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My Draft Memories: Kim Bokamper

Posted Apr 21, 2017

We reminisce with some of your favorite current and former Miami Dolphins about their draft day experiences. Today, we catch up with defensive end Kim Bokamper, selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 1976 NFL draft.

What stands out to you the most from your draft-day experience?

Kim Bokamper: “My draft-day experience I think was different than people now. We didn’t have ESPN, you had no radio coverage and you didn’t know where you were going to be drafted. We just had to wait around and get a phone call. The most memorable thing that happened to me on Draft Day was I got a call about three hours into the draft. I picked up the phone, someone says, ‘Is this Kim Bokamper?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘This is Paul Brown from the Cincinnati Bengals. We just drafted you with our first pick in the draft. What do you think about that?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m ecstatic to be a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.’ And then all of a sudden I here some guy go, ‘Got you.’ It was a buddy of mine pulling a prank call, so I got through that and about 20 minutes later I got a call from the Miami Dolphins and I had to ask twice, ‘Are you sure this is Don Shula?’ Because I wanted to make sure I didn’t get pranked again, so that was probably the most memorable thing.”

What did you personally do in preparation for the draft to help your draft position as far as special workouts, etc.?

Bokamper: “Well again, it was very different than most people because we didn’t have a Combine and my year was the year they were trying to outlaw the draft. So the draft was supposed to be in April and I don’t think the draft was until May and we never knew when the draft was. It was just an ongoing legal situation so you kind of had to stay in shape, but for me getting ready for the draft was working out for teams. I’d get a call from the football coaches’ office and they’d say, ‘Hey, there’s two guys here this afternoon and they want to work you out,’ So I’d go work out for two different guys and the next day you’d get another one and so it was quite different than the way things are now. Everyday was a Pro Day for me, let’s put it that way.”

Was there something about your interviews with prospective coaches before the draft that stood out?

Bokamper: “No. The only thing that stood out to me was that me and everybody else that was close to being drafted thought they were going to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, because they sent you a letter everyday and they sent you bumper stickers and everything, so everybody thought that they were going to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and very few were, including myself.”

Where were you on Draft Day?

Bokamper: “I was at my brother’s apartment. It was the only place I knew that had a phone. I was in college and there were no cell phones.”

How did you celebrate being drafted?

Bokamper: “I went out and drank beer with my friends.”

What advice would you give to this year’s class of draft choices?

Bokamper: “My advice would be, don’t think just because you got drafted, whether it’s in the first round or the seventh round, that you’ve got a job and that you’ve got a position on the team. You need to go out and earn it.”

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