The Miami Dolphins pick 13th overall in next month’s NFL draft and so I ask you. Feeling lucky?
Only twice in franchise history has that particular number come up for the Dolphins, and there’s no guarantee that it even will this time. Trades happen.
If the draft order stays like it is, however, Miami can only hope the early picks work out something like 1977.
That year the Dolphins were coming off a 6-8 season, the first losing record of Don Shula’s career. The stars of the Super Bowl dynasty years were starting to get old, particularly on defense, and the time had come to stir up the lineup.
So with the 13th overall pick Miami selected A.J. Duhe from LSU, an instant starter at defensive. Next, with a second-round pick that was 40th overall, the Dolphins took Alabama’s Bob Baumhower, who also stepped right in at nose tackle.
Could the Dolphins of today, also coming off a six-win season, do any better with the 13th and 42nd overall picks? Difficult to imagine.
Duhe was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and later, after switching to linebacker, he carried the Dolphins into a Super Bowl by intercepting three New York Jets passes and returning one of them for a touchdown in the 1982 AFC Championship game.
Baumhower, meanwhile, earned a spot on the Dolphins’ Honor Roll. Five times the former Palm Beach Gardens High School star was a Pro Bowl selection, and three times as a starter.
New Dolphins coach Adam Gase could use a whole lot of that. Already he says Miami picked up two defensive starters in the March 9 trade that brought cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso from Philadelphia. That trade, by the way, is what moved Miami down to 13th in the first round from its original spot at No. 8.
The only other time the Dolphins picked 13th overall went tragically wrong.
The pick was spent on David Overstreet in 1981 but a contract agreement never was reached and the Oklahoma running back went to Montreal of the Canadian Football League for two years. He eventually played one season for the Dolphins but was killed in a car accident in 1984 at the age of 25.
He might have been a great NFL runner if given the chance.