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Locked on Dolphins 2020 Mock Draft – Rounds 1 & 2

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Associated Press

The most-influential NFL draft (arguably) in the history of the Miami Dolphins franchise is set to take place in less than 8 hours, and with 5 draft picks in the first 2 rounds of the draft, no two predictions are going to be alike.

So without further ado, here is who the Locked on Dolphins staff predicted the team would take:

Note: you can check out Kyle Crabb’s full mock draft at The Draft Network here. His Dolphins predictions have been posted below.

5th-overall (Round 1)

Andrew Mitchell
Selection: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Summary: After all the smokescreens, debating and questioning, The Dolphins get their QB of the future. No trade up, no waiting at 18 in case of a slide due to injuries, no over thinking. They take their guy.

Chris Kowalewski
Selection: Mekhi Becton, Louisville (OT)
Summary: The Dolphins didn’t want to let go of Laremy Tunsil in 2019, but ultimately couldn’t refuse after Bill O’Brien offered to mortgage the Texans’ future in exchange for Miami’s best offensive lineman. The void left behind means that the Dolphins need to find a replacement to fortify protection for their QB and to raise them from the league’s worst rushing attack.

Gabe Hauari
Selection: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (QB)
Summary: The Dolphins get their man after all. Tua fits what Brian Flores looks for in a QB, and Miami rolls the dice on his health.

Jason Hrina
Selection: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (QB)
Summary: The Miami Dolphins likely aren’t staying at #5 to select Tua Tagovailoa, but if this is their guy they need to ensure they do everything they can to get him. Don’t let the Los Angeles Charges jump you over one draft pick. Make the move to #3 and secure your future.

Kevin Dern
Selection: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (QB)
Summary: While I don’t rank him in the same category as Andrew Luck, Tua’s going to give Miami a good chance at their franchise QB. He seems like a good fit to mesh well with the concepts Chan Gailey brings – remember, Gailey was one of the NFL originators using RPO’s, something Tua is fantastic with – and Tua will get to learn under a pro’s pro in Fitzpatrick.

Kyle Crabbs
Selection: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (QB)
Summary: The Dolphins’ hunt for a quarterback ends without the need to trade up from No. 5. They have been masterful in concealing their intentions this offseason, which allows them to take their pick from a talented group of QBs.

Oliver Candido
Selection: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Summary: Tua will stabilize the QB position for Miami for a decade-plus. Everything pertaining to the QB position, Tua checks the box for. His medical history will raise concerns, but Miami was able to have their doctors examine Tua’s hip prior to the draft.

Shawn Digity
Selection: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (QB)
Summary: Once the dust has settled, I think it’s going to be Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins get their quarterback of the future, and they can give him a redshirt year if Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the starting nod for 2020. Strap in for the Tagovailoa era.

18th-overall (Round 1)

Andrew Mitchell
Selection: Andrew Thomas, Georgia (OT)
Summary: Ultimately, I think Dolphins move up from this spot in hopes of landing Jedrick Willis, but Miami looks to bolster its OL with Andrew Thomas, who should plug in right away as a LT.

Chris Kowalewski
Selection: Justin Herbert, Oregon (QB)
Summary: After trading 2nd and 5th round draft picks for Josh Rosen only a year ago, the Dolphins will clearly want to bring in another prospect to compete and learn under veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in his final year in Miami. The rumours of Herbert being considered by the Dolphins and Chargers as a top 6 pick in the draft are nothing but a smokescreen, and in this mock the Chargers were willing to outbid the Dolphins to select Tua Tagovailoa. Meanwhile, Justin Herbert fell down the board enough for the Dolphins to draft him at 18, where they are much more comfortable with the value of the pick.

Gabe Hauari
Selection: Josh Jones, Houston (OT)
Summary: This might be a slight reach, but the Dolphins badly need to invest in the offensive line to give Tua the best chance to stay healthy. Jones is still a little raw, but has some considerable upside.

Jason Hrina
Selection: A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (DL)
Summary: The Miami Dolphins have some talent on the defensive line, but they lack the kind of punch that’ll throw opposing quarterbacks off their rhythm. A.J. Epenesa brings the kind of versatility that Brian Flores likes in his players, and solidifies a defensive front that already features young players like Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux.

Kevin Dern
Selection: Ezra Cleveland, Boise State (OT)
Summary: Unless Miami makes a move up for a tackle, which to me seems unnatural for Chris Grier, I think Cleveland is the best tackle left in round one that has the length Miami desires in their tackles.

Kyle Crabbs
Selection: Andrew Thomas, Georgia (OT)
Summary: **Miami trades picks No. 18 & 39 to Cleveland for picks No. 10 & 187**
The Dolphins continue to build the best possible supporting cast around their new young quarterback — even at the cost of trading up to ensure they land one of the premier offensive tackles. Andrew Thomas is a perfect fit for Chan Gailey’s new offense.

Oliver Candido
Selection: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (WR)
Summary: Tua’s #1 target will be joining him in Miami. Jeudy brings a chemistry with Tua, but also brings much more to the team. More of a BPA/luxury pick for Miami, but it’s hard to pass up on the talent.

Shawn Digity
Selection: Josh Jones, Houston (OT)
Summary: The top four offensive tackles will already be gone by this point, so the next best option is Houston’s Jones. Jones will be a plug-and-play addition onto the offensive line. The pick makes too much for an incomplete offensive line unit and the Dolphins taking their quarterback at five.

26th-overall (Round 1)

Andrew Mitchell
Selection: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (C/G)
Summary: It’s clear what the weak link on this team is. They take another solid OL starter from a big program. Solidifying their offensive line for the upcoming season. Thomas – Flowers – Karras – Ruiz – Davis.

Chris Kowalewski
Selection: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (C/G)
Summary: Despite the additions of Ted Karras and Ereck Flowers in free agency, the interior of the Dolphins’ offensive line is still in need of help. The selection of Cesar Ruiz brings in some positive talent to the group and versatility at either Center or Guard, whilst pleasing Dolphins owner and Michigan alum, Stephen Ross.

Gabe Hauari
Selection: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (C/G)
Summary: An offensive line consisting of Josh Jones, Ereck Flowers, Cesar Ruiz, Ted Karras and Jesse Davis would be a stark improvement from last year’s unit.

Jason Hrina
Selection: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Summary: After letting Reshad Jones go and trading Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins are relying on Eric Rowe and Bobby McCain at safety. Antoine Winfield Jr. is raw, but might just be a younger Reshad Jones. Pair him with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on the outside, and the Dolphins feature one of the scariest secondaries in the NFL.

Kevin Dern
Selection: Ashtyn Davis, Cal (S)
Summary: Miami’s defense is predicated on playing a lot of Cover 1 looks. They have the CB tandem now with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, and drafting a FS with Davis’s range allows them to move Bobby McCain back to nickel, rounding out one of the better secondaries in the league. Gerald Alexander, Davis’s position coach in college is also now with Miami.

Kyle Crabbs
Selection: D’Andre Swift, Georgia (RB)
Summary: Miami’s upgrades to its offense have been plentiful. This is a cherry-on-top selection that helps ensure the Dolphins’ new franchise QB will have a balanced offensive attack waiting for him.

Oliver Candido
Selection: Josh Jones, Houston (OT)
Summary: Jones steadily improved throughout his collegiate career, he also provides flexibility to the offensive line. Miami has to improve the offensive line, no matter who’s taking the snap behind the center.

Shawn Digity
Selection: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Summary: The Dolphins released Reshad Jones earlier in the off-season, and they’ll look to add a new safety at some point during the draft. That’s where Winfield comes in. Consider this another plug-and-play selection; I would expect Winfield to rise to the starting position early.

The player selected above and below this sentence shows you just how hard it is to predict a player’s draft value.

39th-overall (Round 2)

Andrew Mitchell
Selection: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Summary: Flores gets to add a rangey defensive back to a strong corner group. Winfield likely plays FS in the Flores defensive scheme which will move Bobby McCain back to Nickel Corner.

Chris Kowalewski
Selection: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (RB)
Summary: Dolphins’ RB coach, Eric Studesville and Head Coach Brian Flores spent significant time with JK Dobbins in mid-March and rumours quickly began as to their high regard for the Ohio State prospect. With 4459 yards and 38 TDs (6.2 yards per rush) spanning a 3 year college career, Dobbins will be sought-after in the early portion of Round 2 and would bring an instant upgrade to Miami’s RB group.

Gabe Hauari
Selection: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Summary: Pairing Winfield Jr. with Eric Rowe allows Brian Flores and Josh Boyer to move Bobby McCain back to slot cornerback, thus improving two positions with one pick. Winfield has the versatility to fit in perfectly with this defense.

Jason Hrina
Selection: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Summary: Jordan Howard was a good offseason signing, but the Miami Dolphins still need a second running back to compliment him. Adding one of college’s top running backs can help evolve Miami’s offense, making them legitimate playoff contenders with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center in 2020. Rather than reaching for an offensive line prospect that’s potentially available at #56, grab a future starting running back and get them on track to take over the backfield in 2021 – when your franchise quarterback will be starting and mistakes need to be minimized.

Kevin Dern
Selection: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Summary: Miami gets lucky here and nabs the perfect combo back to pair with Jordan Howard. Edwards-Helaire is terrific in the passing game and can make defenders miss in the open field. Daniel Jeremiah compared him to a “super-charged James White”. Sounds right for Miami.

Oliver Candido
Selection: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Summary: Safety is a position of need, and Miami is able to grab a game-changer. Winfield Jr. may be undersized, but he’s a ball hawk with the attitude and speed to get involved in the running game. Bobby McCain goes back to the nickel, subsequently improving that position as well.

Shawn Digity
Selection: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (RB)
Summary: The Fins signed Jordan Howard, but I have a suspicion that they’ll go after one of the heavy-hitter running backs to eventually be the bell cow moving forward. My best guess is Dobbins. I think he’ll take the opportunity and run with it.

56th-overall (Round 2)

Andrew Mitchell
Selection: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Summary: Dolphins need to add some more talent at the RB position. CEH is a small but all around solid prospect who will compliment the addition of Jordan Howard well.

Chris Kowalewski
Selection: Ashtyn Davis, Cal (S)
Summary: Brian Flores has shown a knack for getting significant production out of DBs and a possible pairing with the rookie out of Cal State may be a fruitful one for the Dolphins. With a big need at the safety spot, Davis brings huge potential, toughness, versatility and ‘A+’ character and work ethic, ticking all of the boxes which Flores looks for in his players.

Gabe Hauari
Selection: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Summary: The Dolphins WILL draft a running back early in this draft, the only question is ‘how early’ and which running back they prefer. Edwards-Helaire is a nice compliment to Jordan Howard.

Jason Hrina
Selection: Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State (LB)
Summary: Some will consider this a reach, but Willie Gay Jr. brings an athletic linebacker to a unit that is going to see Vince Biegel and Raekwon McMillan receive a pay raise in 2021. With a Jerome Baker extension looming in 2021 or 2022, and Kyle Van Noy already costing $12.75m annually, the Dolphins will need to use some draft assets for the middle of their defense. Gay isn’t just a cap strategy, but he also allows Miami to use Baker and Von Noy off the edge more often, essentially adding to Miami’s pass rush.

Kevin Dern
Selection: Robert Hunt, Louisiana (OG)
Summary: Miami’s not usually known for taking prospects from smaller schools, but I think they roll the dice on Hunt here. Hunt has experience playing RT in college, but can slide inside to RG and compete with Deiter, Calhoun and Isidora.

Oliver Candido
Selection: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Summary: Miami adds Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the backfield to pair with Jordan Howard. A balanced and patient runner who, with Howard, can tire out teams under the HardRock Stadium blistering sun.

Shawn Digity
Selection: Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU (OG)
Summary: The Dolphins select another offensive lineman; this time it’s Cushenberry from LSU. He’ll slide into right guard and be another early starter for a reinventing offensive line.

Mock Draft by Writer

Andrew Mitchell:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: Andrew Thomas, Georgia (OT)
Round 1, #26: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (C/G)
Round 2, #39: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Round 2, #56: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)

Chris Kowalewski:

For the record, Tua Tagovailoa would be my preferred pick at #5 for the Dolphins. Like a large proportion of fans, I’m itching for the Dolphins to swing the bat and take a chance on a special prospect at the team’s most important position. I’d rather not see them having accumulated all this draft capital only to play it ‘safe’ with a lesser talent when it comes to the question of unforeseeable durability. If selecting Tua needed a move up to #3, I’d still do it.

It’s no secret that Miami has been interested in Tua since he burst onto the scene with a National Championship victory. But opinions could easily, and genuinely, have changed in light of a slew of unfortunate injuries and it’s inevitable (and only right) that Chris Grier and Brian Flores should have also considered a variety of other possible plans and options as to how to build the team.

I’m not in charge of the Dolphins’ draft or have any remote impact upon what they could decide to do. I’ve only sat on the couch at home to watch the Dolphins struggle in recent years with an absent, injured QB and various iterations of incompetent backups, protected by a turnstile of an offensive line. The Dolphins are a team with several key needs and spent 2019 acquiring the draft capital needed to develop for the future.

These predictions assume that the Chargers see themselves as only a QB away from truly competing and are willing to outbid the Dolphins to move up, trading with the Lions for the 3rd overall pick and Tua Tagovailoa.

So on that basis, I can only project what I *think* the Dolphins’ front office *might* do in the first couple of rounds of the draft, using TheDraftNetwork.com’s Mock Draft Simulator.

It might not be exactly what I want them to do… but it may well be a possibility.

Round 1, #5: Mekhi Becton, Louisville (OT)
Round 1, #18: Justin Herbert, Oregon (QB)
Round 1, #26: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (C/G)
Round 2, #39: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (RB)
Round 2, #56: Ashtyn Davis, Cal (S)

Gabe Hauari:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: Josh Jones, Houston (OT)
Round 1, #26: Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (C/G)
Round 2, #39: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Round 2, #56: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)

Jason Hrina:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (DL)
Round 1, #26: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Round 2, #39: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Round 2, #56: Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State (LB)

Kevin Dern:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: Ezra Cleveland, Boise State (OT)
Round 1, #26: Ashtyn Davis, Cal (S)
Round 2, #39: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)
Round 2, #56: Robert Hunt, Louisiana (OG)

Kyle Crabbs:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: Andrew Thomas, Georgia (OT)
Round 1, #26: D’Andre Swift, Georgia (RB)

Oliver Candido:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (WR)
Round 1, #26: Josh Jones, Houston (OT)
Round 2, #39: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Round 2, #56: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (RB)

Shawn Digity:
Round 1, #5: Tua Tagolavaia, Alabama (QB)
Round 1, #18: Josh Jones, Houston (OT)
Round 1, #26: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (DB)
Round 2, #39: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (RB)
Round 2, #56: Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU (OG)

Growing up a passionate Dolphins fan in Jets territory, Jason learned from an early age that life as a Dolphins fan wasn’t going to be easy. Previously the Sports Editor for his university newspaper, Jason has experience writing columns, creating game recaps and conducting interviews with Hall of Fame athletes (Harry Carson and Yogi Berra are two of his proudest interviews). When he’s not dissecting the latest sports news, you can find him perplexed over the Dolphins offensive line woes or involuntarily introducing music to his neighbors.

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  1. Avatar

    Michael Wise

    April 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    #5 Simmons LB or Thomas OT
    #18 Thomas OT or Mckinney OT
    #26 Mckinney S or Murray LB
    #39 Love/Eason QB
    #56 Wilson OT

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Waive TE Michael Roberts

Chris Kowalewski

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As the doors of the Dolphins’ training facility open to the newly signed rookie class, they close for another former Miami-hopeful after an active weekend of roster moves.

The Miami Dolphins have today waived TE Michael Roberts.

Roberts began his NFL career in 2017 out of Toledo as a 4th round pick of the Detroit Lions, possessing ideal measurements (6’5”, 265lb) for a playmaking TE.

A shoulder injury in December 2018 cut short Roberts’ time in Detroit and he was waived by the Lions following a failed physical as part of an attempted trade with the New England Patriots and subsequently waived quickly again after being picked up by the Green Bay Packers.

Roberts underwent reconstruction of the injured left shoulder in August 2019, having struggled both physically and mentally as his career path veered away from his dreams. Signed by the Dolphins in February 2020, it was hoped that Roberts could revive his NFL career in Miami’s TE room, competing with Durham Smythe for the TE2 spot behind Mike Gesicki.

At only 26 years old, it remains to be seen whether the young TE will be able to regain full health and return to the game, but the craziness of 2020 only puts further hurdles in his path as training camp rosters are reduced across the league to 80 players in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t expect Brian Flores and his staff to sit on their hands when it comes to competition – 2019 highlighted on a regularly churning roster of names being given a chance to succeed – and this approach is expected to continue at certain positions. As such, Saturday’s news that former Chicago Bears’ TE Adam Shaheen had been acquired by the Dolphins ensures that healthy competition can continue to spread through the roster, and proves the willingness of the front office to give chances to promising players who may not have achieved during their first NFL stop.

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Miami Dolphins

In A Perfect World, Tua Tagovailoa Doesn’t Start a Single Game

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

If everything goes right, Tua Tagovailoa isn’t going to start a single game for the Miami Dolphins in 2020.

Nope, you didn’t misread that last sentence. Tua Tagovailoa riding the bench is the best thing that could happen to the Miami Dolphins this season, and if you think otherwise, then you haven’t been paying attention to what Brian Flores has been preaching since his arrival.

The obvious factor everyone is taking into consideration is the health of Tua’s hip. And while that definitely plays a part, it has minimal affect on his playing time. You see, barring a trade, Tua is the third-best quarterback on the roster right now.

Combine his inexperience, a COVID-restricted offseason, and that pesky hip injury, and it’s safe to say our questions have already been answered.

The Better Player Plays

With this team, it’s no secret that playing time is awarded based on a player’s performance both in games and during practice. It doesn’t matter where you were drafted or how much money you’re making, if you aren’t better than the athlete next to you, you aren’t playing.

In fact, didn’t we just go through a very similar situation last year when the Dolphins acquired Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals for a 2nd-round draft pick?

We all assumed that Ryan Fitzpatrick was keeping the seat warm until Rosen – a top-10 draft pick one season prior – was ready, but when Flores had the opportunity to simultaneously give a young quarterback experience and tank for Tua, he did neither. Instead, opting to (nearly) sabotage the opportunity to draft Tagovailoa and win as many games as possible with Fitzpatrick.

Rosen has much more upside than Fitzpatrick, but he couldn’t muster more than 197 snaps under center last season.

Just like that, the culture was set. Flores wasn’t fucking around – it was win at all costs, and the players bought in. One season later, that mantra certainly hasn’t changed.

Tua has more talent and better quarterback traits than Fitzpatrick and Rosen (probably combined), so there’s no arguing which quarterback we want to build a franchise around, but who is going to win the team more games this season?

I don’t doubt that Tua is a football genius that will pick up a playbook quickly, but knowing your plays and executing against an NFL defense are two completely different things.

Fitzpatrick has been in the league for 15 years while Tua has been in the league for 14 weeks; there is A LOT Tua has to learn before he can make the kind of reads Fitzpatrick can instinctively make after 139 starts in the NFL.

Josh Rosen may not evolve into an elite, franchise-saving quarterback, but he’s not terrible either. Two years of experience and a season-worth of starts (16) under his belt gives him an instant edge over Tua. The only thing that levels Rosen with Tagovailoa is they’re both learning Chan Gailey‘s offense for the first time – and for Rosen, this would be his 4th different offense in the past 4 years.

Otherwise, Rosen already has a rapport with the coaching staff, the medical staff, all of the workers in the building, and the receivers on this roster. In other words, he’s comfortable in his surroundings while Tua is trying to get acclimated to a brand new life.

There are going to be growing pains and a learning curve – two things we admittedly need Tua to experience in order to evolve. But the question becomes, when can Miami afford to experience those “opportunities”? Certainly not if they believe they are…

Playoff Bound

The Miami Dolphins – and most importantly, Brian Flores – believe they are in a position to make a legitimate playoff run.

Scoff however much you’d like at the notion that this team, one year removed from being “the worst team in the NFL”, is on a cusp of making a playoff appearance, but don’t tell anyone in the Dolphins’ organization that you think that.

A remastered secondary, a veteran presence among the front-7, an entirely new offensive line, and real, productive running backs means the Dolphins are all-but-guaranteed to improve on their 5-11 record.

In fact, the only thing holding them back from a legitimate playoff run is the quarterback position.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has won more than 6 games as a starter just once in his career, and Rosen only has 3 wins to his name (none as a Dolphin). If the team falters, it’s because these two quarterbacks couldn’t carry a well-built football team to the playoffs.

And that’s where the disappointment of another lost season is met with hope for the future. It won’t be until the Dolphins are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs that the team will trot Tua Tagovailoa out onto the field.

Waiting until so late in the season checks off every single box you need. It gives him time to:

  • Learn his way around the NFL
  • Understand the playbook better
  • Observe the game from the sideline
  • Gain chemistry with his receivers

Oh, and it also helps ensure that his hip is healthy, because…

I’m Sure He’s Healthy…

Being stuck inside during an international pandemic may have made it seem like a lifetime ago, but it’s only been three short months since we all clamored to a 14 minute video of Tua Tagovailoa throwing scripted passes; our eyes inexplicably glued to a man’s hips, unscientifically judging whether or not he was healthy. Try explaining that one to your significant other.

While we are all thrilled with recent medical reports and first-hand accounts from the quarterback himself, it would be downright idiotic to mess around with a hip injury.

The only reason Tua Tagovailoa was available at the 5th-overall pick was because of the uncertainty surrounding his hip, those concerns don’t suddenly disappear just because he’s on your roster and we’re excited to see our prized possession play.

Let his hip heal and let him practice against a secondary that includes Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Bobby McCain, Brandon Jones, Noah Igbinoghene, and Eric Rowe. He’s going to learn just how quickly throwing lanes close and how tight they are to begin with.

Don’t convince yourself that Tua has to start games this rookie season to be the elite quarterback he’s projected to be. Patrick Mahomes started one game his rookie year. Aaron Rodgers didn’t start until his forth season in the NFL. If all of the hype is real, then his career will be just fine.

The plan isn’t to count moral victories, but to win football games – and Tua Tagovailoa gives the Miami Dolphins the best chance to do that for the foreseeable future. But for now, Ryan Fitzpatrick is your starting quarterback, and until Josh Rosen relinquishes the job as backup, it won’t be Tua’s until 2021. Mission Accomplished.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Trade for Tight End Adam Shaheen

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After a breakout 2019 campaign, it looks like Mike Gesicki will have some competition.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Miami Dolphins have traded a 2021 6th-round pick to the Chicago Bears for tight end Adam Shaheen.

A former 2nd-round pick (2017) out of Ashland University (Division II), Shaheen excelled during the combine, which led to an increase in his draft stock. The Bears jumped at the opportunity of molding a raw prospect, and selected Shaheen with the 45th pick in the draft. He was the 5th tight end taken in the draft that year, well above where he was originally projected when he declared for the NFL.

Though the Bears were optimistic, it seems Shaheen hasn’t lived up to his draft status. After three seasons, Shaheen has 26 receptions for 249 yards and 4 touchdowns. His playtime has diminished from 239 offensive snaps in 2017, to 160 in 2018 and 174 in 2019; with injuries playing a part the past two seasons. For comparisons sake, Durham Smythe had 482 offensive snaps last season alone (Shaheen has 573 for his career).

Shaheen became expendable after the Bears drafted Cole Kmet in the 2nd-round of the 2020 draft and signed Jimmy Graham to a 2-year contract earlier this offseason. With 8 tight ends on the Chicago Bears roster, you know something had to give. And from the perspective of a Bears’ fan, receiving any compensation for a likely roster cut is rewarding enough.

Trading a 6th-round pick means Shaheen is a favorite to win one of the backup tight end spots, should the Dolphins keep 3 on their roster.

It’s unlikely that Shaheen is a possible replacement for Smythe, as Shaheen is meant to be a receiving threat more than an in-line blocker, but there is so much untapped potential with Shaheen that it’s hard to guess what the Dolphins will receive from him.

We assume Mike Gesicki will continue to grow, but behind him, the cupboard is pretty barren. Shaheen adds much-needed depth to a tight end room that currently includes Smythe, Michael Roberts, Chris Myarick and undrafted rookie Bryce Sterk.

 

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