By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on March 28, 2014
NFL Draft season offers hope for all 32 franchises. For the Miami Dolphins, the 2014 NFL Draft is an opportunity to put the finishing touches on a what they believe to be a playoff-caliber roster. Draft season is also a reminder that things can go terribly awry, however. For the Dolphins to have a successful draft this May, they must learn from their mistakes in past drafts.
Here are Miami's five worst draft blunders in team history.
Whether you blame Jonathan Martin for the Dolphins' bullying saga or tab him nothing but the victim, there's no denying that the whole ordeal was a disaster. A league mandated investigation into the Dolphins' locker room thrust Miami into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons for months. It also led to two firings and a suspension. Not to mention that Martin was a porous tackle and gave up seven sacks in just seven games in 2013.
With an aging Marino and a smash-mouth style of play, the Dolphins chose running back John Avery in the first round of the 1998 draft. Avery never came close to living up to his billing, managing just 503 rushing yards and two touchdowns in only two years with the team. He eventually ended up in the now defunct XFL after failed stints with the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings.
With Marino's Super Bowl window closing, the Dolphins looked to the draft to put the club's passing game over the top. Yatil Green was made the pick, but he didn't do much for Miami's offense. Injuries prevented Green from suiting up during his first two seasons in the league. He finally saw the field in year three but managed just 234 receiving yards. It was essentially his final season in the NFL.
One major reason why Marino was never able to lead the Dolphins to a Super Bowl title was he never played with an elite running back. Well, the Dolphins had their chance to snag an eventual Hall of Fame runner in 1988. With Thurman Thomas on the board, the Dolphins made defensive end Eric Kumerow the pick. Thomas ran for over 12,000 career rushing yards while Kumerow produced a mere five sacks in three seasons in Miami.
Missing on a prospect in the late first round isn't quite the blunder as blowing an early-round selection, but it's who the Dolphins passed up to nab Jamar Fletcher that makes this the worst pick in franchise history. With Purdue quarterback Drew Brees for the taking, the Dolphins chose to select a cornerback despite already having two Pro Bowl corners in Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison on the roster. Fletcher lasted only three years in Miami.
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