s always been a difference between East Bay Area sports fans (Raiders and A’s) and those from greater SF down to the South Bay (49ers and Giants). For the longest time, the Warriors didn’t ever factor in. And the SJ Sharks have only been around since 1991 IIRC.

When I first started following football as a really young kid in the late 70’s, the Raiders would routinely sellout their games. Whereas you could practically buy 50 yard line seats for the 49ers on game day. The only time I could watch 49ers games on TV was when I could pull in reception from Chico over the air. Chico was far enough away to avoid blackouts.

It wasn’t until the perfect storm of 1981/1982 when the Niners struck lighting in a bottle. They suddenly became winners and the more popular Raiders left the Bay. And a lot of disgruntled fans in their wake. The 49ers surely capitalized.

Even then, when the Niners went through their drought after 1994, they’ve had many terrible years when fan support was lacking. Even just last season in their newer stadium, lots of empty seats that quickly filled up this season when they started winning.

SF Giants games were the same, largely empty, at Candlestick Park until they built the new ball park and subsequently started winning.

And as a Sac Kings fans, I vividly recall going to see the Kings play in the Bay because it was easier to get tickets than for home games. Circa 1998 - 2006 the Oakland Arena was often dubbed ARCO Arena West. Because Kings fan routinely took it over. So when the Warriors became the darlings of the NBA about 8 years ago or so and the media would praise their fans, I’d laugh. I still do.
 

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Judging by your handle, I’m assuming you’re currently in the Bay Area? Are you from the area and grow up there?

IMO having grown up in NorCal, the masses of 49ers fans are precisely that. Finicky and very much bandwagon fans.

From my experience, there’s always been a difference between East Bay Area sports fans (Raiders and A’s) and those from greater SF down to the South Bay (49ers and Giants). For the longest time, the Warriors didn’t ever factor in. And the SJ Sharks have only been around since 1991 IIRC.

When I first started following football as a really young kid in the late 70’s, the Raiders would routinely sellout their games. Whereas you could practically buy 50 yard line seats for the 49ers on game day. The only time I could watch 49ers games on TV was when I could pull in reception from Chico over the air. Chico was far enough away to avoid blackouts.

It wasn’t until the perfect storm of 1981/1982 when the Niners struck lighting in a bottle. They suddenly became winners and the more popular Raiders left the Bay. And a lot of disgruntled fans in their wake. The 49ers surely capitalized.

Even then, when the Niners went through their drought after 1994, they’ve had many terrible years when fan support was lacking. Even just last season in their newer stadium, lots of empty seats that quickly filled up this season when they started winning.

SF Giants games were the same, largely empty, at Candlestick Park until they built the new ball park and subsequently started winning.

And as a Sac Kings fans, I vividly recall going to see the Kings play in the Bay because it was easier to get tickets than for home games. Circa 1998 - 2006 the Oakland Arena was often dubbed ARCO Arena West. Because Kings fan routinely took it over. So when the Warriors became the darlings of the NBA about 8 years ago or so and the media would praise their fans, I’d laugh. I still do.
I've lived in the Bay Area since 1996 so I did miss the 49ers best years.

I agree its mostly a bandwagon fan base, but most fans are fairly knowledgeable and pretty easy to talk to.

I just think there's so many other things to do here if your sports teams aren't winning. Same really with Southern California fans.
 

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I've lived in the Bay Area since 1996 so I did miss the 49ers best years.

I agree its mostly a bandwagon fan base, but most fans are fairly knowledgeable and pretty easy to talk to.

I just think there's so many other things to do here if your sports teams aren't winning. Same really with Southern California fans.
Same throughout CA, for the most part. Fantastic outdoor weather and geographically diverse. As you know, here in NorCal any type of outdoor environment someone might be looking for, sans a desert, is relatively close by. Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite, Redwood forest, ocean, rivers and lakes, valleys, foothills, etc. And there's technically a high desert in Nevada when heading up to Reno. But I digress.

As a lifelong Dodgers fan, I always bring up to Giants fans that the Dodgers almost always are among the leaders in attendance year after year. And up until 2017, they hadn't appeared in a WS since 1988. And had lots of terrible seasons in between.

Yet despite all the things to do in SoCal, fans still came out to the ballpark year after year. That doesn't happen for really any other team in SoCal, except for the Lakers, and doesn't really happen for any Bay area teams.
 

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It's also interesting that you didn't really see much movement in the draft back in the day. Very seldom did you see teams trading up or down.

Even looking back to 1983 when Dan Marino was falling, the Dolphins didn't trade up for him. Was always surprised he got past Pittsburgh.In the Don Shula book by DeVito it sounded like Miami would have taken Mike Charles at #1 if Marino wasn't there. I always assumed Miami would have taken Darrell Green, an absolute steal by the Redskins one pick later.
Great point. No, there wasn't a ton of movement. I think teams were hesitant to do it because the value was unclear. One side had one perspective and the other side viewed it differently. Once the Jimmy Johnson chart became well known and subsequent modified versions it's much simpler for both sides to do quick mathematical calculations including during the short window between picks.

Dallas made the famous pre-draft day trade with Seattle in 1977 to grab Tony Dorsett. It was viewed as highway robbery at the time. When I looked at the specifics decades later it was actually fairly close on the value chart, with only slight edge to Dallas. But freak running backs were so prized and influential at the time. They could transform a franchise immediately. That's why the trade was indeed a steal. The Cowboys won the title in Dorsett's rookie season.

Every year when the college season began all eyes shifted to who the next dominant running back would be. For example, Earl Campbell was only somewhat well known before his senior season at Texas in 1977. He had been nicked prior to that, particularly as a junior while missing several games. He wasn't atop the radar opening that 1977 season but almost immediately he was a freight train and drawing comparisons to Jim Brown. Analysts were saying he was already superior to Dorsett. But given the style of play there were concerns about how long he could hold up, and what condition he would be in once he got through. Unfortunately those concerns proved astute. It is a reminder of how Franco Harris drastically changed his style of play under similar concerns. At Penn State and especially as a rookie with the Steelers, Harris was a wild man who ran exactly like Campbell did later. He was legendary and beloved. Then mid career Harris softened his style, amidst some criticism, and then toward the end of his career he was actually dodging contact and intentionally running out of bounds.
 

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Great post as usual. Always look forward to some of these stories from back in the day.
I enjoy doing it. Not everything transfers over time. I like to provide the thought process at the point in time. That is one of my strengths...recalling the situational variables and consensus at point A or point B or whatever.

Besides, it is simple for me to recall those Dolphin seasons. I can immediately differentiate 1975 from 1976 or 1977, with all the personnel changes and draft picks and games during those seasons. Contrast to let's say 2001 and 2002 and 2003 when I have to stop and really think about it. I'll retain some aspects but not remotely close to three decades earlier.

It was weird when I started posting Dolphin memories online in the late '90s and particularly into the early 2000s, including the early years on this site. I was quickly contacted by PM by fellow Dolphin fans asking if they knew me. Some were sure they knew me from high school based on things I was writing. These guys were all considerably older than I was. When I told them I was much younger than their class year they didn't always accept it immediately. They assumed the stuff I was writing sourced from someone who was at least 18. No, plenty of this late '60s stuff is memories from age 8 or 9. It is the reason I don't mind linking guys like the 16 year old scout who didn't like Dion Jordan. Heck, 16 is two years beyond where I was once the '70s glory years were finished. In my neighborhood and school we had learned and were already relearning football by age 16. No reason a 16 year old can't know and project a heck of a lot more than people multiple times his age.

I think we'll soon see this sport become younger at the head coaching profession and general managers and across the board. The insistence on older types has been rather silly, IMO, just like the delay in applying analytics.
 

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I enjoy doing it. Not everything transfers over time. I like to provide the thought process at the point in time. That is one of my strengths...recalling the situational variables and consensus at point A or point B or whatever.

Besides, it is simple for me to recall those Dolphin seasons. I can immediately differentiate 1975 from 1976 or 1977, with all the personnel changes and draft picks and games during those seasons. Contrast to let's say 2001 and 2002 and 2003 when I have to stop and really think about it. I'll retain some aspects but not remotely close to three decades earlier.

It was weird when I started posting Dolphin memories online in the late '90s and particularly into the early 2000s, including the early years on this site. I was quickly contacted by PM by fellow Dolphin fans asking if they knew me. Some were sure they knew me from high school based on things I was writing. These guys were all considerably older than I was. When I told them I was much younger than their class year they didn't always accept it immediately. They assumed the stuff I was writing sourced from someone who was at least 18. No, plenty of this late '60s stuff is memories from age 8 or 9. It is the reason I don't mind linking guys like the 16 year old scout who didn't like Dion Jordan. Heck, 16 is two years beyond where I was once the '70s glory years were finished. In my neighborhood and school we had learned and were already relearning football by age 16. No reason a 16 year old can't know and project a heck of a lot more than people multiple times his age.

I think we'll soon see this sport become younger at the head coaching profession and general managers and across the board. The insistence on older types has been rather silly, IMO, just like the delay in applying analytics.
Funny you mention the 70's. I can tell you more about MLB from the 70's than I can from the 2000's. I grew rooting for the Big Red Machine but in those days I pretty much knew the roster for just about every team in the majors. Football at that time was my 2nd favorite sport. Of course now football is #1 for me and has been for years.
 

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Funny you mention the 70's. I can tell you more about MLB from the 70's than I can from the 2000's. I grew rooting for the Big Red Machine but in those days I pretty much knew the roster for just about every team in the majors. Football at that time was my 2nd favorite sport. Of course now football is #1 for me and has been for years.
My sister was a huge Cincinnati Reds fan during that time period. Living in Southern California we'd go to many of those Dodgers versus Reds games.

Amazing talent on both teams, but that 1976 Cincinnati team was one of the best I've ever seen. We had autographs from many of the players. My sister was good at getting those.

Interesting fact, no one on that team struck out 100 times. Perez and Bench were close, but just amazing how much the game has changed in that regard. Partly credit to how pitching has changed.
 

Danny

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My sister was a huge Cincinnati Reds fan during that time period. Living in Southern California we'd go to many of those Dodgers versus Reds games.

Amazing talent on both teams, but that 1976 Cincinnati team was one of the best I've ever seen. We had autographs from many of the players. My sister was good at getting those.

Interesting fact, no one on that team struck out 100 times. Perez and Bench were close, but just amazing how much the game has changed in that regard. Partly credit to how pitching has changed.
I had Tony Perez baseball card signed by him but that was it. Several years ago I met Ken Griffey Sr. when I was a manager at Fridays front row. He was real cool. Those teams had great hitters but also 4 Gold glove winners too.
 

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Great point. No, there wasn't a ton of movement. I think teams were hesitant to do it because the value was unclear. One side had one perspective and the other side viewed it differently. Once the Jimmy Johnson chart became well known and subsequent modified versions it's much simpler for both sides to do quick mathematical calculations including during the short window between picks.

Dallas made the famous pre-draft day trade with Seattle in 1977 to grab Tony Dorsett. It was viewed as highway robbery at the time. When I looked at the specifics decades later it was actually fairly close on the value chart, with only slight edge to Dallas. But freak running backs were so prized and influential at the time. They could transform a franchise immediately. That's why the trade was indeed a steal. The Cowboys won the title in Dorsett's rookie season.

Every year when the college season began all eyes shifted to who the next dominant running back would be. For example, Earl Campbell was only somewhat well known before his senior season at Texas in 1977. He had been nicked prior to that, particularly as a junior while missing several games. He wasn't atop the radar opening that 1977 season but almost immediately he was a freight train and drawing comparisons to Jim Brown. Analysts were saying he was already superior to Dorsett. But given the style of play there were concerns about how long he could hold up, and what condition he would be in once he got through. Unfortunately those concerns proved astute. It is a reminder of how Franco Harris drastically changed his style of play under similar concerns. At Penn State and especially as a rookie with the Steelers, Harris was a wild man who ran exactly like Campbell did later. He was legendary and beloved. Then mid career Harris softened his style, amidst some criticism, and then toward the end of his career he was actually dodging contact and intentionally running out of bounds.
I didn't realize that about Franco Harris. I do remember him running out of bounds and avoiding contact when he could. In retrospect, I think that's smart. Pick your times to fight for extra yards.

Earl Campbell was one of my all-time favorite non-Dolphin players. I loved his style of play, but definitely sad what he has gone through later in life.

I haven't seen a running back since with his kind of power.
 
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I had Tony Perez baseball card signed by him but that was it. Several years ago I met Ken Griffey Sr. when I was a manager at Fridays front row. He was real cool. Those teams had great hitters but also 4 Gold glove winners too.
Fun team to watch, with power, speed and defense. I think the Dodgers had the better pitching. Great rivalry in the 70's.
 

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Same throughout CA, for the most part. Fantastic outdoor weather and geographically diverse. As you know, here in NorCal any type of outdoor environment someone might be looking for, sans a desert, is relatively close by. Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite, Redwood forest, ocean, rivers and lakes, valleys, foothills, etc. And there's technically a high desert in Nevada when heading up to Reno. But I digress.

As a lifelong Dodgers fan, I always bring up to Giants fans that the Dodgers almost always are among the leaders in attendance year after year. And up until 2017, they hadn't appeared in a WS since 1988. And had lots of terrible seasons in between.

Yet despite all the things to do in SoCal, fans still came out to the ballpark year after year. That doesn't happen for really any other team in SoCal, except for the Lakers, and doesn't really happen for any Bay area teams.
So true about Dodgers fans. I think they support the team better than Giants fans do. Great ballpark too.
 
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