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Number 24 and the Three Dolphins Who Wore It Best

We're now 24 days away from the start of the NFL regular season, so we honor the best players who have worn that number for the Miami Dolphins

The countdown to the start of the 2022 regular season has begun now that we're under 100 days away, so we'll honor every day the best players to wear the corresponding number for the Dolphins.

Today, we're at number 24.

As a reminder about the ground rules, the top three will be determined only by what the players did while wearing that uniform for the Dolphins.

The top players at each number so far have been:

99. DE/LB Jason Taylor; 98. DL Jared Odrick; 97. DT Jordan Phillips; 96. DT Paul Soliai; 95. DT Tim Bowens; 94. DT Randy Starks; 93. DE Trace Armstrong; 92. LS John Denney; 91. DE/LB Cameron Wake; 90. DE/LB Marco Coleman

89. WR Nat Moore; 88. TE Keith Jackson; 87. TE Andre Tillman; 86. WR Oronde Gadsden; 85. LB Nick Buoniconti; 84. DE Bill Stanfill; 83. WR Mark Clayton; 82. WR Brian Hartline; 81. WR O.J. McDuffie; 80. WR Irving Fryar

79. T Jon Giesler; 78. T Richmond Webb; 77. DE/LB A.J. Duhe; 76. T Branden Albert; 75. DT Manny Fernandez; 74. T Mark Dennis; 73. DT Bob Baumhower; 72. DT Bob Heinz; 71. T Todd Wade; 70. DE Kendall Langford

69. G Keith Sims; 68. T Eric Laakso; 67. G/T Bob Kuechenberg; 66. G Larry Little; 65. OL Jeff Dellenbach; 64. G Ed Newman; 63. G/T Mark Dixon; 62. C Jim Langer; 61. C Tim Ruddy; 60. G Bert Weidner

59. LB Doug Swift; 58. DE-LB Kim Bokamper; 57. C Dwight Stephenson; 56. LB John Offerdahl; 55. Earnie Rhone; 54. Zach Thomas; 53. LB Bob Matheson; 52. LB Channing Crowder; 51. LB Bryan Cox; 50. LB Larry Gordon

49. CB William Judson; 48. CB Gerald Small; 47. S Glenn Blackwood; 46. S Don Bessillieu; 45. CB Curtis Johnson; 44. CB Paul Lankford; 43. S Bud Brown; 42. WR Paul Warfield; 41. FB Keith Byars; 40. S Dick Anderson

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39. FB Larry Csonka; 38. DB Calvin Jackson; 37. CB J.B. Brown; 36. FB Don Nottingham; 35. DB Walt Aikens; 34. RB Ricky Williams; 33. RB Karim Abdul-Jabbar; 32. RB Kenyan Drake; 31. S Brock Marion; 30. RB Bernie Parmalee

29. CB Sam Madison; 28. CB Don McNeal; 27. CB Terrell Buckley; 26. S Jarvis Williams; 25. CB Xavien Howard

Players who wore 24 for at least one regular season game:

KR Billy Hunter (1966), Jack Clancy (1967-69), RB Delvin Williams (1978-80), S Reyna Thompson (1986-88), RB Floyd Raglin (1987), CB Rodney Thomas (1989-90), CB Vestee Jackson (1991-93), DB Pat Johnson (1995), CB Jerry Wilson (1996-2000), CB Jamar Fletcher (2001), CB Omare Lowe (2002), S Sammy Knight (2003-04), S Tebucky Jones (2005), S Renaldo Hill (2006-08), CB Sean Smith (2009-12), CB Dimitri Patterson (2013), S Cortland Finnegan (2014), CB Brice McCain (2015), S Isa Abdul-Quddus (2016), CB Torry McTyer (2018), S Johnson Bademosi (2019), CB Ryan Lewis (2019), CB Byron Jones (2020-21)

The breakdown of 24 with the Dolphins

The Dolphins didn't have many players with lengthy stays in Miami wearing 24, so it's not easy to come up with a top three. WR Jack Clancy made an immediate impact with the Dolphins, setting an AFL record with 67 catches in 1967 and getting selected to the AFL All-Star Game. Clancy, however, missed all of 1968 with a knee injury and wasn't quite as productive in 1969 before he was traded to the Green Bay Packers. Delvin Williams arrived in Miami in 1978 after rushing for 1,203 and 931 for the 49ers the previous two season and the Dolphins gave up first- and fifth-round picks and two players in a trade. Williams responded by setting a franchise record with 1,258 yards his first season with the Dolphins, but his yardage fell to 703 and 671 yards the next two years before he was waived in August 1981. Williams' first season alone, which earned him All-Pro honors, was enough to give him the top spot for number 24. Cornerback Vestee Jackson was acquired from the Bears in 1991 in a trade for former Dolphins first-round pick Eric Kumerow and started 26 games in three seasons. His best year in Miami came in 1992 when he had three interceptions, including a pick-six, despite playing only 11 games with five starts. Jerry Wilson started only two of 66 games during his five seasons in Miami, but he was a solid third cornerback behind the Pro Bowl duo of Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. He went on to start all 16 games at safety for the San Diego Chargers in both 2003 and 2004. Safety Sammy Knight played only two seasons in Miami, but was very productive. He started all 16 games in both 2003 and 2004, and had a total of seven interceptions, four forced fumbles and 198 tackles. Renaldo Hill started 38 of 39 games and had six interceptions after arriving as an unrestricted free agent. Sean Smith was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft after the Dolphins had taken fellow cornerback Vontae Davis in the first. Smith started 56 of his 63 games with the Dolphins before he left to join Kansas City as a free agent in 2013. Byron Jones has been a very good cornerback for the Dolphins the past two seasons, though the interception numbers haven't quite been there.

Worth noting:

Reyna Thompson played every game for the Dolphins from 1986 through 1988, though he wore 19 in his first season, then went on to play five more seasons and made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player with the New York Giants in 1990. ... Pat Johnson's NFL career consisted of his one season with Miami and his highlight came when he returned a fumble for a touchdown in the 1995 season finale against St. Louis to help the Dolphins win and clinch a playoff spot in Don Shula's final season. ... Fletcher wore 24 as a rookie before switching to 21 for the final two years of his highly disappointed Dolphins tenure, made even worse by the fact Miami selected him as their 2001 first-round pick instead of Drew Brees. ... The Dolphins signed Tebucky Jones as an unrestricted free agent after the former first-round had started 56 games the previous four seasons, but he landed on IR with a hamstring injury in the sixth game of the 2005 season and never played again in the NFL. ... After being claimed off waivers from Cleveland late in the 2012 and wearing 32 for the last two games that season, Patterson switched to 24 in 2013. And he got off to a great start with four interceptions in the first six games, including two in the opener against his former team, but a groin injury ended his season and he never played in the NFL again. ... Abdul-Quddus started all 15 games he played in 2016, but sustained a neck injury in that 15th game that ended his six-year NFL career.

The top three Dolphins players with number 24

1. RB Delvin Williams

2. CB Sean Smith

3. CB Byron Jones

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Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL.