Sunday, June 16, 2024

NFL 2020 Draft: What the Dolphins should do

The Miami Dolphins have got many difficult decisions to make this coming weekend, including grabbing a franchise quarterback. These decisions have the potential to push the Fins in the right direction and become a real challenger in the AFC East, just as Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots.

Last offseason, the Dolphins dealt most of their star players in exchange for a massive haul of high draft picks to build up a young, hungry team from the ground up.

With all this wheeling and dealing they own 14 draft picks, a league high and two more than anyone else. That’s double the picks of the original allocated 7, meaning they’ve got double the draft class of any other team.

In that haul there are five picks in the top 56 selections, meaning that almost one in ten players picked in those rounds could end up a Miami Dolphin. A stash not since 1989 where the Los Angeles Rams had an impressive second year in a row with that haul of picks (per ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe)

Interestingly enough the six other teams with first or more picks, the 1967 Oilers, 1982 Patriots, 1986 Giants, and 1975, 1988, and 1989 Rams have an impressive record the following season. The Dolphins could be on their way to a winning record, if they play their cards right.

Before we get into what I’d do, below is a list of the Dolphins picks.

List of Dolphins Draft Picks

1st Round

  • 5th overall – Own
  • 18th overall – Trade with Pittsburgh
  • 26th overall – Trade with Houston

2nd Round

  • 39th overall – Own
  • 56th overall – Trade with New Orleans

3rd Round

  • 70th overall – Own

4th Round

  • 141st overall – Compensatory

5th Round

  • 153rd overall – Trade with Arizona
  • 154th overall – Trade with Pittsburgh
  • 173rd overall – Trade with Los Angeles Rams

6th Round

  • 185th overall – Own

7th Round

  • 227th overall – Trade with Indiannoplis
  • 246th overall – Trade with Kansas City
  • 251st overall – Compensatory

The Dolphins have a large list of team needs, which isn’t surprising with their roster being one of the weakest and youngest in the league. Quarterback, offensive line and safety being the main weakness.

As for secondary needs there’s running back, defensive line, tight end, and linebacker. If a player falls, don’t be surprised to see the Fins take one of their main strengths in cornerback and receiver. The two classes are absolutely stacked.

With the haul of picks, we’re likely to see pretty much all of these positions have at least one player selected. Early priorities would be those primary needs in QB, OL and S.

At pick five, it’s been looking likely that the Dolphins may be targeting a QB, perhaps Tua or Herbert. But that may not be the case, they may like Jordan Love and use some picks in their package to trade up to get him after going o-line at 5.

If I was Chris Grier, I’d stick at five and wait and see what happens. Watch if the Chargers, Patriots or any other team make a move and make a decision based on that. I believe that the Chargers will make a move, they’re being quiet as usual and may have something up there sleeve.

If they are to trade up for Justin Herbert, which is a real possibility as seen in my latest mock draft, then I’d take Tua at five. There’s a risk behind him, obviously, but it’s worth it if it’s between him and Jordan Love.

If Tua was the guy the Chargers made a move for, I’d stick at five and take Justin Herbert. I like Herbert, not as much as Tua or Burrow, but he’s still quite high in my estimation.

Assuming the Dolphins didn’t make a move for a QB, they’d still have picks 18, 26, 39 and 56 in the first two rounds. My preferred next move would be to trade up a few spots and take a top tackle. So I would cut a deal with San Francisco, giving them picks 26 and 39 for picks 13 and 156, the 49ers are going to trade one of their picks as they have no day 2 picks whatsoever.

The official Miami Dolphins YouTube channel looks at the upcoming offensive tackle class.

At that point it’s looking likely that maybe one of Tristan Wirfs or Mekhi Becton may be on the board. I’d much like for them to take one of those two over the likes of Josh Jones, Austin Jackson, Ezra Cleveland and Isaiah Wilson, the other tackles expected to be taken in the first round. Wirfs or Becton at 13.

If that was the case, I’d still have pick 18 available. And at pick 18, there are three players I’d be looking at here. AJ Epenesa, Deandre Swift and Antoine Winfield Jr. Some may say it could be too early for Winfield, but I’m not so sure he’ll be there in the second round. He’s got all the qualities and the versatility Brian Flores wants in a safety.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at 2009 NFL Draft
This year’s Draft will be in a fully virtual format, due to Covid-19. Which means that commissioner Roger Goodell (Pictured) will be announcing the picks from his home.
© ‘Marianne O’Leary’ | no changes | licence

As for Swift, he’s the only running back worthy of a first-round grade, even though I love Jonathan Taylor. Epenesa is a scheme fit and would offer rotation across that d-line, with Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson. Other players I’d target at pick 56 would be Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cole Kmet, Cesar Ruiz, Damien Lewis, Lucas Niang, and Jeremy Chinn. They’re all players who could be a fit for the Dolphins and may start right away. CEH is the best pass-catching back of the class, whilst Kmet would compliment Mike Gesicki nicely.

Ruiz, Lewis, and Niang are draft sleepers on the o-line, similar to the likes of Cody Ford in last years draft. Jeremy Chinn is another do it all player that Flores will like. We could be seeing many of these in the aqua and orange, they have tremendous flexibility to get their guys.

There’s two guys I’d be looking at in the third round and fourth round, Jacob Phillips, a linebacker out of LSU being the main one. He’s a terrific tackler and may be key in special teams for the Fins. Cameron Dantzler, DB out of Mississippi State is another to have a look at.

He’s a great athlete and has some great film against Alabama and LSU. Finally in the later rounds, I’d have my eyes on a couple of wideouts, look for Quintez Cephus and Juwan Johnson.

That’s what I’d do, what would you do? Let us know on Twitter.

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