Number 46 and the Three Dolphins Who Wore It Best

Alain Poupart

The countdown to the start of the 2020 regular season has begun now that we're under 100 days away, so we'll honor every day the best players to wear the correspondent number for the Dolphins.

Today, we're at number 46.

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. LB Earnest Rhone; 54. LB 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

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.

Players who wore 46 for at least one regular season game:

Hal Wantland (1966), S Don Bessillieu (1979-81), FB Pete Johnson (1984), DB Mark Irvin (1987), TE Dave Moore (1992), LB Boomer Grigsby (2008), LB Neville Hewitt (2015-17), LS Taybor Pepper (2019)

The debate:

This is another one of those numbers with few players who made an impact wearing it, with only two players actually wearing 46 for the Dolphins for more than one season. Those two were defensive back Don Bessillieu, a fifth-round pick in the 1979 draft, and linebacker Neville Hewitt, who made the Dolphins roster as a rookie free agent. Bessillieu played three full seasons for Miami and started 19 games, including 13 in 1980 when he also was the team's main kickoff returner. Bessillieu had four interceptions and two fumble recoveries in that 1980 season. Hewitt started seven of his 38 games in his three seasons with Miami, and had one sack and one interception before he moved on to the Jets, where he'll be heading in 2020 into his third season with that team. Pete Johnson played only one season for the Dolphins, but made a nice contribution after being acquired in a trade with the Chargers early in the 1984 season. The big fullback scored nine rushing touchdowns in 13 games for the Dolphins that season. Taybor Pepper served as the long-snapper last season before being released this April the day after the Dolphins selected Blake Ferguson in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Worth noting:

Wantland was a 16th-round pick of Washington in the 1966 NFL draft, but his entire pro football career consisted of two games with Miami in 1966. ... Mark Irvin was a product of Miami Northwestern High who played the three strike-replacement games in 1987 for the entirety of his NFL career. ... Dave Moore played one game for the Dolphins in 1992, then went on to play 14 more season as a tight end/long-snapper with the Bucs and Bills. ... Grigsby played one game for the Dolphins in 2008 at the end of his career after he had played 44 games with the Chiefs the previous three seasons.

The top three:

1. S Don Bessillieu

2. LB Neville Hewitt

3. FB Pete Johnson

THANKS FOR READING ALL DOLPHINS
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