Dolphins Defensive Line Draft History: The Hits, Misses and Trends

Dolphins Defensive Line Draft History: The Hits, Misses and Trends

As we head into the homestretch to the 2024 NFL draft, it’s a good time to revisit the Miami Dolphins draft history at every position.

In this draft series, we break down each position with number of picks since the start of the “common draft” in 1967, first-round selections, hits and misses, and any trends that might apply.

We continue with the defensive line (as always, hits and misses are determined by gauging production versus draft position):


Number of picks: 100

Number of first-round picks: 12 (DE Bill Stanfill, 1969; DT Mike Kadish, 1972; DE Donald Reese, 1974; DE A.J. Duhe, 1977; DE John Bosa, 1987; DE Eric Kumerow, 1988; DT Tim Bowens, 1994; DT Daryl Gardener, 1996; DT Jared Odrick, 2010; DE Dion Jordan, 2013; DE Charles Harris, 2017; DT Christian Wilkins, 2019)

Last five picks: Jason Strowbridge, Round 5, 2020; Raekwon Davis, Round 2, 2020; Christian Wilkins, Round 1, 2019; Davon Godchaux, Round 5, 2017, Terrence Fede, Round 7, 2014;

Hits: DE Bill Stanfill (Round 1, 1969); DE Vern Den Herder (Round 9, 1971); DT Bob Baumhower (Round 2, 1977), DE Doug Betters (Round 6, 1978); DE Jeff Cross (Round 9, 1988); DT Tim Bowens (Round 1, 1994); DE Jason Taylor (Round 3, 1997); DT Paul Soliai (Round 4, 2007), DE Olivier Vernon (Round 3, 2012); DT Davon Godchaux (Round 5, 2017), DT Christian Wilkins

Misses: DE Donald Reese (Round 1, 1974), DE John Bosa (Round 1, 1987), DE Eric Kumerow (Round 1, 1988), DT Eddie Blake* (Round 2, 1992), DE Dion Jordan (Round 1, 2013), DT Jordan Phillips (Round 2, 2015), DE Charles Harris (Round 1, 2017)

Trends: The Dolphins haven’t addressed the defensive line in the draft since they took Wilkins in Round 1, not counting Jaelan Phillips, who was a defensive end at the University of Miami but was drafted to play outside linebacker. The Dolphins haven’t been shy about spending early picks on interior defensive linemen over the past dozen years.


The Dolphins have had some extreme results at this position in the draft, but it’s hard to be overly critical when they landed a Hall of Famer (Taylor) in the third round, another NFL Defensive Player of the Year (Betters) in the sixth round, and two very good starters (Den Herder, Cross) in the ninth round.

The last major draft investment on the defensive line also panned out well, with Wilkins giving the Dolphins five good to very good seasons before he left after getting a monster deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.

The misses obviously have been bad, none worse that Jordan because he was the third overall selection in that 2013 draft. As an explanation, Blake was a DT at Auburn but the Dolphins decided to use him at guard and he flopped.

In between the hits and misses, the Dolphins have had a good number of solid picks on the defensive line.

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