Paul Warfield was a 6' split end for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and was selected to the All-Big 10 team following the 1962 and 1963 seasons. The Cleveland Browns selected him in the first round of the 1964 NFL Entry Draft, with the 11th overall pick. Labor peace between the AFL and NFL did not exist yet, resulting in Warfield also being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the AFL draft, with the 28th overall pick.
Warfield chose the NFL, and in six seasons with the Browns he was selected to three Pro Bowls. In 1968, Warfield led the NFL with 12 touchdown receptions and broke the 1000-yard barrier (the only time he would accomplish such). He joined the Dolphins when the AFL and NFL merged after Super Bowl IV.
In 1970, Warfield started 11 games at wide receiver for the run-oriented Dolphin's offense. He led the team with 703 yards and six touchdowns on only 28 catches, a 25.1 average per reception (good for second best in the NFL). He was selected to his fourth career Pro Bowl following the season as Miami finished 10-4, making the postseason for the first time in team history. In a week three 20-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders, Warfield caught three passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. The following week against the New York Jets, he caught five balls for 122 yards and a score as Miami won, 20-6.
In 1971, Warfield started every game for Miami, gaining 996 yards on 43 catches and leading the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns. In a week nine victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-21, Warfield caught three passes for 158 yards, scoring each time. He broke the 100-yard barrier four times on the season, as Miami finished the year 10-3-1. Warfield caught seven passes for 140 yards in the Divisional Playoff against the Kansas City Chiefs, scoring once as Miami won the game, 27-24 in two overtimes. In the AFC Title game the following week, Warfield caught two passes for 125 yards, including a 75 yard touchdown as Miami pounded the Baltimore Colts, 21-0. He was a first-team All-NFL selection for the first time, and also made his fifth career Pro Bowl.
Warfield started 11 of 12 games for Miami in the 1972 regular season, leading the team with 606 yards on only 29 catches. He also scored three touchdowns. In a week 13 victory over the New York Giants, 23-13, he caught four passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. Of course, Miami finished with a 14-0 record on their way to Super Bowl VII. Warfield made seven catches for 149 yards, and also rushed twice for 41 yards through the playoffs. He was honored with his sixth career Pro Bowl selection.
In 1973, Warfield started all 14 games for the Dolphins, gaining a team best 514 yards on only 29 receptions, scoring an NFL second-best 11 touchdowns. Miami posted a 12-2 record, winning the AFC East. In a week 14, 34-7 victory over the Detroit Lions, he caught six passes for 103 yards, scoring four touchdowns in the first half. Warfield caught another seven passes for 155 yards and a score through the playoffs, as the Dolphins won their second consecutive Super Bowl. Warfield was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl, and for the second time was named to the All-NFL First Team.
Warfield was limited to nine starts in 1974, ranking second on the Dolphins with 536 receiving yards on only 27 catches, scoring twice. Miami finished 11-3, winning the AFC East title. In a week 10, 35-28 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Warfield caught four passes for 139 yards and a score. After the season, he made his eighth Pro Bowl appearance, (and seventh in a row).
After the 1974 season, Warfield, along with Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, departed the Dolphins to join the upstart WFL team, the Toronto Northmen. The team moved to Memphis and adopted the moniker "Southmen" before playing a snap. After one season (and an aborted attempt at a second) the league folded and the players returned to the NFL, Warfield rejoined the Cleveland Browns for the final two seasons of his NFL career.
Over five seasons in Miami, Warfield started 59 of 60 games, catching 156 passes for 3,355 yards and 33 touchdowns. His career 20.1 average yards per reception is ninth in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame with the class of 1983.