Compared to how well Don Shula did in his first Dolphins draft in 1970, the period from 1971-75 was a major disappointment. Shula was unable to match his success on the field during his draft-day sessions in the 'war room.'
Interestingly, Shula did not have a first-round pick in '71 because it was sent to the Colts as compensation for ... Shula. Miami had to surrender the pick when it signed the coach. The Dolphins might as well have given up their other picks, too, because they drafted mostly dead weight, with the notable exception of Vern Den Herder in Round 9. Joe Theismann (4) also was selected, but he would not flourish until after his trade to the Redskins.
The misfires continued in '72 when Miami picked up such forgettable players as Mike Kadish (1) and Gary Kosins (3). The same theme went on the next three years as many busts were added to the Dolphins' roster, including Chuck Bradley (2, '73), Don Reese (1, '74), Andre Tillman (2, '74) and Darryl Carlton (1, '75).
To be fair, the Dolphins did select several good players from 1973-75. Don Strock and Ed Newman were added in the middle rounds of '73, Nat Moore was an excellent pick in the third round of '74 and Steve Towle enjoyed some productive years after being chosen in the sixth round of '75. Miami also drafted two players, Leon Gray and Freddie Solomon, who would have good pro careers, but with other teams.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times