Dolphins Defensive Line Draft History: The Hits, Misses and Trends

The Miami Dolphins have selected 100 defensive linemen in their history, including 12 in the first round
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As we head into the homestretch to the 2021 NFL Draft, it's a good time to revisit the Miami Dolphins draft history at every position.

In this draft series, we'll break down each position with number of picks since the start of the "common draft" in 1967, first-round selections, hits and misses, and any trends that might apply.

We continue with the defensive line (as always, hits and misses are determined by gauging production versus draft position):


Number of picks: 100

Number of first-round picks: 12 (DE Bill Stanfill, 1969; DT Mike Kadish, 1972; DE Donald Reese, 1974; DE A.J. Duhe, 1977; DE John Bosa, 1987; DE Eric Kumerow, 1988; DT Tim Bowens, 1994; DT Daryl Gardener, 1996; DT Jared Odrick, 2010; DE Dion Jordan, 2013; DE Charles Harris, 2017; DT Christian Wilkins, 2019)

Hits: DE Bill Stanfill (Round 1, 1969); DE Vern Den Herder (Round 9, 1971); DT Bob Baumhower (Round 2, 1977), DE Doug Betters (Round 6, 1978); DE Jeff Cross (Round 9, 1988); DT Tim Bowens (Round 1, 1994); DE Jason Taylor (Round 3, 1997); DT Paul Soliai (Round 4, 2007), DE Olivier Vernon (Round 3, 2012); DT Davon Godchaux (Round 5, 2017), DT Raekwon Davis (Round 2, 2020)

Misses: DE Donald Reese (Round 1, 1974), DE John Bosa (Round 1, 1987), DE Eric Kumerow (Round 1, 1988), DT Eddie Blake* (Round 2, 1992), DE Dion Jordan (Round 1, 2013), DT Jordan Phillips (Round 2, 2015), DE Charles Harris (Round 1, 2017)

Trends: The Dolphins certainly have done their part in trying to build a lasting and dominant defensive line, using five picks in the first or second round in the past eight drafts. The results, however, have been mixed.


The Dolphins have had some extreme results at this position in the draft, but it's hard to be overly critical when they landed a Hall of Famer (Taylor) in the third round, another NFL Defensive Player of the Year (Betters) in the sixth round, and two very good starters (Den Herder, Cross) in the ninth round.

We included Davis as a hit even after one year because of his selection on the All-Rookie team in 2020.

The misses obviously have been bad, none worse that Jordan because he was the third overall selection in that 2013 draft. As an explanation, Blake was a DT at Auburn but the Dolphins decided to use him at guard and he flopped.

In between the hits and misses, the Dolphins have had a good number of solid picks on the defensive line.