The Dolphins’ Best All-Time Draft Pick at Every Position
One day remains until the big day and the the start of the 2017 NFL Draft. Like every other team, the Miami Dolphins will be hoping to find the next legend or steal and avoid the next big bust.
Looking on the more than 50-year history of the team, the Dolphins have made some great selections over the years. With the 2017 draft approaching, we decided to look at the best pick Miami has made at every position:
Selected: Round 1, 27th overall in 1983 NFL Draft
The sixth quarterback selected in the 1983 NFL Draft, Dan Marino would go on to rewrite the NFL record books as a passer. During his 17 seasons in Miami, Marino passed for more than 61,000 yards and 420 touchdowns while being named the league’s MVP in 1984. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls.
Selected: Round 1, eighth overall in 1968 NFL Draft
The all-time leading rusher for the Miami Dolphins, Larry Csonka made five straight Pro Bowls to end his first stint in Miami. Csonka was a powerful ball-carrier as well as a lead blocker for Mercury Morris. The tandem became the first in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Csonka’s 145 yards rushing in Super Bowl VIII was a Super Bowl record at the time as he was named the game’s MVP.
Selected: Round 8, 223rd overall in 1983 NFL Draft
During the 1983 NFL Draft, the Dolphins not only found their franchise quarterback, but a guy for him to get the ball to. An eighth round pick out of Louisville, Mark Clayton is arguably the greatest receiver in the history of the franchise. Clayton had five seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving and five Pro Bowl appearances in his 10 years in Miami.
Selected: Round 4, 114th overall in 2002 NFL Draft
Though he never made a Pro Bowl, Randy McMichael is Miami’s all-time leading receiver among tight ends. In five years with the team, McMichael finished with nearly 3,100 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns.
Selected: Round 2, 48th overall in 1980 NFL Draft
Dwight Stephenson’s NFL career was fairly brief, but nothing short of outstanding. In eight seasons — all with the Dolphins — Stephenson made five Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in each of his final four years in the league.
Selected: Round 6, 156th overall in 1973 NFL Draft
Longtime guard Ed Newman was the definition of a draft steal. Not selected until the sixth round, Newman would go on to play in 167 games and make four Pro Bowls. In his final season of 1984, Newman was named an All-Pro while helping the Dolphins reach the Super Bowl.
Selected: Round 1, ninth overall in 1990 NFL Draft
Tasked with protecting Dan Marino’s blind side, Richmond Webb did it as well and arguably better than anyone in the league during his 11 years with the Miami Dolphins. Webb made the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven years in the league and missed just 13 starts during his tenure with the Dolphins.
Selected: Round 3, 73rd overall in 1997 NFL Draft
A lanky defensive end from Akron, Jason Taylor would evolve into arguably the greatest defensive player in franchise history. Taylor had three different stints with the Dolphins, tallying a franchise-record 131 sacks in that time. Taylor made six Pro Bowls as a member of Miami and in 2006, he was named the Associated Press’ Defensive Player of the Year.
Selected: Round 1, 20th overall in 1994 NFL Draft
A 325-pound tackle out of Ole Miss, Tim Bowens spent his entire 11-year career with the Dolphins. Over his first 10 seasons, Bowen missed just five total starts and was named to the Pro Bowl twice. During the span of his career in Miami, he recorded 22 sacks.
Selected: Round 5, 154th overall in 1996 NFL Draft
Zach Thomas went from a short linebacker from Texas Tech that wasn’t high on anyone’s draft board to one of the most feared men in the NFL. During his 12 years with the Dolphins, Thomas made seven Pro Bowls and recorded more than 1,000 total tackles.
Selected: Round 2, 44th overall in 1997 NFL Draft
For what Sam Madison lacked in size at 5-11 and 185 pounds, he made up for in toughness. In nine years with the Dolphins, Madison made four Pro Bowls and in 1999, he led the league with seven interceptions. Madison’s 31 interceptions as a Dolphin is third all-time in franchise history.
Selected: Round 7, 159th overall in 1970 NFL Draft
A feisty, hard-hitting safety from Georgia, Jake Scott went from a seventh round pick to one of the leaders of the famed “No-Name Defense”. Scott appeared in five straight Pro Bowls to end his six-year tenure with the Dolphins. Scott is also the franchise’s all-time leader with 35 interceptions. Scott ripped down two in Super Bowl VII to be named the game’s MVP as Miami beat the Washington Redskins to complete the NFL’s first and only perfect season.
Selected: Round 8, 203rd overall in 1989 NFL Draft
In seven years as the placekicker for the Miami Dolphins, Pete Stoyanovich made nearly 80 percent of his field goal attempts, including a league-high 31 makes in 1991 and 30 in 1992. Stoyanovich was a Pro Bowl selection in 1992. As a rookie in 1989, he made a franchise-record long 59-yard field goal which stood until 2010 when Dan Carpenter hit a 60-yarder.
Selected: Round 6, 167th overall in 1983 NFL Draft
The third member of the 1983 class to make the list, Reggie Roby was the Dolphins’ punter for 10 years. During that span, Roby made a pair of Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 1984. In 1991, Roby led the league, averaging nearly 46 yards per punt.
Mike Ferguson is a sports writer and reporter for several publications and the Pro Football Spot lead writer for the Miami Dolphins. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson