For eight months talk has been centered around the Dolphins picking a quarterback early in the first round of the draft. That may not be the best route.
In September of 2019 the mantra of “Tank for Tua” entered the vocabulary of every Miami Dolphins fan. The organization took a beating in the media with talking heads calling for investigations into their roster management practices.
Fast forward 8 months and the Dolphins are about to be on the clock, the difference is, the team doesn’t have the first overall pick as many had suspected, in fact the team cobbled together 5 wins which puts them right at the end of the top five.
As fate would have it, it looks like the Dolphins will still have the opportunity to draft Tua Tagovailoa if they want him, at number five overall. The question now is, should they? Some fans who sport the aqua and orange want the Dolphins to pass on Tua and draft Justin Herbert instead. Tua comes with the dreaded “injury” label attached after suffering a major hip injury last season. Herbert comes with issues of his own.
My question is, after 8 months of non-stop quarterback talk, should the Dolphins by-pass both Tua and Herbert at number five. There is a case to be made.
Earlier today our own Brian Miller laid out a scenario where if the Dolphins went elsewhere with the fifth pick, one of the two previously mentioned quarterbacks could still be available when the Phins come back to the podium at #18. It’s not a big leap. There certainly are teams with quarterback needs, but there aren’t many who have first-round quarterback needs, meaning their first-round picks might be better spent improving other areas of need.
I tried this theory out using a couple of different mock simulators. Here’s the caveat, I know these are just simulators, but more often than not, Justin Herbert was available at #18 when I picked one of the top tackles at number 5. In several scenarios, I was able to come out of the first round with Becton or Wills and Herbert. I understand the fact that these are simulations with no human variables or trades but another trend started to show through during this exercise.
It seemed in almost every mock I conducted of the first round when I picked Tua Tagovailoa at number 5, the Dolphins were left reaching for players at both 18 and 26 when drafting for need. For instance, if the Dolphins were to target an offensive tackle at #18 they were left with the 5th or 6th best tackle in the draft. The same thing seemed to happen at #26, they were either left reaching for another tackle or picking a safety with similar grades as those found in the second round.
With all that said, there was talent available. Oftentimes either Jerry Jeudy and/or CeeDee Lamb were available at #18. Not necessarily a position of need, but certainly one that would mesh well with a new young quarterback. Taking a position of lesser need, such as wide receiver, seemed to fix the board for the Phins when #26 came around where the tackles available were a better value.
Again, I understand, mocks are just that, mocks, but I do think that this idea may be on the table for the Miami Dolphins when it’s their turn to pick on Thursday night.