Photo courtesy of Jon Way/AP/Miami Dolphins
After having multiple first-round picks in recent drafts, the Miami Dolphins didn’t pick until the third round in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Dolphins used their third round pick to take Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall. Miami has a rich history when it comes to selecting defensive players from Georgia.
It has also gotten pretty good value out of its third-round selections over the years. Here’s a look at the seven best third-round picks in Dolphins history:
• Tim Foley, DB (1970)
• Jimmy Cefalo, WR (1978)
• Paul Lankford, DB (1982)
• Karim Abdul-Jabbar, RB (1996)
• Derrick Rodgers, LB (1997)
• Channing Crowder, LB (2005)
• Olivier Vernon, DE (2012)
• Jerome Baker, LB (2018)
7. Ferrell Edmunds, TE (1988)
Years with Dolphins: 1988-92
Stats: 117 receptions, 1,612 receiving yards, 10 touchdown receptions
Overview: Jim Mandich, Dan Johnson, Joe Rose, Keith Jackson, Randy McMichael, Anthony Fasano and currently Mike Gesicki have all been solid receiving tight ends for Miami. The only Dolphins tight end ever to make multiple Pro Bowls, however, was Ferrell Edmunds. Selected 73rd overall in 1988, Edmunds made consecutive Pro Bowls in 1989 and 1990. Edmunds was named a second-team All-Pro in 1989.
6. Duriel Harris, WR (1976)
College: New Mexico State
Years with Dolphins: 1976-83, 1985
Stats: 269 receptions, 4,534 receiving yards, 18 touchdown receptions
Overview: Selected 80th overall in the 1976 NFL Draft, Duriel Harris was a solid wide receiver for Miami for close to a decade. Harris ranks seventh in team history in career receiving yards and fourth in yards per catch. Harris was Miami’s leading receiver in 1978 and 1981. He also returned punts and kicks during his time with the Dolphins.
5. Tony Nathan, RB (1979)
Years with Dolphins: 1979-87
Stats: 732 carries, 3,543 yards rushing, 16 rushing touchdowns, 383 receptions, 3,592 yards receiving, 16 touchdown receptions, punt return touchdown
Overview: Tony Nathan never made a Pro Bowl but he did a lot of things well in his nine years in Miami. Nathan finished with 33 total touchdowns for his career and put up nearly identical production as a rusher and a receiver. In 1981, Nathan’s 5.1 yards per carry average led the NFL. As a rookie in 1979, Nathan was named an All-Pro as a punt returner. One of the best receiving backs in the NFL, Nathan has more career receiving yards than any running back ever for the Dolphins. He ranks in the top 10 in Miami history in yards from scrimmage and total touchdowns.
4. Nat Moore, WR (1974)
Years with Dolphins: 1974-86
Stats: 510 receptions, 7,546 yards receiving, 74 touchdown receptions, rushing touchdown
Overview: Nat Moore played all 13 years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. Moore’s only Pro Bowl appearance came in 1977 when he led the NFL with 12 touchdown receptions. Moore ranks third in Dolphins history in both receptions and receiving yards. Only Mark Clayton has caught more touchdowns as a member of the Dolphins than Moore. Despite being retired for more than 25 years, Moore remains active as a member of the community and has been a part of the Dolphins’ communications team.
3. Mercury Morris, RB (1969)
College: West Texas A&M
Years with Dolphins: 1969-75
Stats: 754 carries, 3,877 yards rushing, 31 rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns, three kick return touchdowns
Overview: The 63rd overall pick in the 1969 draft, Mercury Morris wasn’t a star right away in Miami, but excelled once given the opportunity. A 3-time Pro Bowler, Morris led the NFL in 1972 with 12 rushing touchdowns as he and Larry Csonka became the first set of teammates to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. In 1973, Morris averaged a league-best 6.4 yards per carry. Nearly 50 years since his last game with Miami, Morris still ranks fourth on the Dolphins’ all-time rushing list. His 5.1 yards per carry average and three kickoff returns for touchdowns remain team records.
2. Dick Anderson, S (1968)
Years with Dolphins: 1968-77
Stats: 34 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries, two sacks, four total touchdowns
Overview: Safety Dick Anderson spent his entire 10-year career with the Dolphins. After winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1968, Anderson was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1973. A 3-time Pro Bowl selection, Anderson finished with eight interceptions on three separate occasions. That was enough to lead the league in 1973. Two of those eight picks went for touchdowns that season. With 34 career interceptions, Anderson ranks second in team history — just one behind former teammate Jake Scott.
1. Jason Taylor, DE (1997)
Years with Dolphins: 1997-2007, 2009, 2011
Stats: 723 tackles, 127 tackles for loss, 131 sacks, 43 forced fumbles, eight interceptions, six defensive touchdowns
Overview: A Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor is arguably the greatest defensive player in team history. The team’s all-time leader in sacks, Taylor made six Pro Bowls during his time with the Dolphins and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. That year, he led the NFL with nine forced fumbles and two interception returns for touchdowns. Taylor led the league in 2002 with a career-high 18.5 sacks — the Dolphins single-season record. Taylor’s eight defensive touchdowns is also a team record.
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.