Like a lot of fans, I look forward to the NFL Draft every year. It’s an exciting time for a fan to see who will be part of your teams future, what trades will be made, what players will rise and fall, etc. Probably outside of opening day it’s a day fans circle on their calendar ever year. This year it’s different because my team the Miami Dolphins have 3 first round picks and can control the draft with the extra picks they have. I just turned 40 years old and it’s been a long time since the Dolphins have had multiple first round picks in a draft.

It was 1992 the last time the Dolphins have had multiple first round picks. I was 12 years old at the time and the draft was big, but not like it is now. The Dolphins that year drafted Troy Vincent and Marco Coleman. Two guys that were good players and helped contribute to the Dolphins run to their last AFC Championship game that year. There was no salary cap that year and it came into play in 1993. Due to Don Shula miss managing the salary cap the Dolphins couldn’t keep those guys after their contracts expired in 1995.

I’ve always wanted to see the Dolphins find a way to get multiple first round picks to make the draft even more exciting for me as a fan, but they have haven’t done that until now. It’s been 28 years since they had multiple picks it’s amazing. It’s made me think of a lot of the things I have seen with the draft over the years. As I’ve gotten older, I have looked at what the Dolphins have done over that time. Some good, bad, frustrating, and more.

I remember Shula in 1994 trading down in the first round and taking a little know defensive tackle in Tim Bowens. People criticized him for that pick, but Bowens was a big hit and was a clog in our defensive line for years. In my lifetime, Bowens is the best defensive tackle I have seen play for the Dolphins. Everyone has their favorite players and he was definitely one of mine. I would love the Dolphins to draft another player like him.

I particularly remember watching the drafts when Jimmy Johnson was running the show from 1996-1999 because of the success he had though the draft with the Dallas Cowboys. It was fun to watch him trade up and trade down. I know his last couple of drafts his picks were draft busts running backs John Avery and James Johnson. However, he did make moves to be in position to draft players like Zach Thomas, Sam Madison, and Patrick Surtain guys who were corner stones of our defense in the late 1990’s into the turn of the century. He also drafts an injury plagued wide receiver in Yatil Green in the first round knowing he has a history of injuries, but his drafts were entertaining to say the least.

I’ve seen my share of frustrating drafts especially under Dave Wannstedt, who didn’t know his difference between his butt and a hole in the ground. His biggest mistake was passing on Drew Brees in 2001 when the Dolphins needed to draft a young quarterback to compete with incumbent Jay Fiedler and he was there for the taking. However, he instead took cornerback Jamar Fletcher when we already had Madison and Surtain in the prime of their careers and locked into long term deals. Fletcher didn’t last 3 years with the Dolphins and didn’t do anything. Brees is on his way to the Hall of Fame. Then the year the Dolphins NEEDED a wide receiver in 2003 to play opposite of Chris Chambers. Anquan Boldin was there with the Dolphins second round pick, but of course Wannstedt took a linebacker in Eddie Moore who didn’t contribute worth jack. Boldin had a solid NFL career and could be a Hall of Famer.

I remember the Dolphins not having a first-round pick in 2000, 2002, and 2003. Those were boring drafts to watch in some ways because the Dolphins didn’t have a pick in the first round. In fact, in 2002 they didn’t have a second-round pick either. That made for a draft I didn’t really want to watch, but as a fan of the game I always tuned in to see what the other teams did and especially the teams in the AFC East.

I’ve also seen my jaw dropping picks as well. In 2007, the Dolphins were in line to take a quarterback and that year it was Brady Quinn. The Dolphins seemed to love him and everyone had him going to the Dolphins if available only to have the Dolphins take wide receiver Ted Ginn. Now Quinn never turned out to be a good quarterback while Ginn is still playing. The problem for him was there was a regime change the year after he was drafted and while he did stick around for a couple of years he was eventually traded. Then in 2013 the Dolphins traded up from pick 11 to 3. The thinking was the Dolphins were going to take an offensive tackle in Lane Johnson because the Dolphins needed a lineman, but instead took pass rusher Dion Jordan. Jordan turned out to be one of the biggest busts in franchise history due to suspensions for performance enhancers.

The Dolphins have also had their share of picks that had good careers with the team like OJ McDuffie, Ronnie Brown, Vernon Carey, and Mike Pouncey. There has been a good share of hits, misses, and frustrations. As Dolphins fans, we have seen a lot over the years. Some that will make us cheer and others that will make us drink to try to forget.

This year the Dolphins with have a lot of options with 3 first round picks something we haven’t seen before. My brother is a diehard New York Jets fans and I remember in 2000 they had 4 first round picks. At that time, I thought how great it would be to someday see the Dolphins have multiple picks like that and now the day has come. Will the Dolphins keep all of those picks or trade one to move up or move down? Nobody knows, but the Dolphins can be at center stage for this draft knowing they can get whoever they want with the picks they have. They can also use a pick to trade and get more in years to come. As a fan this is the most excited, I have been about the draft ever. They have multiple picks and a chance to really improve the team. If you’re a Dolphins fan you should be as excited as ever because we have seen a lot and now, we will see something the team hasn’t had in 28 years.