The Miami Dolphins draft did not start as expected but has it did start with promise with strategic selections.
The 2020 NFL Draft was supposed to be a very interesting, engaging, and maybe a little crazy during the top fifteen picks, but I personally think it was a little bit of a letdown. All the talk of aggressive moves that would take place during the first round, the trades that were supposed to happen, the phone calls between teams throughout the week to discuss all the scenarios, was all smokescreen, I guess.
I really anticipated some deals, as most of you out there, but absolutely none of that happened. I figured with fourteen picks, not having to give up anything for Miami’s first selection, surely GM Chris Grier would go into superhero mode and dazzle us with crafty use of capital and resources. Dialing up some super move and achieve an absolute spectacle for all of us Miami Dolphins fans to talk about and applaud. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Instead, we got a calculated, straight forward approach, that landed the franchise QB, some much-needed help on the offensive line (sort of), and a possible hidden gem to add to the secondary, most likely for depth.
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So there it is Miami Dolphins fans, you have your franchise QB. I think there is around 35 percent of you out there that might feel a little disappointed you didn’t get the Oregon prospect, Justin Herbert, last night in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The other 65 percent of you are doing backflips right now, as you welcome your new future QB Tua Tagovailoa.
I took away two emotions last night that came with that first selection. One, is that you will most likely see Tagovailoa on the bench for most of the upcoming season, so all the intangibles and excitement Tagovailoa brings and all that hope will most likely be postponed for the near future.
The second one is holy crap the Miami Dolphins just drafted Tua Tagovailoa with their first pick of the 2020 NFL draft. When the team does give him the green light, he will be better off from sitting, watching and learning the ins and outs of the pro game. Tagovailoa will get to sit in a QB room with Fitzpatrick and Rosen and will be able to absorb and translate that information to enhance his own game.
The second pick, Austin Jackson, the tackle from USC was a little curious to me. I not saying the 6’5″ 322-pound athlete from USC isn’t good, but from all I have been hearing is he is a bit of a project, not so much a plug and play type of player. That is why I was expecting GM Chris Grier to step up and work some magic with this selection. Maybe move up and select a Wirfs or Becton or maybe even Wills with a few of the thirteen remaining picks.
Austin Jackson does bring great balance and possesses good lateral quickness, he seems a bit raw but is gifted. If the coaching staff can get him to improve his hand placement and a few other small details he could blossom into a great lineman. Early on I would expect some issues out of this natural left tackle, but after some weight room work, to gain some mass and some upper body strength, he could excel at both tackle and guard positions.
I’m not saying Austin Jackson won’t be an excellent selection, just not as ready out of the gates as some of the other linemen the Dolphins could have made a play for. Jackson will struggle early against top defensive ends until he can get his footwork under control. So, a curious pick, but not a bad one.
The third pick, Noah Igbinoghene, the 5′ 10″ 198-pound 4-star receiver turned cornerback from Auburn was a bit of a head-scratcher, I realize they needed help in the secondary, but I was really expecting them to make a move on a safety here. I understand the need for some depth as Xavien Howard is still a bit of a question mark after his last season of injuries and we don’t know if he will be the same type of player this season.
So, according to Gus Malzahn, the Auburn head coach,
"“The Dolphins are getting a special player. You’re talking about a guy who’s only played corner really for two years, so we think his best ball is ahead of him. He’s a great competitor. He’s a super kick returner. So I think they’re getting the complete package with Noah.”"
The more you dive into this Noah Igbinoghene, the more the pick makes sense. Depth for the secondary, a kick returner and a he is a press coverage guy, so he will be physical at the line which fits in nicely with head coach Flores’ man coverage preference. Igbinoghene has elite recovery speed and is also very raw, but he is just the kind of cornerback Flores can groom and mold into an excellent future starter.
The 2020 NFL drafts first round was promised to be a spectacle and exciting, it failed to live up to the hype, but when all of it settled down the Dolphins came out a better team and achieved the monumental task of finding their face and franchise QB of the future and still added some talented prospects that should turn out to be excellent football players in the near future for the Miami Dolphins.
That was only round one, so let see what GM Chris Grier and company have in store for rounds two and three.