With the 13th pick the Miami Dolphins got Laremy Tunsil, the second best player on their board, in the NFL draft. Some might say that they got the guy that twelve other teams took a pass on. I say that's right. And that's a great thing for the Dolphins.
In 1998 I was a bit younger and had a bit more hair and a lot less gut. I was also a lot dumber. As I watched that draft I saw team after team take a pass on wide receiver Randy Moss. And with good reason.
Moss had gone through not one, not two, but three college programs, going from Notre Dame to Florida State to, finally, Marshall. Notre Dame I can understand but can you imagine how bad your character has to be to get you kicked out of Florida State?
If that wasn't bad enough, Moss had completely blown the pre-draft process, frequently going out of his way to ruffle the feathers of the NFL teams he visited. During his trip to Chicago to interview with the Bears, he disappeared after a night on the town the evening before. There was no answer at his hotel room the morning after and he completely missed the visit.
How bad did I think Moss was? I'm on the record as saying that Moss would be in jail before his rookie contract was up. I really believed that.
But during the draft, something happened. As team after team passed on Moss, he reportedly became visibly upset. At one point he left the spot where he was watching the draft to disappear into a bedroom, evidently to cry in his frustration. That was a turning point.
Finally, after it was estimated for months that he'd be a top five pick, Moss, a generational talent, went to the Minnesota Vikings at 21st overall. And right then, he became a virtual model citizen for the rest of his career.
Fast forward almost twenty years and its 2016. I may be older but I'm a lot smarter than I used to be. And despite the fact that Miami took a big risk on Laremy Tunsil, I'm overjoyed for Dolphins fans.
After a video of Tunsil smoking marijuana with a gas mask on surfaced on Twitter right before the draft started, the tackle that was thought to be the 1st overall pick just a month before took a free fall down the board. As pick after pick went by many saw a tragedy unfolding before their eyes on national television. And so did I. But at the same time, the farther Tunsil fell, the more I felt opportunity knocking. And, fortunately, the Miami Dolphins answered.
The difference between the 6th overall pick where the Ravens too tackle Ronnie Stanley and the 13th? Over $8 million.
We don't know whether Tunsil learned the lesson that Randy Moss did on that night in 1998. But watching Tunsil's face as team after team took a pass on him, its awfully hard not to believe that he did.
Be happy, Dolphins fans. You got perhaps the best player in the 2016 NFL draft in the middle of the first round. And the bet here is that from now on, he'll be clean as a whistle.
This column was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
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