In a hotel ballroom in New York City 50 years ago, the Miami Dolphins made one of the best draft decisions in franchise history in just their second run at the thing.
The Dolphins, an expansion team which went 3-11 in 1966, took a franchise — and future Hall of Fame — quarterback in the 1967 draft held at the Gotham Hotel.
Bob Griese, an All-American out of Purdue, became the third first round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins on March 14, 1967, as the franchise had two the previous year.
Griese went on to lead the Miami Dolphins throughout the 1970s, heading the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in three successive seasons.
The Dolphins will make their 48th first-round pick in franchise history on Thursday night as the 2017 NFL Draft kicks off in Philadelphia.
Miami currently holds the 22nd overall selection after going 10-7 last season.
After losing to the Dallas Cowboys 24-3 in Super Bowl 6, the Dolphins capped a perfect 17-0 season by beating the Washington Redskins 17-7 in Super Bowl 7 then throttling the Vikings in Super Bowl 8.
Griese spent 14 seasons with the Dolphins and played in 12 games during his rookie campaign in 1967.
Retired following the 1980 season, Griese was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1990; a pair of the thick plastic glasses he wore have been on display in Canton since the 1970s.
Griese was one of eight players drafted in 1967 who have made it to to the Hall: Running back Floyd Little, defensive end Alan Page, offensive lineman Gene Upshaw, cornerback Lem Barney, linebacker Willie Lanier, safety Ken Houston and offensive tackle Rayfield Wright.
A former television football analyst for ABC and ESPN, Griese is now part of the Dolphins’ radio crew with Joe Rose and Jimmy Cefalo.
The Dolphins held the fourth pick in the draft and were all but forced to take Griese when local favorite Steve Spurrier — the Heisman Trophy winner from the Florida Gators — was taken one spot before Miami picked as San Francisco made Spurrier the third overall pick.
Spurrier isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but did play 10 seasons in the NFL — most famously with the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their expansion 1976 season.
Spurrier went on, of course, to become an extremely successful college coach, leading his Gators to their first SEC and national championships in school history.
MIAMI DOLPHINS’ FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICKS
1966: RB Jim Grabowski (Illinois, 1st overall)
1966: QB Rick Norton (Kentucky, 2nd overall)
1967: QB Bob Griese* (Purdue, 4th overall)
1968: RB Larry Csonka* (Syracuse, 8th overall)
1968: OT Doug Crusan (Indiana, 27th overall)
1969: DE Bill Stanfill (Georgia, 11th overall)
1972: DT Mike Kadish (Notre Dame, 25th overall)
1974: DT Don Reese (Jackson State, 26th overall)
1975: OT Darryl Carlton (University of Tampa, 23rd overall)
1976: LB Larry Gordon (Arizona State, 17th overall)
1976: DE Kim Bokamper (San Jose State, 19th overall)
1977: LB A.J. Duhe (LSU, 13th overall)
1979: OT Jon Giesler (Michigan, 24th overall)
1980: DB Don McNeal (Alabama, 21st overall)
1981: RB David Overstreet (Oklahoma, 13th overall)
1982: OG Roy Foster (USC, 24th overall)
1983: QB Dan Marino* (Pittsburgh, 27th overall)
1984: LB Jackie Shipp (Oklahoma, 14th overall)
1985: RB Lorenzo Hampton (Florida, 27th overall)
1987: DE John Bosa (Boston College, 16th overall)
1988: DE Eric Kumerow (Ohio State, 16th overall)
1989: RB Sammie Smith (Florida State, 9th overall)
1989: S Louis Oliver (Florida, 25th overall)
1990: OT Richmond Webb (Texas A&M, 9th overall)
1991: WR Randal Hill (Miami, 23rd overall)
1992: DB Troy Vincent (Wisconsin, 7th overall)
1992: LB Marco Coleman (Georgia Tech, 12th overall)
1993: WR O.J. McDuffie (Penn State, 25th overall)
1994: DT Tim Bowens (Mississippi, 20th overall)
1995: OT Billy Milner (Houston, 25th overall)
1996: DT Daryl Gardener (Baylor, 20th overall)
1997: WR Yatil Green (Miami, 15th overall)
1998: RB John Avery (Mississippi, 29th overall)
2001: DB Jamar Fletcher (Wisconsin, 26th overall)
2004: OT Vernon Carey (Miami, 19th overall)
2005: RB Ronnie Brown (Auburn, 2nd overall)
2006: DB Jason Allen (Tennessee, 16th overall)
2007: WR Ted Ginn, Jr. (Ohio State, 9th overall)
2008: OT Jake Long (Michigan, 1st overall)
2009: CB Vontae Davis (Illinois, 25th overall)
2010: DT Jared Odrick (Penn State, 28th overall)
2011: C Mike Pouncey (Florida, 15th overall)
2012: QB Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M, 8th overall)
2013: DE Dion Jordan (Oregon, 3rd overall)
2014: OT Ja'Wuan James (Tennessee, 19th overall)
2015: WR DeVante Parker (Louisville, 14th overall)
2016: OT Laremy Tunsil (Mississippi, 13th overall)
(*) - Indicates member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame