BACKDRAFT SERIES: For 16 days leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, we're rolling out capsule draft histories of each of the 32 NFL Teams.
2011 Draft Position:
First-Ever Draft Pick:
• Jim Grabowski, FB, Illinois (1st Round, 1st overall, 1966 AFL Draft)
Most Recent Draft Pick:
• Austin Spitler, LB, Ohio State (7th round, 252nd overall, in 2010)
Hall of Famers Drafted:
• Bob Griese - 1st Round (4th overall), 1967
• Larry Csonka - 1st Round (8th overall), 1968
• Dwight Stephenson - 2nd Round (48th overall), 1980
• Dan Marino - 1st Round (27th overall), 1983
First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:
• 2008 – Jake Long, T, Michigan
• 1966 – Jim Grabowski, RB, Illinois
Did you know?
The Dolphins used their fourth-round pick of the 1971 NFL Draft on Notre Dame quarterback Joe Theismann who finished as the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
Negotiations began almost immediately despite the fact that Theismann wasn't completely sure that he was going to pick football over baseball. Adding to the deliberations was the fact that he had also been approached by the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts.
By early March, apparently Miami came to a verbal agreement with the QB. At least that was the Dolphins owner Joe Robbie and coach Don Shula thought. The two were simply waiting for the signed contract to be returned. So, much to their surprise, on April 5, 1971, it was learned that Theismann came to terms with the Argos on a two-year deal.
A side note to the Dolphins draft that year is that only three of the 14 players the team picked made the Miami roster. Not all was lost, however. One of them was Vern Den Herder, a DE from Central Iowa, who was drafted in the 9th round.
He helped anchor Miami's defense for 12 seasons.
"They have added a quarterback that has at least as strong an arm as (Don) Strock and way more mobility. Eventually, Marino will probably be their quarterback."
That's how Patriots Director of Player Personnel Dick Steinberg evaluated the first round pick in the famous 1983 Draft.
"Eventually" came sooner than later as Marino took over the reins as the Dolphins starting quarterback by just Week 6 of his rookie season.
All five teams of the AFC East drafted QBs (the Patriots took Tony Eason) in the opening round of that year's draft which led Steinberg to declare, "All of the teams in the division helped themselves in the draft."
Indeed they did. Three of the QBs – Marino, John Elway, and Jim Kelly, had careers that earned them election to the Hall of Fame.
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