Will the Dolphins select Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love as their franchise quarterback of the future?
The Dolphins need help at quarterback, offensive line, running back, defensive line, linebacker and cornerback.
It’s a good thing general manager Chris Grier has 14 picks.
It would be a shame if Grier needed to use one or two of Miami’s high picks to move up for a franchise quarterback. But the need is so glaring we won’t be upset with Grier if he does that before, or during the draft.
Clearly Grier’s preference would be to see one of his preferred quarterbacks fall to five. It’s going to be hard for him to count on that, though.
For the purposes of this pre-free agency mock draft, we won’t project trades. Certainly the Dolphins could move up to two or three if they are determined to secure Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama.
We believe that Miami is intrigued by the skill set of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. But until we hear from a trusted source that medicals have taken them out on Tua, we’re going to project the Hawaiian Hope to Miami.
Ryan Fitzpatrick mentoring Tua Tagovailoa is an ideal arrangement for head coach Brian Flores and first-year offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Miami really needs to use high draft choices at offensive tackle and running back and perhaps offensive guard, center or cornerback. This is one of the most, if not the most, important off-seasons in franchise history.
If the Dolphins draft Tagovailoa, it would be interesting to see if they prioritize a right tackle (Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Willis) over a left tackle (Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, Austin Jackson, Josh Jones) in the first round.
Miami seems likely to select one of these players. Because of the depth at offensive tackle and running back, it will be fascinating to see how long Miami feels it could wait to select a starting running back like D’Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins or Jonathan Taylor. Would one fall to the second?
It is even possible Miami could land a franchise quarterback and immediate rookie starters at left and right tackles in the first round. We wouldn’t hate that.
Here’s what we project Grier and his NFL cohorts will do on April 23 in Las Vegas:
1. Cincinnati — Joe Burrow, QB — Bengals can’t pass on Ohio native.
2. Washington — Chase Young, DE — As dangerous as the Bosa boys.
3. Detroit — Jeff Okudah, CB — Hall of Fame talent. Seriously.
4. Giants — Isaiah Simmons, LB — Versatile tool for Patrick Graham.
5. Miami — Tua Tagovailoa, QB — Send it in. The greatest risk is passing.
6. Chargers — Mekhi Becton, OT — QBs tempt, but Becton too big to fail.
7. Carolina — Derrick Brown, DT — Explosive and violent.
8. Arizona — CeeDee Lamb, WR — Top target for Kyler Murray.
9. Jacksonville — Tristan Wirfs, OL — Very safe pick for Jags.
10. Cleveland — Andrew Thomas, OT — He’s no Joe, but.
11. Jets — Jerry Jeudy, WR — Adam Gase’s offense 28th in ’19.
12. Las Vegas — Justin Herbert, QB — Al Davis would love it.
13. Indianapolis — Jordan Love, QB — Could displace Jacoby Brissett.
14. Tampa Bay — K’Lavon Chaisson, LB — Dangerous, will cause havoc.
15. Denver — Henry Ruggs, WR — Speed need.
16. Atlanta — Javon Kinlaw, DT — Nasty, physical, powerful.
17. Dallas — Xavier McKinney, S — Instinctive center fielder.
18. Miami — Jedrick Willis, OT — Has to be OT or RB here.
19. Las Vegas — Kenneth Murray, LB — Run and hit.
20. Jacksonville — Ross Blacklock, DT — Building the trenches.
21. Philadelphia — Justin Jefferson, WR — Speedy WR apply here.
22. Buffalo — Tee Higgins, WR — Weapon for Josh Allen.
23. New England — A.J. Epenesa, DE — Solid 3-4 defensive end.
24. New Orleans — C.J. Henderson, CB — Gators cover guy.
25. Minnesota — Grant Delpit, S — Pass defense help needed.
26. Miami — D’Andre Swift, RB — Has to be a RB or OT here.
27. Seattle — Austin Jackson, OT — USC standout to Pete Carroll.
28. Baltimore — Laviska Shenault, WR — Weapon for Lamar Jackson.
29. Tennessee — Yetur Gross-Matos, DE — 9.5 Penn State sacks in ’19.
30. Green Bay — K.J. Hamler, WR — Speedy target for Aaron Rodgers.
31. San Francisco — J.K. Dobbins, RB — Power, balance, instincts.
32. Kansas City — Patrick Queen, LB — Undersized but dynamic blitzer.
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