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The Five Best Drafts in Dolphins History

Ranking the five most productive drafts in Miami Dolphins history

The Miami Dolphins are three days away from looking to land some impact players in the NFL draft, something that's always easier said than done not just for them but for every team around the league.

While it would be great for the Dolphins to hit on all eight of their draft picks this year, it just doesn't work that way.

What's more realistic is being able to find three or more impact players, something the Dolphins have been able to do a few teams in their history.

We count down the top five drafts in Dolphins history:

5. 2016 DRAFT 

The hits: T Laremy Tunsil (1st round), CB Xavien Howard (2nd), RB Kenyan Drake (3rd), KR Jakeem Grant (6th)

The misses: WR Leonte Carroo (3rd round)

Summary: This all came down to the Dolphins being on the right end of the draft-night soap opera that sent Tuntil tumbling from a likely top five or six pick into the teens, although trading up four spots in the second round to get Howard turned out to be a great move by the Dolphins. While Grant has his limitations as a wide receiver, getting the best returner in team history in the sixth round makes it a great pick.

4. 1968 DRAFT

The hits: RB Larry Csonka (1st round), S Dick Anderson (3rd round), RB Jim Kiick (5th round)

The misses: LB Jimmy Keyes (2nd round), TE Jim Cox (2nd round)

The summary: Csonka, Anderson and Kiick all played key roles in the Dolphins winning two Super Bowl titles in the early 1970s, 3nd Csonka was elected to the Hall of Fame.

3. 1997 DRAFT

The hits: CB Sam Madison (2nd round), DE Jason Taylor (3rd round), LB Derrick Rodgers (3rd round), LS Ed Perry (6th round)

The misses: WR Yatil Green (1st round), LB Ronnie Ward (3rd round)

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Summary: Any draft that produces a Hall of Famer is a good draft. As Jimmy Johnson has recounted, he wanted both Madison and Taylor, found a way to get both of them, and was right about both of them. We put Green in the "miss" category with an asterisk because it wasn't so much that he couldn't play in the NFL, he just never got the chance because of knee injuries.

2. 1983 DRAFT

The hits: QB Dan Marino (1st round), P Reggie Roby (6th round), WR Mark Clayton (8th round), LB Mark Brown (9th round), WR Anthony Carter (12th round)

The misses: DT Mike Charles (2nd round)

Summary: This draft always will be remembered for the Dolphins watching Marino fall into their lap as the sixth quarterback taken in the first round, but Roby and Clayton will go down as two of the top late-round picks in team history. The Dolphins took Carter in the 12th round even though he was under contract in the USFL, but then traded him to Minnesota for a second-round pick and linebacker Robin Sendlein. Carter became a star in Minnesota, while Sendlein never really panned out for the Dolphins.

1. 1970 DRAFT

The hits: CB Tim Foley (3rd round), CB Curtis Johnson (4th round), S Jake Scott (7th round), LB Mike Kolen (12th round)

The misses: None

Summary: The Dolphins didn't have a first-round pick in this draft because they sent it to the Cleveland Browns in a trade for wide receiver Paul Warfield, who would make the Pro Bowl in each of his five seasons with Miami and eventually land in the Hall of Fame. Foley, Johnson and Scott made it three-fourths of the Dolphins' starting secondary in their Super Bowl years, and Scott arguably was on a Hall of Fame track before he was traded to Washington before the 1976 season. Kolen became an immediate starter as a rookie to top off a memorable draft.

Honorable mention

1969 — DE Bill Stanfill (1st round), DT Bob Heinz (2nd), RB Mercury Morris (3rd)

1977 — LB A.J. Duhe (1st round), DT Bob Baumhower (2nd), RB Leroy Harris (5th)

1990 — T Richmond Webb (1st round), G Keith Sims (2nd round)

1996 — DT Daryl Gardener (1st round), RB Karim Abdul-Jabbar (3rd round), LB Zach Thomas (5th round)

2018 — DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (1st round), TE Mike Gesicki (2nd round), LB Jerome Baker (3rd round), TE Durham Smythe (4th round), K Jason Sanders (7th round)