Dolphins draft: Top 10 draft steals in Miami Dolphins history

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2. LB Zach Thomas (1996: Round 5)

He was a part of Jimmy Johnson’s first draft with the organization. Texas Tech linebacker Zach Thomas lasted until the fifth round. The Hall of Fame head coach and superb talent evaluator knew what he saw in the determined performer. All told, Thomas’ impressive career culminated with a bust in Canton, Ohio.

The 154th overall selection in 1996 would play 12 seasons with the Dolphins. He finished with 100-plus tackles in 10 of those campaigns. There were 17 interceptions, four returned for scores, eight fumble recoveries, and 20.5 sacks. Thomas was named to seven Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors five times.

1. WR Mark Clayton (1983: Round 8)

The 1983 NFL Draft is mostly known for a record six quarterbacks selected in the first round. That’s a record that was tied in 2024. That year, the Dolphins got quarterback Dan Marino late in the first round. Seven rounds later (223rd overall), the team grabbed University of Louisville wide receiver Mark Clayton.

The dynamic performer played 10 seasons with the ‘Fins. The five-time Pro Bowler owns franchise records for career receptions (550) and touchdown grabs (81). Only Mark Duper (8,869) has more receiving yards in team annals than Clayton (8,643). His electrifying 1984 campaign was an absolute thing of beauty.