Pick Six: Dolphins’ all-time draft busts

Congratulations to Pat White, who by flaming out in baseball, can now join the exclusive club of two-sport busts. Him and Danny Ainge now have something to talk about if they ever run into each other. (Just kidding, but somebody has to balance out Bill Simmons‘ Celtics love on the internet.)

White was selected by the Dolphins in the second-round of the 2009 NFL Draft and while given a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job, he was envisioned as as Wildcat quarterback. That lasted one season.

Is that enough to make White the biggest draft bust in club history? We count it down here (with a quick update on one of the players).

Also considered: LB Jackie Shipp, 1984.  but only four the 12 picks the Dolphins made that season even made the team that season. So 1984 was its own disaster.

6. DB Jason Allen, 16th overall 2006
Falling in love with Allen’s athleticism and using a first round pick on him is not the worst thing that coach Nick Saban did during his short time with the Dolphins. But that’s more a reflection on Saban.

Could have had: Any of the seven Pro Bowlers drafted after Allen in the first round. But if you want to stick with defensive backs, CB Antonio Cromartie could have been had.

5. RB Sammie Smith, ninth overall, 1989
Smith wasn’t the first running back the Dolphins whiffed on during the Dan Marino era, and certainly was not the last. Smith’s best skill was seemingly fumbling at the worst possible moment.

Could have had: Well, at least the Dolphins didn’t do anything egregious like passing on Barry Sanders. But take your pick with RB Eric Metcalf, WR Andre Rison or S Steve Atwater. I like to imagine Metcalf catching the ball out of the backfield.

4. WR Ted Ginn, Jr., ninth overall, 2007
I originally kept Ginn off the list because the Dolphins were linked to QB Brady Quinn. But after reconsideration, this pick was really bad and it even jumps up the board when you consider some of the guys the team passed on.

Could have had: Like LB Patrick Willis. So Ginn or Quinn, this was still a disaster for the Dolphins.

3. DB Jamar Fletcher, 26th overall pick 2001
Fletcher lasted only three seasons, contributing only two interceptions, but it was the guy who was passed over that make this truly notable.

Could have had: Remember when Drew Brees spurned the Dolphins to sign with the Saints as a free agent? The Dolphins could have avoided that by drafting Brees here.

2. Eric Kumerow, 16th overall, 1988
Don Shula should be the cautionary tale for any owner who wants to give his coach GM authority. The Miami Herald headline after this pick read, “Who???” Fans were still asking that after his brief three-year career that include no career starts.

Could have had: You could pound on the Dolphins for not taking Randall McDaniel. But what about a running back who went in the second round? Thurman Thomas. Marino’s prime with Thomas? Sorry to bring that up.

1. Yatil Green, 15th overall, 1997
Coach Jimmy Johnson went to his comfort zone, targeting the University of Miami here. You would have thought he would have learned his lesson after picking his QB Steve Walsh with Troy Aikman already on the roster. Green tore his ACL on the first day of training camp, and then tore it again in training camp the following year.

Johnson, ironically, was brought in to rectify the draft mistakes of the Shula era, but his first round picks of DT Daryl Gardner, Green, and RB John Avery were all misses. Though he redeemed himself in later rounds.

Could have had: How about any of the guys he picked in the same draft, Sam Madison or Jason Taylor?

Previous entries: Jets | Raiders | Panthers

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