5 worst first-round draft picks in Dolphins history

Hindsight's 20/20 when it comes to these misses
Dion Jordan and SammieSmith
Posted at 7:00 AM, Apr 24, 2024

The Miami Dolphins are poised to build for the future in Thursday's opening round of the NFL Draft, but that doesn't always translate into success on the field. Look no further than these five biggest first-round misses in franchise history.

Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon, No. 3, 2013

Dion Jordan holds Miami Dolphins jersey during 2013 NFL Draft
Former Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan stands with the team jersey after being selected third overall by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the NFL Draft, Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

The Dolphins traded up to make Jordan the third overall pick of the 2013 draft. After appearing in all 16 games as a rookie, Jordan missed a total of six games in 2014 for twice violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy.

He was forced to sit out all of 2015 after a third violation and, despite being reinstated, didn't play a down for the Dolphins in 2016. He was released by the Dolphins in March 2017 after failing a physical.

Randal Hill, WR, Miami, No. 23, 1991

Randal Hill, Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Randal Hill runs with the football after catching a pass from quarterback Craig Erickson in a game against the Buffalo Bills in 1996.

The Miami product seemed like a natural choice for the Dolphins, but his first stint with the team lasted all but a game.

Hill missed four weeks of training camp in a contract dispute before signing with the team in August 1991. The rookie from the University of Miami caught six passes for 70 yards and no touchdowns in three preseason games and was traded to the Cardinals two days after a 35-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the regular-season opener.

"It's evident Randal is not ready to play," then-head coach Don Shula said. "He really hasn't had a chance to pick up our system and be ready to play the way I had hoped."

Hill returned to the Dolphins for the 1995 and 1996 seasons, catching just 33 passes for 669 yards and four touchdowns.

David Overstreet, RB, Oklahoma, No. 13, 1981

David Overstreet holds Miami Dolphins jersey in 1983
David Overstreet smiles as he holds his new Miami Dolphins jersey at a news conference in Miami, April 21, 1983. Overstreet signed a three-year contract with the Dolphins. He was their No. 1 draft pick in 1981 but signed to play with the Canadian Football League.

Overstreet was Miami's first-round draft pick in 1981, but it would take another two years before he even wore a Dolphins uniform. A contract dispute led Overstreet to play in Canada and sign with the Montreal Alouettes instead.

He finally suited up for the Dolphins in 1983 and showed much promise, rushing for 392 yards in 14 games, but he was killed when his car swerved off a Texas highway, crashed into gasoline pumps and exploded in June 1984.

Yatil Green, WR, Miami, No. 15, 1997

Yatil Green at Miami Dolphins practice in 1997
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Yatil Green, left, goes up for a pass against defender Melvin Cunningham at the Dolphins training complex in Davie, Fla., Friday, July 11, 1997.

Despite being drafted 15th overall in 1997, Green didn't take the field for the Dolphins until 1999. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in training camp of his rookie year, ending his season. He came back the next year only to tear the same ACL, again during training camp.

By the end of the 1999 season, Green played in just nine games, catching 18 passes for 234 yards and no touchdowns. He was cut by the Dolphins and spent the next two preseasons with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, never making the final roster.

Sammie Smith, RB, Florida State, No. 9, 1989

Miami Dolphins running back Sammie Smith tackled in 1991 American Bowl
Miami Dolphins running back Sammie Smith is sacked by Los Angeles Raiders defensive end Mike Charles and a swarm of other defenders in Tokyo, Aug. 4, 1991. The Raiders and Dolphins played an exhibition game in the Tokyo Dome.

The ninth overall pick in 1989 only lasted three seasons in Miami, his fate sealed by fumbles in consecutive games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Oilers in 1991. Smith was traded to Denver not long after his goal-line fumble against Houston that cost Miami a 17-13 loss.

After a season with the Broncos, Smith's NFL career was over. He was later convicted of two counts of cocaine possession and distribution, spending seven years in federal prison.

Coming Thursday: You've seen the worst draft mistakes the Dolphins have made in the first round. Now check out the five best decisions the franchise has ever made.