Miami Dolphins 10 Best NFL Draft Picks

    Who are the Miami Dolphins' best NFL draft picks? Here are the top 10 in franchise history.

    March 2, 2016

    Who are the Miami Dolphin best NFL draft picks? Here are the top 10 in franchise history.

    Daily Draft: Miami Dolphin Greatest NFL Draft Picks

    1. QB Dan Marino, Pitt

    1983, 1st round, 27th pick overall
    Pick Before: C Don Mosebar, USC to Los Angeles Raiders
    Pick After: CB Darrell Green, Texas A&M-Kingsville to Washington

    Easily one of the all-time greatest first round value picks, Marino famously slid, and slid, and slid, and Miami’s franchise all of a sudden had its star for the next 17 years.

    There’s always going to be the He Never Won The Super Bowl thing attached to his legacy, but there might not have been a better pure passer in the history of pro football, throwing for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns, highlighted by his historic, MVP-winning, 5,084-yard, 48-score sophomore season in 1984 that was the unofficial start of a new era of the air show in the NFL. A nine-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro, and an unquestioned first ballot Hall of Famer, one long draft day for him turned into an epic career.

    2. LB Zach Thomas, Texas Tech

    1996, 5th round, 154th pick overall
    Pick Before: WR Jermaine Lewis, Maryland by Baltimore
    Pick After: DT Junior Soli, Arkansas by San Diego

    Too small, too slow, and totally unathletic, Thomas slipped into the afterthought range in the 1996 draft, falling to the fifth round. But from the start he turned out to be one of the better value picks in Miami Dolphin history making 120 stops as a rookie with three picks, immediately turning into one of the leaders of the defense. Over his 12-year career with the Dolphins he came up with 1,035 tackles and 17 interceptions, taking four of them for touchdowns, earning seven All-Pro nods and being named to the All-Pro team a whopping five times.

    3. C Dwight Stephenson, Alabama

    1980, 2nd round, 48th pick overall
    Pick Before: WR Ralph Clayton, Michigan by New York Jets
    Pick After: WR Kevin House, Southern Illinois by Tampa Bay

    It wasn’t all that long a career playing just eight years, and it took three seasons before he kicked it all into high gear, Stephenson had one of the great five-year runs by any offensive lineman in pro football history, earning a spot in the Hall of Fame even with the short burst. He went to five straight Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in his final four campaigns, becoming the standard for the modern center.

    4. QB Bob Griese, Purdue

    1967, 1st round, 4th pick overall
    Pick Before: QB Steve Spurrier, Florida by San Francisco
    Pick After: LB George Webster, Michigan State by Houston

    How’s that for a run top end of a draft? Bubba Smith went No. 1 to Baltimore in 1967, running back Clint Jones is the one who didn’t work out for Minnesota at the two, and then Steve Spurrier went to San Francisco and Griese went to Miami at the four. Pro Bowl linebacker George Webster went to Houston at the five, and future Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little went to Denver at the six.

    Forget about the numbers by today’s standards. For a starting quarterback from 1967 to 1980, Griese’s stats were more than solid throwing for 25,092 yards and 192 touchdowns, while rushing for 994 yards and seven scores. The eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro became a Hall of Famer for what he brought to the offense as the ultimate game manager on the way to two Super Bowl wins – even if he was hurt for most of the epic 1972 season.

    5. RB Larry Csonka, Syracuse

    1968, 1st round, 8th pick overall
    Pick Before: DT Kevin Hardy, Notre Dame by New Orleans
    Pick After: WR Haven Moses, San Diego State by Buffalo

    The Hall of Fame bulldozer who helped carry the team to two Super Bowls is still the all-time leading rusher by any Miami draft pick, rolling for 6,737 yards and 53 touchdowns with three straight 1,000-yard seasons from 1971 to 1973. The 1973 Super Bowl MVP was named All-Pro twice and went to five straight Pro Bowls from 1970 to 1974.

    6. DE Jason Taylor, Akron

    1997, 3rd round, 73rd pick overall
    Pick Before: C Adam Treu, Nebraska by Oakland
    Pick After: LB Michael Hamilton, North Carolina A&T by San Diego

    A third round pick from Akron who was supposedly a nice project with good athleticism, Taylor turned into one of the NFL’s premier pass rusher over his 11 seasons with the Dolphins with 131 sacks with 479 tackles earning All-Pro honors for three seasons with six trips to the Pro Bowl. A fringe Hall of Fame talent, he was the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year with a 13.5-sack season with two interceptions for scores, but his best year as a pass rusher was in 2002 cranking up 18.5 sacks.

    7. OT Richmond Webb, Texas A&M

    1990, 1st round, 9th pick overall
    Pick Before: LB Chris Singleton, Arizona by New England
    Pick After: DT Ray Agnew, North Carolina State by New England

    A rock of a left tackle for a long, long time, Webb was one of the NFL’s premier blockers in the 1990s going to seven straight Pro Bowls to start his career with two trips to the All-Pro team in 1992 and 1994. Is he a Hall of Famer? He’s on the list of the very, very close starting 163 games for the Dolphins for 11 years before finishing up with Cincinnati for two final seasons.

    8. S Jake Scott, Georgia

    1970, 7th round, 159 pick overall
    Pick Before: OT Terry Brennan, Notre Dame by Philadelphia
    Pick After: RB Odell Lawson, Langston by Boston

    For a seventh-rounder, Scott became something special for the no-name defense, standing out among the pack on some legendary defenses earning All-Pro honors in 1973 and 1974 and going to the Pro Bowl for five straight years. He picked off 35 passes for the Dolphins before finishing up his career at Washington, winning Super Bowl MVP honors to cap off the historic 1972 campaign.

    9. WR Mark Clayton, Louisville

    1983, 8th round, 223rd pick overall
    Pick Before: RB Mike Dotterer, Stanford by Los Angeles Raiders
    Pick After: OT Todd Hallstrom, Minnesota by Washington

    Clayton and Duper – the M&M receivers will forever be intertwined with the ascension of Dan Marino and the historic era of Miami Dolphin passing games. Mark Duper was fantastic, but Clayton turned out to be a wee bit better, averaging close to 16 yards per catch with 550 grabs for 8,643 yards and 81 touchdowns in his Miami career. Unstoppable in 1984, he caught 18 of Marino’s 48 touchdown passes and hit the double-digit mark four scoring mark four times in his career, going to five Pro Bowls along the way.

    10. CB Sam Madison, Louisville

    1997, 2nd round, 44th pick overall
    Pick Before: RB Corey Dillon, Washington by Cincinnati
    Pick After: TE Freddie Jones, North Carolina by San Diego

    A big-hitting prospect who fell in the second round, Madison played nine years for the Dolphins 31 interceptions and 278 tackles as an all-star playmaking corner. He went to four straight Pro Bowls from 1999 to 2002 and was a 1999 and 2000 All-Pro making 12 picks over the two years after intercepting eight balls in 1998.

    MORE: Miami Dolphins All-Time NFL Draft Team


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