In just over weeks, the Miami Dolphins will tackle the 2021 NFL Draft in hopes of landing more quality players to add to their roster and find the best possible value for each of their picks.
Like all teams, the Dolphins have had their fair share of successes and failures over the past 10 years and since we’ve already chronicled their biggest hiccups, it’s only fair that we highlight their biggest hits as well.
So let us bring you our top 10 picks from the past 10 years.
Before we begin, let’s clarify that picks don’t necessarily mean the best players but rather the best value for the draft position. And since players need time to develop, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there aren’t any 2020 picks on the list, either.
The most represented draft came in 2016, when the Dolphins secured three key things that would help them earn a playoff berth that same season.
So we go:
1. CB Xavien Howard, 2nd round, 2016
The Dolphins were fed up with conviction over that pick to cede a fourth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens to drop from 42nd to 38th overall. And, yes, the move has paid off. Howard emerged in the middle of his second season, made the Pro Bowl in 2018, and after plunging into an injury-cut 2019 season, he was the NFL’s top cornerback of 2020.
2. DB Bobby McCain, round 5, 2015
The Dolphins have been very successful in the fifth round over the years, and that was just another example. McCain was caught with one of the Philadelphia Dolphins’ two fifth-round picks to move up from 47th to 52nd in the second round (the other was Tony Lippett). And McCain has grown into a multi-year starter and solid player in high school.
3. T Laremy Tunsil, 1st round, 2016
If you want to talk about getting good value for money, just watch what the Dolphins got out of Tunsil after he slipped to 13th in the first round, possibly following the infamous video of the night from draft. Before securing the big return to business with Houston, the Dolphins got three solid seasons from Tunsil, who likely should have been drafted to the Pro Bowl in his final year at Miami in 2018.
4. WR Jarvis Landry, 2nd round, 2014
You could argue that Landry should be higher on this list given he set the franchise’s rookie record for catches, then set the overall single-season record, then beat it when he led. all of the NFL in receptions in 2017. The only reason we put it on. at 4 was his relative average yards per reception and modest total in receiving touchdowns (22 in four years).
5. C Mike Pouncey, 1st round, 2011
Taking a cross in the first round is always risky as there is usually little difference between prospects at position and the impact they can have in the NFL is more limited than any other spot on the O-line. That said, Pouncey has made the Pro Bowl three times, including a year in custody. It would be a successful first-round pick.
6. RB Lamar Miller, round 4, 2012
Miller is a very good argument against taking a running back in the first round based on where the Dolphins selected him before he became a three-year starter. Miller has been a strong starter at that, 2014 being his signing season when he ran for 1,099 yards, including a record 97-yard touchdown against the Jets in the final.
7. TE Charles Clay, sixth round, 2011
Clay was a versatile player in Tulsa and the Dolphins made it a tight end, and he ended up being one of the best receivers in that role the team has ever had. Clay had 127 caught his last two seasons in Miami before the team let him go to Buffalo after refusing to match an offer sheet as a restricted free agent.
8. WR / KR Jakeem Grant, Round 6, 2016
Grant is arguably the greatest returner in franchise history after just five seasons with the team, and that’s a pretty strong statement for a sixth-round pick.
9. FROM Olivier Vernon, 3rd round, 2012
The Dolphins took a lot of flak for tight end Michael Egnew’s failed selection in the third round of the 2012 draft, but it came after hitting big with Vernon earlier in this round. Vernon had 25.5 sacks in his three years as a starter and the decision to quash a transition tag in 2016 is a move the Dolphins might have wanted to make, given what he’s done. since his departure.
10. K Jason Sanders, Matchday 7, 2018
Using a draft pick on a kicker can be a risky proposition and the Dolphins found out the hard way in 2013 when they squandered a fifth-round pick on Caleb Sturgis, but the man pulled it off when they passed a seventh. turn on Jason Sanders. . He wasn’t even one of the four guest kickers at the combine, and he was the NFL’s top kicker in 2020.
RB Jay Ajayi, round 5, 2015; DT Davon Godchaux, round 5, 2017; TE Mike Gesicki, 2nd round, 2018; LB Jerome Baker, 3rd round, 2018; LB Andrew Van Ginkel, round 5, 2019; RB Myles Gaskin, round 7, 2019