Miami Dolphins at 50: Top 10 TEs

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Mandatory credit:

No. 6 – Jim Mandich

Don Shula’s first ever draft choice turned out to be one of the most productive tight ends in the franchise’s history.

However thanks to Marv Fleming, Jim Mandich didn’t become the starting tight end until 1974 after having spent four seasons prior with the Dolphins. He later split time then lost the starting role to Andre Tillman.

Despite this, Mandich is eighth in receiving yards (1,406), seventh in receptions (121), and tied for second in touchdowns (23) among tight ends.

From 1973 to 1976, Mandich posted 20 or more receptions and 200 plus receiving yards. But in his four other seasons as a Dolphin, Mandich only managed 21 receptions for 253 yards with a bulk of that coming in his 1972 campaign (168 yards).

His 23 touchdowns are good enough for a three-way tie for eighth in receiving on the all-time franchise list.

Mandatory credit:

No. 5 – Charles Clay

The only other player to play multiple positions on the list, Charles Clay was a fullback/tight end hybrid that truly found his niche at TE.

In 2013, the Dolphins signed Dustin Keller to become the starting tight end, but Keller suffered a devastating knee injury and the tight end reins were handed to Clay.

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With the new found role as the starting tight end, Clay turned in two of the best seasons at the position in franchise history. Clay caught 69 passes for 759 yards that season. In 2014, Clay’s production dipped slightly, but still managed 58 receptions for 605 yards.

Clay’s 2013 campaign is the second best single season effort by a tight end in Dolphins history. He was only 32 yards away from matching Randy McMichael’s record setting 791 yards in 2004. His 2014 season is the sixth all-time amongst tight ends.

In terms of single season numbers, only two tight ends have done just as well or better than Clay.

Clay used those two fantastic seasons to get a big pay day from the Buffalo Bills despite the Miami front office using their transition tag on him.

It’ll be interesting to see how the offense works with Jordan Cameron, but he definitely has some big shoes to fill with Clay departing.