If you seriously look at first or second round picks, your immediate reaction is that you want them to be superstars on day one. The truth of the matter is that a few have that type of impact, whereas other players need at least three years to develop and then you have other side of the coin and the players you selected just flat out don’t make the cut.
Tua was the highest drafted quarterback by the Miami Dolphins franchise, ever. Any time you draft a player 5th overall, you expect immediate returns. Especially since two quarterback taken 1st overall and the 6th overall have been showing their skill set. But, those two QBs were in perfect health coming into their rookies season. Tua needed time and truthfully, I don’t think he should have played last year, but it was great that he got to see what the NFL feels like. Now, into his second year, he looks like a completely different player, which is evident by one key factor, the deep ball. In Tua rookie season, it was rare to see Tua stretch the field, it was like seeing an NFL player without a tattoo. This year, even without a proper offensive line that can protect and hold the line, Tua is making plays and reading the pocket – that is growth that all fans are excited to see.
I still think that Tua has training wheels on. I’m not sure if that is a by-product of the dual offensive coordinators or something to that extent, but the game management is still something that needs to be updated. Maybe that will happen with Tua’s continued growth, but I would like to see him start thinking about the plays he wants to run. Retrospectively taking all this in, the Dolphins might have finally found their answer to a riddle that has long hovered around this franchise.
On the other side of the ball, I can’t stop watching Jevon Holland. For those that have been following my articles, I love Safeties, I used to be one and I’m immediately focused on their play recognition and insight when the defense is on the field. Jevon is having an instant impact and he’s doing that with this god given ability. His sideline to sideline speed is ridiculous. He loves contact and supporting the run. His ability to shadow, press and recognize are all maturing, which potentially leads to endless possibilities for his growth.
I grew up watching Brock Marion and Sammy Knight play for the Miami Dolphins. Their type of style and contact was amazing to see. To me that was the first version of the legion of boom. The Dolphins have been trying to fix the mistake that was Minkah Fitzpatrick and with a lot of people shaking their heads when the Dolphins used their first second round pick on a Free Safety, I think those pundits could take a collective sigh of relief.
In the trenches, there was a lot of talk about drafting Najee Harris instead of Jalen Phillips. Then you add in the pre draft drama of Jalen taking a year off because he was unsure about his passion for the game, and you can confidently say that drama is behind him. Since the Dolphins winning streak, Jalen has been a force to be reckoned with. Creating pressures, sacks and quickly becoming an asset to a team that is looking and searching for a replacement not named Jason Taylor or Cameron Wake.
The best asset on the field every week is Jaylen Waddle. This penguin dance that he is starting is not only amazing, but its getting buy in from his teammates. Waddle is everything that the Dolphins had hoped for and more. The Dolphins just need to get him the ball in space more. Look at the perfectly thrown ball by Tua against Carolina and the speed that Waddle had to out run his defenders.
That was the first time I’ve seen his front line speed and that was scary (3 defenders were trying to catch him). I would love to see Waddle get a fly or wheel route, rather than be used as a possession receiver. The Dolphins need to find a way to be more creative with Waddle to optimize his best asset; speed. You don’t see De’Vante Adams or Tyreke Hill running the same patterns as Waddle.
The Miami Dolphins had some unfortunate seasons, where they missed the playoffs and started selling their players for draft picks. Not all of them have worked out perfectly, but now that the dust has settled Miami Dolphin fans are starting to see potential for these young prospects and that is what makes this four game winning streak even more special. Winning breeds happiness and that’s what makes playing football even more satisfying. It’s just a shame that this didn’t start in September.