5 best first-round NFL Draft picks in Dolphins history

These picks proved fortuitous for franchise
Dan Marino and Larry Csonka
Posted at 9:18 AM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 23:15:55-04

The Miami Dolphins could change their fortunes for the foreseeable future with three picks (No. 5, No. 18 and No. 26) in Thursday's opening round of the NFL Draft. Here's a look at five touchdowns the Dolphins have scored on the first day.

Dan Marino, QB, Pittsburgh, No. 27, 1983

Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino passes vs Dallas Cowboys in 1994
Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino looks for a receiver in second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Joe Robbie Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 25, 1994.

This is an obvious one. Marino fell into Miami's lap with the 27th pick in the 1983 draft after a ho-hum senior season at Pittsburgh and rampant rumors of drug use. Five other quarterbacks were picked ahead of Marino, but it didn't take long for other NFL teams to realize that Dan was the man. Marino replaced an injured David Woodley as the starting quarterback six games into his rookie season and was named the NFL's offensive rookie of the year and selected to the Pro Bowl after posting a 96.0 passer rating and leading the Dolphins to the playoffs. Marino guided the team to a 14-2 record and a spot in the Super Bowl during the 1984 season. He was the NFL's passing yards leader on five separate occasions and led the NFL in passing touchdowns for three consecutive seasons. Marino battled back from a season-ending injury in 1993 to become the NFL's comeback player of the year in 1994. The nine-time Pro Bowl player threw for 3,000-plus yards in 13 of his 17 seasons in the NFL. By the time he announced his retirement in March 2000, Marino accounted for 61,361 passing yards and 420 passing touchdowns. The one glaring knock on an otherwise illustrious career is the fact that he never won a Super Bowl. But there is no denying the impact he made on the franchise. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, Marino had his No. 13 jersey retired during halftime of a Dolphins game in 2003. A statue of Marino outside Hard Rock Stadium remains a favorite backdrop for fan photos.

Larry Csonka, FB, Syracuse, No. 8, 1968

Miami Dolphins fullback Larry Csonka vs Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII
Miami Dolphins fullback Larry Csonka breaks through a crowd of Minnesota Vikings defenders for a touchdown. Miami defeated the Vikings 14-7 to win Super Bowl VIII at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Jan. 14, 1974.

Not only was Csonka the greatest fullback in Dolphins history, but he is arguably the greatest fullback in NFL history. Csonka was the eighth pick of the 1968 draft, but his rise to stardom came when Don Shula was hired as head coach in 1970. Csonka never missed a game from 1970 to 1974 and led the Dolphins in rushing for five straight seasons, including Miami's back-to-back Super Bowl teams. Csonka left to play for the fledgling World Football League with the Memphis Southmen in 1975 but returned to the NFL in 1976, signing with the New York Giants. He returned to Miami for his final season in 1979. Csonka, whose No. 39 was retired in 2002, rushed for 8,081 yards and 64 touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

RELATED: 5 best first-round draft picks in NFL history

Bob Griese, QB, Purdue, No. 4, 1967

Miami Dolphins QB Bob Griese vs New York Jets in 1979
Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese prepares for the snap against the New York Jets at Shea Stadium in New York, Sept. 30, 1979.

Griese was the starting quarterback for the Dolphins when they won back-to-back Super Bowls after the 1972 and 1973 seasons. The six-time Pro Bowl player was also the NFL's most valuable player in 1971 and the NFL's passing touchdowns leader in 1977. Griese, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990, spent his entire career with the Dolphins, retiring after the 1980 season. In 11 seasons, Griese passed for 25,092 yards and threw for 192 touchdowns. The Dolphins retired his No. 12 during a 1985 "Monday Night Football" game.

Richmond Webb, OT, Texas A&M, No. 9, 1990

Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Richmond Webb in 1993
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Richmond Webb blocks as quarterback Scott Mitchell is presured in the first quarter of a game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J., Nov. 7, 1993.

The ninth pick of the 1990 draft anchored Miami's offensive line for more than a decade. Webb set team records with 118 consecutive starts and seven consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 11 seasons with the Dolphins. He spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and signed a one-day contract to retire as a Dolphin in 2005.

O.J. McDuffie, WR, Penn State, No. 25, 1993

Miami Dolphins wide receiver O.J. McDuffie in 1995
Miami Dolphins wide receiver O.J. McDuffie jumps for joy after catching a Dan Marino pass for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Dec. 11, 1995.

Miami's 1993 first-round draft pick spent his entire NFL career with the Dolphins, amassing 415 catches for 5,074 yards and 29 touchdowns in eight seasons. As a rookie, McDuffie racked up 755 kick return yards and 317 punt return yards. He also returned two punts for touchdowns. McDuffie was one of quarterback Dan Marino's favorite targets and led the NFL with 90 receptions in 1998. He retired after the 2000 season.

You've seen the five best. Now take a look at the five biggest first-round blunders the franchise has ever made.