The Miami Dolphins Draft Options are completely open. Despite a difficult 2019, Miami has the opportunity to rebuild in a hurry. The team holds seven selections in the draft’s first 100 picks. But the real opportunity to reshape the franchise will come in the first round.
The Dolphins have a number of needs to address throughout the draft, not the least of which is quarterback. Miami also needs to improve along the offensive line, at edge rusher and in the secondary. They also need a running back.
Some people think Miami might need to trade up, but Dolphins GM Chris Grier said recently, “We’re very comfortable with where we are.”
Here’s a look at the Dolphins Draft Options in the 1st Round.
Draft Options: No. 5 Pick – Tua Tagovailoa
The Dolphins 5-11 record earned them the No. 5 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. While some might consider it a failure that the Dolphins are not higher in the draft, winning those games helped head coach Brian Flores solidify his position as rightful leader for the franchise.
Over the last 20 years, 10 Pro Bowlers have been selected from the No. 5 slot. And one player over that span can be considered a bust (Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville, 2012).
Most people assume the Dolphins will go quarterback here, and Tua Tagovailoa is likely the pick. Before suffering a season-ending hip injury, Tagovailoa tallied 2,840 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He completed 71.4 percent of his passes and would have likely been the No. 1 overall pick had he not gotten hurt.
Thing is, the Dolphins may need to trade up to No. 3 to secure Tagovailoa’s services. If Miami decides to save their draft capital or if the price gets too steep, the Dolphins have a few other options.
No. 5 Pick – Not Tua
If Tagovailoa is gone by the time the Dolphins select in the first round, there are several other high-end options.
Cornerback Jeff Okudah from Ohio State could fill the hole opposite Xavien Howard. If Howard isn’t on the team come the 2020 season, an Okudah selection might be that much more important. The Buckeye registered 34 tackles, nine passes defended, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 2019.
Miami might look to draft Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. The versatile defender played all over the field and demonstrated his dominance in the National Championship game. In 2019, Simmons made 104 tackles, eight sacks, eight passes defended and three interceptions.
Other options outside of Tua include: Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown and Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. A dominant force along the interior, Brown registered 54 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles in 2019. Thomas anchored the Georgia offensive line and protected Jake Fromm’s blindside.
Draft Options: No. 18 Pick
It’s hard to mock any draft, especially one as volatile as this one. With the No. 18 pick, Miami might use the Steelers selection in a number of different ways.
The Dolphins could go with an edge rusher in this spot. Boise State’s Curtis Weaver would fill a need for Miami. Weaver racked up 13.5 sacks in 2019, as well as 52 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception.
Draft Options: No. 26
The last pick for the Dolphins in the first comes from the Houston Texans. Here, Miami might go in a number of different directions.
The Dolphins secondary saw a lot of change as 2019 went on. Injuries to Howard, Reshad Jones, Bobby McCain and others meant the starting lineup was always in flux.
Choosing Alabama safety Xavier McKinney would make sense in this spot. McKinney registered 95 tackles, five passes defended, four forced fumbles and three interceptions.
Miami also might want another starting cornerback. Utah’s Jaylon Johnson is a rangy athlete who picked up 36 tackles, 11 passes defended and two interceptions in 2019.
The Dolphins also may choose to address their running back need at the backend of the first round. Yes, the running back class is deep in 2020, but choosing one in the first round should give them their top choice.
Georgia’s D’Andre Swift is largely considered the top running back in the class. He tallied 1,218 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in 2019. He also made 24 receptions for 216 yards and one touchdown as a receiver.
The Dolphins draft options are wide open in the first round, and they should have a chance to reshape their roster and jumpstart their rebuild.