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 83.
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 83 for at least one regular season game for the Dolphins:
TE Dave Kocourek (1966), TE Jim Cox (1968), DE Vern Den Herder (1972-82), WR Mark Clayton (1983-92), WR Dameon Reilly (1987), WR Scott Miller (1993-96), WR Brian Manning (1997), TE Henry Lusk (1998), TE Hunter Goodwin (1999-2001), WR Albert Johnson (2002), WR Robert Baker (2002), WR Sam Simmons (2003), WR Wes Welker (2004-06), WR Greg Camarillo (2007-09), WR Kevin Curtis (2010), WR Matt Hazel (2015), TE Thomas Duarte (2016), TE Nick O'Leary (2018-19), WR Kirk Merritt (2021)
The breakdown of 83 with the Dolphins
There were several players who had some impact wearing number 83, but the choice for the top comes down to Vern Den Herder and Mark Clayton. Though sacks didn't become an official NFL stat until 1982, Den Herder led the team in that category four times, including during the perfect season of 1972. He was named Dolphins Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman five times (back when the team gave out that award). Den Herder somehow never was selected to the Pro Bowl. Clayton, on the other hand, is the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and touchdown catches. He also was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. Among the other contributors who wore 83, Hunter Goodwin was a solid blocking tight end, Wes Welker led the team in receptions in 2006 with 67 and ended a 15-year drought without a kickoff return for a touchdown when he did it in the 2004 season finale, and Greg Camarillo had 50-catch seasons in 2008 and 2009 after having the signature moment of the depressing 2007 season — the game-winning overtime touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens.
Dave Kocourek started all 14 games in the franchise's first season and caught 27 passes. ... Brian Manning, a sixth-round pick in 1997, shined in training camp but couldn't translate that performance into the regular season. ... Sam Simmons was a fifth-round pick in the 2002 draft who was waived as a rookie and appeared in 11 games as a kick returner in 2003 for his only action in the NFL. ... Matt Hazel and Thomas Duarte both were late-round picks who failed to make an impact in the NFL. ... Nick O'Leary abruptly retired in the spring of 2020 shortly after signing a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The top three Dolphins players with number 83
1. WR Mark Clayton
2. DE Vern Den Herder
3. WR Wes Welker