With growing concerns for the COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Miami Dolphins have suspended travel for their scouts and coaches. This virus is obviously bigger than the sports world, but considering the significance of this offseason for the Miami Dolphins, it is worth analyzing the potential long term impacts.
The Dolphins issued a statement regarding the travel suspension:
“Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), we will temporarily suspend travel for all scouts and coaches. The safety of everyone associated with the Miami Dolphins is of the utmost importance. We will continue to monitor the situation and take advice from our medical staff and public officials.”
This offseason was set up to be one of the most important in Miami Dolphins history. The Dolphins have a league-leading 14 total draft picks.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been mentioned as a top prospect for the Miami Dolphins even before the Dolphins played their first game of the 2019 season. Many mock drafts still have Tua being selected by the Miami Dolphins with their top pick in the first round, 305 Jack’s Dolphins Rounds 1-3 Mock Draft.
Despite the positive medical reports, there is still concern about Tagovailoa’s recovery and long term health. Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross was quoted saying “We’ll have to look at what his health is and everything else and see what the alternatives are.”
Can Miami effectively evaluate Tua’s recovery without an in-person workout?
Not being able to feel comfortable about Tua could lead the Dolphins to tank on the whole Tua to Miami idea.
Then what about the alternatives that Stephen Ross mentions?
Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier has made it clear that the team has enough draft capital to draft any player that they want. If the Dolphins rule out Tagovailoa as an option, they could trade away significant draft capital to move to the number one spot to snag Joe Burrow.
The Dolphins could also stay put at the fifth pick and hope Justin Herbert is still on the board. Miami could also take a quarterback with a later pick hoping they pan out, or decide not to draft a quarterback at all.
Endless questions and all focused around one draft pick. The Dolphins still have 13 other draft selections to make. There are NFL prospects that the Dolphins are on the fence about. A scouting visit might have meant the difference between them convincing the team that they are worth the investment.
COVID-19 has had immediate impacts on the Miami Dolphins, but for a rebuilding franchise, the impacts could set the franchise back another 10 years.