So the Miami Dolphins first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is over and although quieter in terms of trades, it did have its share of intrigue.
The Miami Dolphins heading into the draft with three picks in the first round, certainly controlled their own destiny with their draft capital. Leading up to the draft, there was a great deal of chatter about the Dolphins trading up to a top-three pick in the first round. I for one am glad they didn’t trade up at all.
With the needs along the entire roster, taking the best player available at a position of need turned out to be the gameplan for the Dolphins in this year’s draft.
The team wasted no time in settling the Tua Tagovailoa vs Justin Herbert debate as they made Tua Tagovailoa the 5th overall selection in the draft. The young man from Alabama has immense potential and ability however his 2019 season was cut short due to a hip injury that certainly affected his status as the top quarterback in this class, in all honesty, the season Joe Burrow had might have had just as much if not more to do with Tua’s draft-day slip also.
Tagovailoa’s college career was certainly prolific as he amassed 7400 yards in the air with 87 touchdowns while surrendering only 11 interceptions in his career in Tuscaloosa. Injury concerns certainly emerged for the young man as he has had a plethora of injuries that have needed surgery to repair. In the end, the Dolphins chose to take Tagovailoa over Herbert, who went to the Chargers with the next pick. It is a solid pick that could prove to be the Dolphins answer at quarterback on a team that has been in search of one since Dan Marino retired.
Overall grade A The concerns about his durability remain.
The second pick for the Dolphins came at pick 18. With the pick, the Dolphins selected Austin Jackson. The offensive tackle from Southern California is one of the youngest in the draft and one of the fiercest competitors on the line as well. At 20 years old, Jackson has yet to reach his peak as he played better in the latter part of the season for the Trojans and displayed the athleticism that likely propelled him to the 18th selection of the draft.
His technique will need some work moving forward but his ceiling moving forward is very high. Certainly has the ability to be a force for years to come and certainly help protect our quarterback moving forward for years to come.
Overall grade B Could see playing time right away but some concerns about his technique make me shy away from a higher grade.
The last pick of the first round of the draft for the Dolphins came a little later than expected as the team traded down from number 26 overall with the Packers. In return, the Dolphins dropped back to number 30 overall and also acquired an additional fourth-rounder from the Packers. With the 30th pick in the first round, the Dolphins made a surprise move and selected CB Noah Iginoghene from Auburn.
To say it surprised fans everywhere that the team selected a corner when other positions of need could have been addressed would be an understatement. However, as this process plays out, I trust that Coach Flores, Chris Grier, and company have a plan to get the Dolphins to winning ways that have been wanting an end to the drought of consistent winning football the Dolphins have gone through.
In Iginoghene, the Dolphins have versatility. He is a converted wide receiver having spent two of his three seasons at Auburn as a wide receiver before switching to defensive back. Although considered by more than some as reach (many projected him as a late second-rounder). However, in looking at the young man’s highlights, he shows an aggressive nature and will be aggressive and well suited for press coverage.
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He is an attacker, although still a bit raw as he only has a year under his belt as a defensive back, he did record 42 total tackles with seven breakups. GM Chris Grier also commented that he was the best player available on their board. With what he has done so far I for one will give him the benefit of the doubt for the pick. Besides practicing how to pronounce his name, I am looking forward to seeing what he can do on defense as well as in the return game as he totaled 1,199 yards and two touchdowns from kickoffs in his time at Auburn.
Overall grade B – Although I am looking forward to seeing him contribute to the team, I have my questions about not selecting players at a more pressing need with the selection at safety (Xavier McKinney and Antoine Winfield Jr. come to mind) or an edge presence (Gross-Matos and AJ Epenesa come to mind on the Defensive Line/Edge).
Day two which will consist of rounds two and three should be interesting. The Dolphins hold two picks in the second round (number 39 and 56) as well as a selection in the third round (number 70 overall). With needs at safety, offensive line and running back still needing to get filled, there is a great deal of talent available for selection by the Miami Dolphins. At safety, names like Xavier McKinney, Grant Delpit, Antoine Winfield Jr. all remain available. At running back, the available players are extensive as only Clyde Edwards-Hilaire was the lone running back selected in the first round. At offensive line, players like Josh Jones, Ben Bartch should hear their names called with hopefully some additions being made to the Miami Dolphins family.