77ºF

10 best first-round draft picks in Dolphins history

These 10 picks proved fortuitous for franchise

Here is a look at 10 touchdowns the Dolphins have scored in the first round of the NFL draft.

As the Miami Dolphins prepare for the 13th pick in Thursday's first round of the NFL draft, here is a look at 10 touchdowns the Dolphins have scored on the first day.


Dan Marino, QB, Pittsburgh, No. 27, 1983

This is an obvious one. Marino fell into Miami's lap with the 27th pick in the 1983 draft after a ho-hum senior season at Pittsburgh and rampant rumors of drug use. Five other quarterbacks were picked ahead of Marino, but it didn't take long for other NFL teams to realize that Dan was the man. Marino replaced an injured David Woodley as the starting quarterback six games into his rookie season and was named the NFL's offensive rookie of the year and selected to the Pro Bowl after posting a 96.0 passer rating and leading the Dolphins to the playoffs. Marino guided the team to a 14-2 record and a spot in the Super Bowl during the 1984 season. He was the NFL's passing yards leader on five separate occasions and led the NFL in passing touchdowns for three consecutive seasons. Marino battled back from a season-ending injury in 1993 to become the NFL's comeback player of the year in 1994. The nine-time Pro Bowl player threw for 3,000-plus yards in 13 of his 17 seasons in the NFL. By the time he announced his retirement in March 2000, Marino accounted for 61,361 passing yards and 420 passing touchdowns. The one glaring knock on an otherwise illustrious career is the fact that he never won a Super Bowl. But there is no denying the impact he made on the franchise. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, Marino's No. 13 jersey was retired during halftime of a Dolphins game in 2003. A statue of Marino outside Hard Rock Stadium remains a favorite backdrop for fan photos.


Larry Csonka, FB, Syracuse, No. 8, 1968 

Not only was Csonka the greatest fullback in Dolphins history, but he is arguably the greatest fullback in NFL history. Csonka was the eighth pick of the 1968 draft, but his rise to stardom came when Don Shula was hired as head coach in 1970. Csonka never missed a game from 1970 to 1974 and led the Dolphins in rushing for five straight seasons, including Miami's back-to-back Super Bowl teams. Csonka left to play for the fledgling World Football League with the Memphis Southmen in 1975 but returned to the NFL in 1976, signing with the New York Giants. He returned to Miami for his final season in 1979. Csonka, whose No. 39 was retired in 2002, rushed for 8,081 yards and 64 touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.


Bob Griese, QB, Purdue, No. 4, 1967

Griese was the starting quarterback for the Dolphins when they won back-to-back Super Bowls after the 1972 and 1973 seasons. The six-time Pro Bowl player was also the NFL's most valuable player in 1971 and the NFL's passing touchdowns leader in 1977. Griese, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990, spent his entire career with the Dolphins, retiring after the 1980 season. In 11 seasons, Griese passed for 25,092 yards and threw for 192 touchdowns. The Dolphins retired his No. 12 during a 1985 "Monday Night Football" game.


Richmond Webb, OT, Texas A&M, No. 9, 1990

The ninth pick of the 1990 draft anchored Miami's offensive line for more than a decade. Webb set team records with 118 consecutive starts and seven consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 11 seasons with the Dolphins. He spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and signed a one-day contract to retire as a Dolphin in 2005.


Tim Bowens, DT, Mississippi, No. 20, 1994

Bowens made an immediate impact with the Dolphins and was honored by The Associated Press as the NFL's defensive rookie of the year for 1994. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle retired after the 2004 season, finishing with 114 tackles, 22 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.


O.J. McDuffie, WR, Penn State, No. 25, 1993

Miami's 1993 first-round draft pick spent his entire NFL career with the Dolphins, amassing 415 catches for 5,074 yards and 29 touchdowns in eight seasons. As a rookie, McDuffie racked up 755 kick return yards and 317 punt return yards. He also returned two punts for touchdowns. McDuffie was one of quarterback Dan Marino's favorite targets and led the NFL with 90 receptions in 1998. He retired after the 2000 season.


Vernon Carey, OT, Miami, No. 19, 2004

Carey didn't have to go far to begin his NFL career. The Miami native and former University of Miami star started 107 of 121 games played in eight seasons with the Dolphins, spending time at both left and right tackle. He also recovered eight fumbles during his Dolphins tenure.


Louis Oliver, S, Florida, No. 25, 1989

Oliver spent seven of his eight seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins, who made him their first-round draft pick in 1989. The rookie was reunited with former Florida teammate Jarvis Williams, who joined Oliver as Miami's starting safeties for the next five seasons. Oliver spent the 1994 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, but returned to Miami to finish out his career. Of Oliver's 27 career picks, 24 of them came while wearing a Dolphins uniform, including his 103-yard interception return against the Buffalo Bills in 1992 -- the longest in team history.


Mike Pouncey, C, Florida, No. 15, 2011

Miami's first-round draft pick in 2011 started all 16 games as a rookie. Pouncey made three consecutive Pro Bowls and started all 93 games in which he played. He was released after seven seasons and signed with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.


Jon Giesler, OT, Michigan, No. 24, 1979

After spending his rookie year as a backup to veterans Bob Kuechenberg and Mike Current, Giesler replaced Current in the starting lineup in 1980 and became an integral member of Miami's offensive line, starting 105 of the 126 games in which he played. Giesler missed the first six games of the 1986 season after undergoing knee surgery and injured it again late in the season, limiting his playing time to a career-low seven games. He retired after the 1988 season.


You've seen the 10 best. Now take a look at the 10 biggest first-round blunders the franchise has ever made.


About the Author: