Number 48 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 48.

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

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 48 for at least one regular season game:

DB Bob Petrella (1966-71), DB Henry Stuckey (1973-74), CB Ken Ellis (1976), Wade Bosarge (1977), CB Gerald Small (1978-83), S Mike Iaquaniello (1991), RB Jim Kitts (1997), FB Kantroy Barber (1999), TE Brody Heffner-Liddiard (2000), TE MarQueis Gray (2016-17), KR Marcus Sherels (2019), LB Calvin Munson (2019)

The debate:

There aren't a lot of players who made their mark for the Dolphins wearing number 48, but the best of the bunch clearly was cornerback Gerald Small. A fourth-round pick in 1978, Small started 76 games for the Dolphins, including all but one game from 1979 through his final season with Miami in 1983. Small had 23 picks for Miami, including 16 in his first three seasons with a career-high seven in 1980. Bob Petrella joined the Dolphins as an eighth-round pick in the 1966 AFL draft, though he also was a 12th-round pick of the Vikings in the NFL draft. He played six seasons with the Dolphins, starting 21 games and recording five interceptions. He had three of those picks in 1967 when he started five games. Henry Stuckey joined the Dolphins during the perfect season of 1972, though he didn't play for Miami until 1973 and then started two of 14 games in 1974. MarQueis Gray appeared in every game for the Dolphins in 2016-17 and made seven starts in 2016 when the team reached the playoffs.

Worth noting:

Ken Ellis joined the Dolphins in 1976 in a trade with Houston and started five of the 12 games he played for Miami. ... Kantroy Barber played two games for Miami in 1999; he was the son of Rudy Barber, a guard who also played two games for the Dolphins. ... Heffner-Liddiard was a long-snapper who played five games for the Dolphins in 2000 before appearing in every game for Minnesota the next three years. ... Sherels was with the Dolphins for five games last year, while Munson remains on the roster after starting the two games he played for Miami in 2019.

The top three:

1. CB Gerald Small

2. DB Bob Petrella

3. TE MarQueis Gray

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