With three first-round picks, the Dolphins own the 2020 Draft
Jonathan Harris, Footballville Nation
In three days, the long-awaited NFL Draft will be upon us, and the hunger for sports fans all across America will finally be settled. After a long month and a half, football fans will finally have the sweet satisfaction of seeing their team draft the next generation of superstars. For fans of the Dolphins, the satisfaction might very well be even sweeter. Miami absolutely OWNS the 2020 draft with a whopping 14 selections in a very deep draft compared to recent years. With rumors of all kinds swirling about their potential moves from front office executives, in the newspaper, and on social media, here’s a brief breakdown of what might go down on draft night.
Currently, the Dolphins own the 5th, 18th and 26th picks in the first round. Since this draft class is particularly deep, and Miami has massive holes to fill, the dolphins need to obviously look for potential starters to balance out their impressive free agency period.
Yes, “Fitzmagic” was in full effect at the end of last season, playing inspiring football and looking about five years younger. Unfortunately, the journeyman quarterback is already 37 years old and more than likely on the last year of his professional career. He is definitely a viable option and given a better run game, along with healthy receivers, he is capable of doing damage. Miami, however, is looking for their franchise QB. With the amount of QB talent in the draft, there very well could be starter-level players available towards the back of the first round, and possibly the early second round.
The Miami offensive line ranked dead last among all teams in 2019 according to Pro Football Focus. Not to mention, they traded away their biggest asset on the line in Laremy Tunsil to Houston. The trade was actually great. Miami got two first-rounders for Stills and a 4th and 6th. The trade was actually incredible. They avoid paying Tunsil and Kenny and receive two first rounders in a great draft—Miami did their homework
3. SS, FS:
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. With most mock drafts seeing the Dolphins take a running back in the late 1st round, it’d be easy to list it as a need. Miami traded Kenyan Drake to the Arizona cardinals early in the year, and have clearly lacked a run game for the entirety of the season. But we really have to take this league for what it is: a “RB by committee” league. Look at Pittsburgh. With a great O-Line, James Connor prospered during LeVeon Bell’s holdout. Tony Pollard, with arguably the best offensive line in the game, looked just as efficient with the rock as Elliot. And in LA, Austin Ekeler forced Melvin Gordon out of a job. The need that really prioritizes itself on Miami is the Safety position. In 2019, former All-Pro SS Reshad Jones was cut and All-Pro FS Minkah Fitzpatrick was traded. With the massive addition of Byron Jones to pair with Xavien Howard at corner, it only makes sense for the dolphins to go all in and lock up the secondary position with a certified stud.
What the Fans Want
For the last two years, QB Tua Tagovailoa has been on the majority of fans’ wish list. After suffering a hip injury in November, it has been a back and forth media nightmare for his camp, with his stock projected to fall due to failed physicals. However, this has in no way stopped fans from hoping to land the college star on their team. Dolphins fans, in particular, are very fond of him. Another name circulating social media and sports news sites is Joe Burrow. The projected 1st overall draft pick is expected to be taken by the Bengals with no questions asked. But recent reports are claiming that there’s buzz that Miami is going to attempt to trade up to select the CFP Champion and 2019 Heisman winner. The issue with that is it might need to involve multiple 1st round picks and major assets. It seems very unlikely, but if Miami is able to pull it off, and secure all of their positions of need with enough depth, coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier will be credited for a prolific franchise turnaround. Ultimately, the Dolphins will end up selecting at least a runningback and a name on their radar, like most teams, is D’Andre Swift. If Swift is still available in the early second round, there will be riots if he is not picked. He is the easily a top-3 back in a loaded draft, and Miami can get very lucky, even if he is taken late in the first. They will have several reliable backs to choose from. Ultimately, the fans are going to want the best of the best, but the Dolphins staff is not in the business of trying to appease fans.
The Best Course of Action
The best-case scenario for Miami sees them ending up taking either Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, or Jordan Love in the first round. With three 1st round picks, Miami has the flexibility and range in order to completely steal the draft. After building most of their defense through free agency, they can primarily focus on acquiring young offensive studs.
With the 5th pick in the draft, Miami should take Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama.
• Pairing Jeudy with a true no. 1 in Devante Parker and speedy slot receivers would create one of the best WR corps in the league
• The Florida native would be comfortable, not have to adjust as long as other prospects.
• Jeudy would be a terrifying addition to another team, and is clearly a top 5 talent.
• Safest selection to make with minimal risk attached.
If Tua is still available at 18, he falls to the Dolphins.
• Teams picking no. 7 through 17 already have QBs and are unlikely to draft a QB in the first round.
• Tua is a huge risk, but putting your top pick into a safe bet with Jeudy will also scare teams away.
• Tua was a teammate of Jeudy’s at Alabama, and they are likely to continue their success at the next level if they are paired up.
• If not, Jordan Love is another option that Miami has been linked to recently.
With the 26th pick, offer it to whoever drafted Grant Delpit, S, LSU
• Grant Delpit is the best safety in the draft, hands down.
• Miami goes all out and shells out a few of those remaining 11 picks to create the single best defensive unit in the NFL.
• They can use the next two rounds to focus solely on the offensive line and there is plenty of talent to be had.
Ultimately, the Miami Dolphins have had a stellar offseason and continue to make themselves a desirable place to play some football. On draft night, a handful of lucky players will be selected to the fastest up and coming team in the league.