Over the years the Dolphins have had quite the mixed bag in terms of draft picks. There have been the Ted Ginns and the Jayson Allens, but mixed in have been some of the best players in franchise history. With May’s NFL Draft Fast approaching, we are going to take a look at the top 5 picks in Dolphins’ draft history.
5. Dwight Stephenson
Drafted in the 2nd round (48th overall) of the 1980 NFL draft, Center Dwight Stephenson is considered the greatest center in Dolphin history, and one of the greatest centers in NFL history. Stephenson played 114 games for Miami starting 87 of them from 1980-1987. Stephenson made 5 pro bowl appearances, and was a member of the All-Decade team of the 80’s, a decade in which he was named to the All-Pro team 5 times. Stephenson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
4. Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas was drafted 154th overall by the Dolphins in the 1996 draft, and would go on to be arguably the best linebacker in the team’s history. Hitting on this kind of impact player is rare for any team, especially the Dolphins, which makes Thomas a top 5 pick in the team’s history. Thomas was selected to the All-Pro first team 5 times, and second team 2 times. He was a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team, and was selected to 7 pro bowls in his 14 year career. Thomas has more tackles than any linebacker currently in the Hall of Fame. Simply put, Zach Thomas was a great draft pick, and one of the top 5 in Dolphins’ history.
3. Larry Csonka
Larry Csonka was drafted 8th overall by the Dolphins in the 1968 draft. He is one of three Dolphins to have their number retired. His career accolades include five Pro Bowls, two AP First Team All-Pro selections, two Super Bowl titles, three AFC titles, Super Bowl VIII MVP, and a Hall of Fame induction in 1987. Csonka is one of the most beloved ‘Phins of all time, and is arguably the greatest running back in team history. He finished his career with 8,081 rushing yards, 820 receiving yards, and 68 total touchdowns. Csonka carried the Dolphins to two straight Super Bowl wins in 1972-73, and won Super Bowl MVP in 1973, running for two touchdowns in route to a 24-7 win. His two Super Bowl titles and three AFC titles in the team’s golden years make him a top 5 pick of all time.
2. Jason Taylor
Jason Taylor was the 73rd overall pick in the 3rd round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Taylor was a six time Pro Bowler, four time All Pro first team member, two time AFC Defensive player of the year, one time AP Defensive Player of the year in 2006, and a member of the NFL 2000’s all decade team.
Taylor is the NFL’s all-time leader in return touchdowns by a defensive lineman, he is the Dolphins’ all-time sack leader by over 70, and has the 13th highest single season sack total in NFL history. Taylor will go down as one of the greatest draft picks the Dolphins ever made. He is the best defensive end in the teams’ history and in my opinion one of the four greatest Dolphins ever.
1. Dan Marino
Marino slipped in the first round due to some off the field issues, and fell to the Dolphins at 27 in 1983. The greatest passing quarterback in the history of the NFL, the greatest player in Miami Dolphins’ history, Marino is easily the best draft pick ever by the team. Sometimes the no brainer pick turns out to be the best. Nine Pro Bowls, three time AP First Team All-Pro, three time second team All-Pro, 1983 NFL Rookie of the Year, 1984 NFL MVP, twelve time team MVP. Marino was the first quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season, and 40 touchdowns in a season. He holds 31 total Dolphins records, including wins, passing touchdowns, passing yards, completions, and so many more. He is one of three players to have their number retired by the team. The #25 player of all-time as rated by NFL Network (too low). Marino was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in
Marino ended his illustrious career with 420 touchdowns, 61,361 passing yards, and a career passer rating of 86.4. Simply put, Dan Marino is the greatest Dolphin of all time.