Connect with us

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Keep Pace With The Big Boys In 2020

Photo: Rebecca Wright

Winning teams in the NFL have one thing in common. They draft wisely.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) set the NFL record for the most players drafted in the first round with 15 selections.

The previous record for the most players drafted in the first round by conference came in 2006. A record set by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with 12 players. The SEC tied the record twice, once in 2013 and again in 2017.

The SEC not only had the most picks but also boasted in the first overall pick with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. In fact, the SEC was so loaded that two of the top three players came from the conference. The New York Giants selected Georgia tackle, Andrew Thomas, with the third pick.

With the 5th overall pick, the Miami Dolphins wasted no time getting in on the action, selecting Tua Tagovailoa.

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Photo: Butch Dill

When it was all said and done, seven of the first ten players selected were from the SEC. In hindsight, this should not have been a surprise. Pre-draft projections listed top players of positions quarterback, tackle, running back and wide receiver to all be from the SEC.

What does this mean for Miami moving forward?

To delve into this question, we must first look at the recent history of successful NFL teams and their ties to SEC players. In 2019, the SEC led the league in players on active rosters by a landslide. 339 players came from the conference, most notably 56 from Alabama. The Big 10 ranked second with 253 players.

Miami Dolphins CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn
Photo: James Gilbert-Getty Images

In “What Should Be Miami’s Draft Strategy,”, I noted how Miami had only selected five SEC players in the previous five drafts. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots drafted five in the last two drafts alone. Well, Miami stepped it up a notch in what may prove to be one of the best draft classes in the team’s history.

The Dolphins came into the draft with league-high 14 picks. Before the end of the first round, the Dolphins raised that number to 15. The Fins ultimately used 11 of their draft selections, six of which came from the SEC.

Many in the media began the narrative that Miami was “tanking” in 2019. If you bought into that narrative or not, the so-called tanking is over now. Consider the Dolphins.. rebuilt!

It’s about time, Miami!

Miami Dolphins DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama
Photo: Kevin Jairaj- USA TODAY Sports

To put it in perspective, some of the top teams in the 2019 playoffs had the most players from SEC schools. Seattle, Philadelphia, New England, Baltimore, and Buffalo all rank in the top half of the league with SEC players. The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs had a whopping 24 SEC players on their roster. There seems to be a winning pattern and Miami has started to follow.

There are obviously many talented players from various NCAA conferences, but polished NFL ready talent seems to constantly pour out of SEC programs. Since 2000, the SEC has crowned 13 of the last 20 National Championships. A staggering number considering teams have to be nearly perfect to reach the College Football Playoffs.

Miami not only addressed every team need in the 2020 draft, but they also added primed and ready for battle SEC talent.

Miami Dolphins G Solomon Kindley, Georgia
Photo: Butch Dill

Excitement is in the air along with the early spring breeze in South Beach. The winds of change are being felt by everyone including executives, players, and fans. There have always been millions of boats in Miami but make room, there are large Ships heading down south now.

Hello I’m Scott. I manage a custom electronics company in middle Georgia. Married with kids, our family loves all sports. We watch and play. Miami Dolphins & Miami Heat!! I love sharing opinions and debating on all things sports related. God Bless!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Wise

    May 3, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    The rebuild may be over but the outcome will probably not be seen until 2021. Hopefully we will have a season or some type of a reduced season this year. The dolphins will use this year as as their building block for developing this draft class. Coach Flores’s defense will always be a rotational showing with very few starters. That’s just the nature of the beast. The offense on the other hand after this year will be just the opposite especially with the Oline. This year the Oline will different each week because the coach will be trying different players at different positions and by the end of the year they will pretty much be able to determine the starting Oline. This will will be used to allow the players to learn their positions and be able to gain the experience they will need for their NFL careers. There will be some minimal tweaks in next years draft with the Oline and WR’s. I expect them to have a season very similar to what the had last year with maybe 5 or 6 wins. This year will be all about learning the system, learning to play with their new partners, and gaining experience. I am expecting to see a lot of Josh Rosen this year and the reason is kinda of conman sense. We need to get some good tape on him in the event that he gets traded or he decides to leave in free agency (comp pick. There should be a competition between Tua and Josh in 2021 if Rosen is not traded before the start of the Draft/season. I expect they will draft another QB next year so they can start the Draft one, develop one then trade one or let him go in free agency for the comp pick. Would be great to keep Fitz on board as a QB Quality control coach. I expect the dolphins to be competing in 2021.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Miami Dolphins