At number 5
The wait is over. The smokescreen has dissipated. No more questions about trades or which quarterback is better or who Miami really wants. The Miami Dolphins, with the 5th overall pick of the NFL draft, selected Tua Tagovailoa. They did just what we all thought they would. It’s hard to say much about the Alabama Quarterback that hasn’t been said over and over. He has touch, he has vision, he can read a defense with exceptional skill. He also has three surgeries. People are worried about his ability to remain healthy. He is, depending on who you ask: A transcendent talent at the position; a surefire superstar; an injury prone bust; A tremendous risk who shouldn’t be taken in the top 15. What Tua will become remains to be seen. What he is now, is a representation of hope to a franchise that has long been seeking it. The Miami Dolphins have not had a surefire franchise Quarterback in the 21st Century; since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season.
It’s worth noting that Chris Grier has maneuvered this pick masterfully. All the rumors about trades, innumerable reports that Miami preferred Justin Herbert, the immense speculation. In the end, Miami got exactly who they wanted, without having to trade up or give away more of that precious draft capital they had stockpiled for their historic rebuild.
The QB of the Future?
So what does this player mean for Miami? Miami gets their quarterback of the future… for now. Durability is the biggest drawback tied to Tua. Had he not taken on the injuries he had, it’s likely he might have been taken number one overall. His ability to manipulate the defense and place the football exactly where needed, when needed, is prodigious. While he may never have the strong cannon of an arm some NFL quarterbacks possess, he has more than enough to fit the ball into tight spaces. If he remains healthy, Miami may have finally found a true replacement for #13.
At number 18
With a brand new Quarterback, task number two? Protect the man. Miami took OT Austin Jackson at 18 to solidify their offensive line. A solid, startable Tackle, he brings athleticism and speed to a depleted unit. Notably, he donated bone marrow to his sister last summer. A hard working, but raw talent, he has a huge amount to offer and is a solid, building block pick at 18. He will be a day one starter.
At number 30
After trading down with the Packers so they could pick Jordan Love, the Miami Dolphins selected Noah Igbinoghene, cornerback. The son of Olympic-caliber athletes, he provides an athletic, powerful corner presence, if a bit raw. He started as a wide receiver before moving to corner two years ago. The early assumption is that he’ll serve as a slot corner and special teams specialist, as he was also a return man in his college career. With Byron Jones and Xavien Howard already starters in Miami, it was a somewhat curious choice, but it’s impossible to deny that the NFL has become a passing league, and quality Cornerbacks are never unwelcome.
Day One Round-up
Surprising? Unsurprising? It’s hard to say. Miami drafted their quarterback of the future in Tua Tagovailoa. They reinforced the offensive line, which was desperately needed. And they reinforced the secondary, a point of focus for Brian Flores throughout the course of his career. Furthermore, the Dolphins have demonstrated a goal. They’re looking for athletic, talented players. Both Jackson and Igbinoghene are extremely physical, talented players who posses flaws that can potentially be coached out. It’s difficult for a fan of the franchise to be pessimistic after day one. The team did what it needed to do. All that remains to be seen now is if they made the right calls. Right now? It looks good, but there are still a lot of needs on the table. Let’s see what day two brings.