Amidst all that is currently happening in the world, there is a small consolation to be an avid football fan. While the rest of major sports has been canceled, the NFL provides the occasional distraction from COVID-19. Free Agency has been exciting and the countdown to the 2020 NFL draft is on!
Draft day decisions are difficult and stressful. Having said that, I would much rather be in the Miami Dolphins (virtual, thanks to COVID-19) War Room with these minor struggles than in congress, hospitals, or to be a first responder. The stress of the Miami Dolphins Front Office pales in comparison with that of those heroic individuals.
Assume that all the major moves in free agency are complete, let’s shift focus on the draft.
Free Agency Recap
A quick recap of what the Dolphins have done so far will hopefully help to put the draft situation in perspective.
Let’s Go Defense!
Miami chose to somewhat aggressively bolster its defense through free agent spending as well as acquiring a couple offensive pieces. Due to the apparent offensive talent in the upcoming draft, my first reaction is that this is a good approach to the rebuild. The acquisitions made were both impressive and risky.
Personally, I believe the additions of Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, and Emmanuel Ogbah are exciting, impressive and instantly improve the defense.
What About the Offense?
The signing of Ereck Flowers is the most questionable. Flowers played poorly at tackle in New York. He moved to Guard and had an improved year in Washington before signing with Miami. My concern is the $10 million per year deal, which is a lot of money when the Dolphins are uncertain of which player Ereck Flowers they are getting. Is it the potential bust from the Giants or the solid starter from the Redskins?
Assuming his play continues on an upward trajectory, this could also turn out to be another good signing.
This team has been plagued with horrendous offensive line play for far too long! The good news is this draft appears to have some offensive talent that could help that situation dramatically.
Finding the Face of the Franchise
Many have projected Tua Tagovailoa going to the Miami Dolphins. The future of the Miami Dolphins hinges on finding a franchise quarterback. However the offensive line has to be aggressively addressed before that quarterback is put on the field and expected to lead this franchise forward.
One could argue that Miami already had their franchise quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, but because of poor offensive line play he was essentially run out of town and labeled a first round bust. Behind a strong offensive line accompanied by a tremendous running back and intelligent game planning, Tannehill proved that he is a worthwhile starter in the NFL.
Miami Dolphins on the Clock
Fast forward to 8:15 p.m. draft day and nothing has changed.
No trades have been made at this point and Miami holds the 5th pick.
The Cincinnati Bengals have just chosen Joe Burrow as expected.
If you believe what is being said then here is how it plays out.
The Washington Redskins have convinced Ron Rivera to prematurely move on from Dwayne Haskins. Although bringing in Kyle Allen creates doubt in my mind.
The Detroit Lions and New York Giants have no interest in drafting a quarterback.
The Los Angeles Chargers with Tyrod Taylor are sitting behind Miami at number 6.
The Miami Dolphins built up a lot of draft capital for this very draft and the rebuild!
Tua Tagovailoa comes into the draft recovering from a significant hip injury he suffered in November which was surgically repaired. According to multiple sources, he has been cleared for football-related activities. An article in the New York Post quotes a few sources impressed with Tua’s current health already.
Washington, Detroit, or New York can move down to 6 and take the “best player available” approach. One of these teams would still get a great prospect along with additional picks to work with.
Make the Right Call
The phone in the Miami Dolphins War Room is not ringing yet. Now is the time to flash through all the thoughts, facts, and concerns that they have had the past few months and make the right decision.
Hard Rock Stadium’s attendance ranks in the bottom third of the league. The Dolphins desperately needs something to fill seats. You have that something, someone, still available and you have the capital to get it!
I can’t imagine any other player in the draft helping this cause better than Tua Tagovailoa.
It won’t cost Miami as much as it could if another team. The Chargers hold only the 6th pick in the first round and a single pick in the next two rounds. Miami has three picks in the first round alone. Realistically it should only cost Miami a first round swap and two second round picks to assure them a trade up.
Assume Washington is sticking with Haskins and Jacksonville with Minshew then Miami holds all the cards.
Let the Draft Come to You
If a team sitting below Miami calls Washington, The Redskins will assuredly call Miami to get more because they have more. If Miami’s phone doesn’t ring then all teams are sitting still and Tua Tagovailoa should be the Dolphins pick at number 5.
Let the Games Begin!
Does Washington call Miami and bluff that they are drafting a quarterback?
Do the Redskins take Tua Tagovailoa at number 2?
The Real Question Is
What number will Tua be wearing when he puts on a Miami Dolphins jersey?