Photo courtesy of Miami Dolphins
The NFL Draft is drawing nearer and the consensus seems to be that the Miami Dolphins will select a pass catcher.
Miami is coming off its best season in four years. The Dolphins finished 10-6 in 2020 and narrowly missed the playoffs.
Miami is moving forward with a second-year quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa and it is highly likely that this draft will be used to get him some weapons. Names mentioned for Miami include Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and one of two Alabama wide receivers in either Heisman Trophy winner De’Vonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle.
Historically, Miami has taken five receivers in the first round of the draft. There were hits and misses.
Here’s a look back on those selections:
Selected: 23rd overall in 1991 NFL Draft (Miami)
Tenure: 1991, 1995-96
Stats with Dolphins: 33 catches, 669 yards receiving, four touchdown catches
Overview: A local pick out of Miami, Randal Hill’s first stint with the Dolphins didn’t last a season. Hill was traded to the Phoenix Cardinals early on into the 1991 season. After four years with the Cardinals, Hill return to Miami for the 1995 and 1996 seasons and caught four total touchdowns as a fourth receiver.
Selected: 25th overall in 1993 NFL Draft (Penn State)
Stats with Dolphins: 415 catches, 5,074 yards, 29 touchdown catches, rushing touchdown, two punt return touchdowns
Overview: Perhaps the most productive draft pick on the list, O.J. McDuffie spent his entire 8-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. As a rookie in 1993, McDuffie led the NFL with a pair of punt returns for scores. McDuffie never made the Pro Bowl, but did lead the NFL with 90 catches in 1998. That was his only career 1,000-yard season. McDuffie led Miami in receiving in three straight seasons from 1996 to 1998, tallying more than 900 yards in each of those campaigns. He ranks in the top five in team history in career receptions and yards.
Selected: 15th overall in 1997 NFL Draft (Miami)
Stats with Dolphins: 18 catches, 234 yards
Overview: Yatil Green’s career wasn’t ruined by a lack of ability but rather the inability to stay healthy. Green suffered an ACL tear in each of his first two offseasons before finally seeing the field in 1999. He finished seventh on the team in receptions that season.
Ted Ginn Jr.
Selected: Ninth overall in 2007 NFL Draft (Ohio State)
Stats with Dolphins: 128 catches, 1,664 yards, five touchdown catches, two rushing touchdowns, two kickoff return touchdowns, punt return touchdown
Overview: Ted Ginn Jr. never came close to living up to his top-10 hype, but he was versatile and an excellent returner for Miami. In 2009 against the New York Jets, Ginn became the first player in team history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game. Ginn’s best season came in 2008 when he led the team with 790 yards receiving as the Dolphins completed a 10-game turnaround to win the AFC East.
Selected: 14th overall in 2015 NFL Draft (Louisville)
Stats with Dolphins: 298 catches, 4,212 yards, 22 touchdown catches
Overview: Largely inconsistent over his first four years with Miami, DeVante Parker enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 and made a strong case for the Pro Bowl. His 1,202 yards receiving and nine touchdown catches each ranked in the top five in the NFL. Injuries have forced Parker to miss 13 career games. Still, Parker has led the team in receiving in each of the last two years. He ranks in the top 10 in team history for both receptions and receiving yards.
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.