Best Miami Dolphins Running Backs of All Time From Larry Csonka to Raheem Mostert

From Hall of Famers to two-year wonders, this list of greatest Miami Dolphins running backs ever has something for everyone.

Since the AFL awarded Joe Robbie the franchise in 1965, the one near-constant through Miami Dolphins history has been a solid run game.

Sure, there have been a few down years here and there. But it’s fitting that each decade of the team’s long existence is represented on this top 10 list of best Miami Dolphins running backs of all time.

Ranking the Greatest RBs in Miami Dolphins History

10) Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush’s time in Miami was brief, but effective.

We went with Bush over Jay Ajayi here because Bush had more rushing yards (2,072 to 1,924), more rushing touchdowns (12 to nine), and more games of 50 or more yards rushing (19 to 13) in the identical number of games played for Miami (31) as Ajayi.

Bush ranks fourth in franchise history among backs with 300 or more carries in career yards-per-carry (4.7).

9) Lamar Miller

Lamar Miller certainly is the most prolific Miami Dolphins back to play his college and pro home games in the same stadium.

Miller is one of three Miami Hurricanes backs the Dolphins have drafted in their nearly six-decade history, and he was by far the best.

In 61 games over four seasons, Miller totaled 2,930 yards and 19 touchdowns, both of which rank in the top 12 in franchise history.

8) Raheem Mostert

We’ve already established that two years in aqua and orange is enough time to make this list, and Mostert probably would be deserving for his 2023 season alone.

The first-time Pro Bowler broke the franchise record for rushing touchdowns (18) and all-purpose touchdowns (22) last year and went over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

Mostert’s Dolphins total since joining the team in 2022? How about 2,280 yards from scrimmage and 26 touchdowns? His 4.9 yards-per-carry average ranks second in franchise history among qualifying backs.

7) Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar

The criticism that the Dolphins didn’t give Dan Marino enough help on the ground was true in the middle of his career but not at the beginning or the end. Marino’s final four NFL seasons were Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar’s only years in Miami. And those years were memorable.

Al-Jabbar (nee Karim Abdul-Jabbar, nee Sharmon Shah) made the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 1996 and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (15) in 1997.

While his production petered out after his first three seasons, al-Jabbar ranks in the top seven in franchise history in rushing yards (3,063) and touchdowns.

6) Ronnie Brown

Ronnie Brown will never make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his game-worn jersey did. Canton came calling for Brown’s threads to immortalize one of the most remarkable days in team history: The Wildcat Game.

Brown helped salvage what looked to be a lost 2008 season by lining up under center for much of Miami’s Week 3 game against the New England Patriots.

The strategy paid off big time, with Brown rushing for four touchdowns and passing for a fifth in a 38-13 Dolphins victory.

But Brown wasn’t some novelty act. He ranks third among all-time Dolphins in rushing yards (4,815) and touchdowns (48).

5) Tony Nathan

We mentioned that the Dolphins had a complementary ground game early in Marino’s career. Tony Nathan, an enshrinee in the Dolphins’ Walk of Fame, was the engine that powered that attack.

But the dual-threat back’s best work came while Marino was still in college.

In 1981, he led the NFL with a 5.3 yards-per-carry average and had 1,234 yards from scrimmage. A year later, he was a key cog in the Dolphins’ fourth conference championship season in 12 seasons.

Nathan ranks second in Dolphins history in playoff rushing yards (454), and his 649 playoff receiving yards are nearly as many as what all the other Dolphins running backs have produced collectively.

4) Jim Kiick

The Dolphins’ running back room during their perfect season compares favorably with that of any NFL team — ever.

Part of that three-headed attack? Jim Kiick, who accepted a reduced role in 1972 after a marvelous start to a decade-long pro career.

Kiick was a two-time All-Star and once led the AFL in touchdowns during his first two NFL seasons. His best individual year was in 1971 (738 yards, three touchdowns, 4.6 yards per attempt), carrying the Dolphins to their first Super Bowl appearance.

But what really set Kiick apart was his versatility. His 221 career catches are second only to Nathan among Dolphins running backs.

3) Mercury Morris

It’s no coincidence that the 1970s Dolphins finally got over the hump when they started giving Mercury Morris the ball a lot more.

The three-time Pro Bowler had his first (and ultimately only) 1,000-yard season in 1972 when he rushed the ball more times (190) than he had in his first three seasons combined (140).

Morris led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (12) that year, but his most efficient season came a year after when he averaged a remarkable 6.4 yards per carry — which is still the most ever by a Miami Dolphins player with 110 or more carries.

2) Ricky Williams

No Miami Dolphins running back will ever match Ricky Williams’ two-year run of excellence in the early 21st century.

His 2002 and 2003 seasons are first and second in Dolphins history (in some order) in attempts (383 and 392) and rushing yards (1,853 and 1,372).

No wonder Williams needed a mental health break from the game beginning in 2004. A human body and spirit can’t handle much more punishment.

But despite appearing in just 13 games over four of what should have been peak seasons, Williams still ranks second in Dolphins history in career rushing yards (6,436) and touchdowns (48).

1) Larry Csonka

Technically, Larry Csonka was a fullback. But we’re not letting details get in the way of a good list.

And it would be a travesty to exclude a Pro Football Hall of Famer and the team’s career leader in rushing yards (6,737) and rushing touchdowns (53).

Csonka, the draft’s eighth overall pick out of Syracuse in 1968, was an absolute freight train in cleats. He bulldozed his way to three 1,000-yard seasons — tied with Williams for the most by a Dolphins back — and was a five-time Pro Bowler.

Csonka’s signature moment? On Jan. 13, 1974, when he rushed for 145 yards on 33 carries against the Minnesota Vikings to become the first tailback to win Super Bowl MVP honors.

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