The years 1981-85 were marked by some awful picks, some brilliant ones and one terrible tragedy. The tragedy was running back David Overstreet, Miami's first-round pick (No. 13) in 1981 who never realized his potential before dying in a car accident in 1984. One of the Dolphins' most beloved player ever also was added in the '81 draft. Jim "Crash" Jensen was an 11th-round pick who had little chance of making the team but beat the odds and became the team's Mr. Versatility.
Another sharp pick came in '82 when a little-known receiver from Northwestern State in Louisiana was taken in Round 2. Mark Duper soon would emerge as a major headache for opposing defenses as he often teamed up with Dan Marino on long touchdown passes.
To be sure, the Dolphins made some awful mistakes in the early '80s. The '84 draft basically was a total waste, as Jackie Shipp (1) and Jay Brophy (2) failed to produce much of anything in Miami. The bumbling continued the next year when Lorenzo Hampton (1), George Little (3) and Alex Moyer (3) could not live up to expectations. That plus the fact Miami dealt its second-round choice to the Chargers for Pete Johnson make 1985 a year to forget, draft-wise.
No mention of Dolphins draft history would be complete without highlighting the 1983 haul. Nabbing Marino with the No. 27 pick alone qualifies this draft as a major success, but Shula didn't stop there. Punter Reggie Roby was a find in the sixth round, and receiver Mark Clayton is one of the best eighth-round picks ever.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times