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    Best Miami Dolphins Draft Picks of All Time: From Dan Marino to Mark Clayton

    There have been hundreds of Miami Dolphins draft picks since the team's inaugural 1966 season. But only 10 were good enough to make our list of best ever.

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    Published on June 26, 2024 | 1:00 PM EDT

    The secret to the Miami Dolphins‘ success since 1966 is no secret at all. Sure, having Don Shula as your coach helps, but you can’t win without talent. So it should come as no surprise that the franchise’s greatest on-field success has coincided with its greatest draft success.

    Our list of 10 best Miami Dolphins draft picks ever were members of some of the best teams in franchise history.

    Ranking the Greatest Draft Picks in Miami Dolphins History

    10) Mark Clayton | 1983

    • Position: Wide Receiver
    • School: Louisville
    • Round: 8
    • Pick: 223
    • Dolphins Stats: 10 seasons, 142 games (127 starts), 550 catches, 8,643 receiving yards, 81 touchdowns

    Mark Clayton was the 28th wide receiver selected in 1983. Yet, only one — Henry Ellard — had more career receiving yards than this Marks Brother.

    9) Bill Stanfill | 1969

    • Position: Defensive End
    • School: Georgia
    • Round: 1
    • Pick: 11
    • Dolphins Stats: Eight seasons, 109 games (95 starts), 69.5 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns

    Sacks weren’t an official stat when the Dolphins made Bill Stanfill their first defensive player ever taken in Round 1. But his eight unofficial sacks as a rookie stood for more than five decades.

    8) Dick Anderson | 1968

    • Position: Defensive Back
    • School: Colorado
    • Round: 3
    • Pick: 73
    • Dolphins Stats: Nine seasons, 121 games (100 starts), 34 interceptions (three touchdowns), 16 fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles

    Among the honors for Dick Anderson, a member of the franchise’s Honor Roll: AFL Co-Rookie of the Year, 1973 interceptions leader, and 1970s All-Decade Team.

    7) Richmond Webb | 1990

    • Position: Offensive Tackle
    • School: Texas A&M
    • Round: 1
    • Pick: 9
    • Dolphins Stats: 11 seasons, 164 games (163 starts)

    Richmond Webb, the seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, is the best homegrown Dolphins player not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    6) Zach Thomas | 1996

    • Position: Linebacker
    • School: Texas Tech
    • Round: 5
    • Pick: 154
    • Dolphins Stats: 12 seasons, 168 games (168 starts), 1,640 tackles (1,042 solo), 17 interceptions (four touchdowns), 16 forced fumbles

    Long before Canton came calling, Zach Thomas was an undersized kid out of Texas’ panhandle who was the 19th linebacker to come off the board his year.

    5) Larry Csonka | 1968

    • Position: Fullback
    • School: Syracuse
    • Round: 1
    • Pick: 8
    • Dolphins Stats: Eight seasons, 106 games (104 starts), 1,506 carries, 6,737 yards, 53 touchdowns

    Two years after wasting the No. 1 overall pick on Jim Grabowski (who chose the NFL’s Packers over the AFL’s Dolphins), Miami got it absolutely right at running back.

    4) Bob Griese | 1967

    • Position: Quarterback
    • School: Purdue
    • Round: 1
    • Pick: 4
    • Dolphins Stats: 14 seasons, 161 games (151 starts), 1,926 of 3,429 pass attempts for 25,092 yards, 192 touchdowns, 172 interceptions

    Bob Griese, a Hall of Famer, was a three-sport star at Purdue (he also played baseball and basketball) but wisely picked football as his vocation.

    3) Jason Taylor | 1997

    • Position: Defensive End
    • School: Akron
    • Round: 3
    • Pick: 73
    • Dolphins Stats: 13 seasons, 204 games (186 starts), 131 sacks, 723 tackles (490 solo), nine defensive touchdowns, 27 fumble recoveries

    The list of defensive ends who went before Jason Taylor in 1997: Kenard Lang, Kenny Holmes, Renaldo Wynn, Jon Harris, Nathan Davis, Jared Tomich, Marcellus Wiley, and Brandon Mitchell.

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    Combined sacks between those eight? Just 43 more than JT had himself.

    2) Dwight Stephenson | 1980

    • Position: Center
    • School: Alabama
    • Round: 2
    • Pick: 48
    • Dolphins Stats: Eight seasons, 114 games (87 starts)

    Any debate over the best center in NFL history has to include Dwight Stephenson, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who was a four-time first-team All-Pro and a member of the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

    1) Dan Marino | 1983

    • Position: Quarterback
    • School: Pittsburgh
    • Round: 1
    • Pick: 27
    • Dolphins Stats: 17 seasons, 242 games (240 starts), 4,967 of 8,358 pass attempts for 61,361 yards, 420 touchdowns, 252 interceptions

    Dan Marino’s storied career helped make three names infamous: Jim Schaaf, Pat Sullivan, and Jim Kensil. Those were the Chiefs, Patriots, and Jets general managers who passed on Marino to take Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason, and Ken O’Brien, respectively, in the legendary 1983 NFL Draft.

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