What is the Miami Dolphins Strategy for the 2020 Draft?
The Miami Dolphins have, by far, the most ammunition in the upcoming NFL Draft. Not so coincidentally, they also have arguably the most holes to fill in said draft. With 14 total picks in the draft, the Dolphins have the ability to fill a large number of holes and move up and down the draft board at will. The questions are: What is their strategy? What holes do they deem most important? What prospects to they see the most potential in?
With the country on lockdown, sources and inside information are harder to come by….especially from an organization like the Dolphins that is now like Fort Knox (since Flores arrived). While we don’t know their battle plan for the draft, we have some ideas on how they can maximize their top picks, matching value with need. So we’ll give you our thoughts on a possible draft strategy (and then see how far off we were to what the Dolphins were thinking!).
Pick #5 Overall
It’s no secret the Dolphins are looking at QBs in this draft….but which one do they like the most? The answer to that question is most likely Joe Burrow. But are they willing to part with the draft capital necessary to get to #1 overall? Probably not if it includes 3 first round picks. After Burrow it’s either Tua, Herbert, or Love. Should the Dolphins move up to #2 or #3 to secure their guy? Or roll the dice and sit pat at #5 and make their pick?
The truth is that no matter which QB the Dolphins draft, they’ll insist he was ‘their guy all along’ and he was ‘the highest rated QB on their board’. So we may never know who they truly wanted.
I personally prefer Tua, with Love a runner up. I’m not sold on Herbert, but that doesn’t mean I won’t root like hell for him if the Dolphins draft him. My preference would be to stay at #5 and hope Tua falls to you. If someone jumps the Dolphins for Tua (i.e. Chargers), then you simply draft Love at #5. Don’t get cute and try to take another player and trade up. The Dolphins need to walk away from this draft with either Tua or Love, in my opinion.
This pick will ultimately be one where the Dolphins have to hope there isn’t a run on the top 4 tackles (Wills, Wirfs, Thomas, or Becton). If one of them fall to #18, run to the podium….I mean Zoom microphone and draft them. Having Tua or Love + a top 4 tackle make this a great first 2 picks. If those 4 tackles are gone, the Dolphins can look to potentially trade back to the bottom of the 1st round and pick up an additional 2nd rounder and possibly some 2021 picks. There are other tackles available later in the first (Cleveland, Niang, Jones, etc.), which the Dolphins could grab with pick #26.
If the Dolphins have already grabbed their QB and a tackle, this pick has a variety of options. I would look at the best player available, which could be another tackle, a defensive lineman (Kinlaw, Chaisson), or a safety (Winield Jr., McKinney, Delpit). I would not draft a running back in round 1.
As we get further from the top of the draft, the harder it becomes to project. I think 39 could be a spot for a defensive player, a tackle, or even a center. I think in round 2 is where the Dolphins should target their starting running back. I like Clyde Edwards-Helaire because I think he fits their system best. But don’t discount pick 39 being used on JK Dobbins if he’s there.
Now we’re really digging deeper into the strategy. The Dolphins have the luxury of drafting the best player available after they grab their QB and tackle(s). I would expect by this time they’ve gotten their QB and at least 1 tackle or RB. If things go according to plan and they have a QB, 2 tackles, and a RB by now, I’m looking at the defensive side of the ball. Maybe a safety or a defensive lineman.
From here, it’s really going to depend on how the draft falls and what players are available at positions the Dolphins want to upgrade. My primary message here is to stay put at #5 and then focus on building the offensive line. If the Dolphins come out of this draft with Tua or Love plus 2-top rated tackles they’ve done a good job. RB, S, DL, G/C will most likely get filled out in rounds 2-7.