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Let’s be real for a second – this is one of the deadest times in the NFL calendar and it’s only magnified by the fact that teams aren’t holding any offseason activities at their facilities. Nonetheless, we’re all hungry for football news and content and there is still plenty to review and preview over the next several weeks until training camp begins.
One way to bring the content to you – our readers – and get you more engaged is through a weekly mailbag. Every Thursday, I’ll answer some of your questions and let you know the latest news and rumors regarding that topic, as well as my own opinion. If you have any questions for next week’s mailbag, you can email me at [email protected] or send it to us on Twitter: @DolphinsPFN.
PFN’s Miami Dolphins Mailbag: 2020 NFL Draft First Round Review
Were the Miami Dolphins really going to draft Jordan Love instead of Tua Tagovailoa? How about Justin Herbert?
This is a great question. Let’s begin with Justin Herbert. I can tell you that all the smoke around him and the Dolphins liking him was false. In fact, here at PFN, we reported this when we found out at the NFL Combine that Jordan Love was actually their third quarterback on the board after Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. That said, there were still holdovers from the Mike Tannenbaum era who were making a push to draft Herbert. Ultimately though, their voices did not carry enough weight.
You just mentioned Jordan Love. Was he a real possibility for the Dolphins?
He was, and I think the Dolphins would have been happy to have him. However, he was never higher than Tagovailoa on their draft board. From what I understand, Love was someone the Dolphins would have felt comfortable taking with their 18th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft if Tua was selected before them via trade. They liked his athleticism and one of his biggest supporters in the building was Dan Marino.
That’s why Love would have been the perfect candidate for the Dolphins had Tua’s medicals not checked out prior to the Draft. As we saw it play out though, Miami felt comfortable with his medical checkups and pulled the trigger at number five overall.
Was Tua Tagovailoa always the plan at number five?
This is a tough question because the Dolphins loved offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. And if the Giants didn’t select Thomas fourth overall, it would have been very interesting to see what the Dolphins would have done.
In fact, Pauline had mocked Thomas to the Dolphins in his final mock draft. And while I think they would have ultimately selected Tua, I don’t think the decision would have been as unanimous.
Speak to us about their 18th pick – Austin Jackson. What happened there?
The Dolphins really like Austin Jackson’s athleticism and he’s a guy of high character. Remember – he was a bone marrow transplant donor to his sister. A month later, he returned to the football field. This is the type of player this Dolphins regime values.
While Jackson has a high ceiling, he also has a low floor. It will be interesting to see how fast the Dolphins bring him along and where they ultimately slot him on the offensive line.
With that said, I can tell you that I have heard from credible sources that the Dolphins tried to make a move for offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. And while people may discredit the Dolphins by saying the Buccaneers didn’t give up much to move up one spot to draft Wirfs, the fact is that the San Francisco 49ers wanted Javon Kinlaw and they were afraid to drop down all the way to 18. Ultimately, unless the Dolphins offered a bounty, they didn’t have much of a chance to move up.
The Dolphins traded out of the 26th pick. What happened there?
I’m told that the Dolphins were looking at Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. This was first reported by Simon Clancy of the Three Yards Per Carry podcast. I was able to later confirm this with one of my sources.
That one is interesting on the surface, but not too surprising when you look at the Dolphins wide receiver depth chart. While they have a lot of players with promise and potential, those same players can also just as easily bust out this coming season. Aiyuk would have been a nice fit and provided the beginning of a foundation for the future.
They also liked Cesar Ruiz and he would have been strongly considered had the New Orleans Saints not taken him with the 24th overall pick. They ended up drafting OG Robert Hunt in the early second round, so they were likely looking to make up for their miss.
Regarding Noah Igbinoghene, I get the sense that the Dolphins were looking at him in the second round, but there was a small run on cornerbacks and they likely didn’t want to miss out on a guy that would help bolster their already potent secondary.
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