The Miami Dolphins finally look to have secured their franchise quarterback as they took Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick of the 2020 NFL draft. After days of rumours of the Dolphins trading up, or possibly down, they made the right decision selecting only their second first-round QB since Dan Marino retired 20 years ago.
The Dolphins went on to solidify their class with one of the offensive lineman with the biggest ceiling and adding a slot corner with their final first-round selection. They traded back with the Green Bay Packers before selecting CB Noah Igbinoghene adding a fourth-round selection in the process.
Miami Dolphins smokescreens pay off
We’ll never really know if the Dolphins were seriously considering making a move up to number 3, or just how high they were on Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, or Jordan Love. Because despite all of the rumours and innuendo that has swirled since the Dolphins entered tank mode, they took the quarterback that was expected from the outset.
Make no excuses this pick is a risk because of Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history. And while almost every first-round quarterback carries extensive risks, Tua’s are heightened. However, he has been cleared medically so the doom-mongering by some fans and pundits is pure speculation.
The reason that this pick is so good is that at his best Tua is arguably a different class to the rest of the quarterbacks in this class. His ceiling is that much higher that the risk is more than justified. If you essentially decimate your roster for the chance to take Tua, you can’t be scared off now.
Quarterbacks like Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert come along every year. You can pick one up next year if you have to. But players like Tagovailoa don’t come along every year. To be able to sit at number 5, and use one pick to take him is a no brainer.
Clearly the Dolphins preferred Tua to Herbert, whether they would’ve traded for Burrow if the Bengals had been open to it we’ll never know. But Tua Tagovailoa has the chance to be a generational talent. This was the Dolphins’ chance to reach for greatness and they took it.
It may not pay off, but not taking that chance has led through Jay Fiedler, John Beck, Cleo Lemon, Daunte Culpepper, Ryan Tannehill, and on and on. Taking a shot on greatness is a great change in philosophy for the Miami Dolphins and one the fans should embrace.
Dolphins build a wall at #18
Austin Jackson is a beast of a man, and he’s only 20. Yes, he’s raw, yes we’ve been here before. But again Jackson has a chance to be a great player. His ceiling is high in part because he is young.
With good coaching and time to develop, Jackson could anchor the Miami Dolphins line for years to come. He is very agile for a big man and can get to the second level. He already bends his knees very well, and with experience could be the pick of this offensive line class.
At 6’5″ and 322lbs he has prototypical size for a lineman, and his 5.07s 40 yard dash time shows just what a specimen he is. And again the kid is only 20 years old.
Left field pick makes this defence scary
Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene became the Dolphins’ final pick of the opening round. Trading back from 26th to 30th, Miami also picked up an additional fourth-round pick making this pick even more interesting.
Expected to play the slot corner role, Igbinoghene is quick enough to cover receivers and backs. His size makes him a liability against tight-ends so defenses will try to scheme that against him.
But as the third corner alongside Xavien Howard and Byron Jones gives the Dolphins one of the best cornerback units in the league. Speed kills and this kid has speed to burn.
Much like Jackson, he is raw. As a converted wide receiver his ball skills are better than the average corner, and his ability to recover is very impressive. While many expected a safety or a running back I love this pick for its versatility and depth.
Chris Grier had a lot to prove going into this draft, and signs now are extremely promising. Three great picks, a potentially generational QB, and an extra pick on day three. That’s a massive win by anyone’s standards.
It was a stunning opening day for the Miami Dolphins. Don’t expect everything to turn around overnight. But Miami looks to have turned a corner and has set themselves up for years to come with a brilliant night’s work.
After the work Brian Flores put in last season the Dolphins rebuild looks on very firm ground. Not all of the picks may work out, but it’s about the process, and the picks that were made last night show that the process is finally focused on the right things.