While the players and the coaches are looking to today’s game against the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins front office has clearly been looking toward the 2020 NFL Draft. While the “Tank for Tua” was a media and fan discussion point, the Dolphins have clearly been looking to the future, with a stockpile of draft picks an salary cap money set up for the 2020 offseason.
Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama quarterback and namesake for “Tank for Tua,” was injured on Saturday with a hip dislocation and fracture that will sideline him for at least the remainder of this season. There is speculation that he could return to school next season and potentially medically redshirt it, coming out in 2021. He could enter the Draft, with an NFL team knowing there is a possibility he will not be ready for the start of the 2020 season, if at all. The Dolphins, if Tagovailoa was their top draft target, have to fall back on a contingency plan now.
The first step should be, remove the “Tank for Tua” discussion altogether. No longer should losing games to grab a “generational” talent at quarterback be on the fans’ minds. The Dolphins are playing to prove they have the coach and the core of the team in place. Draft position should not be the focal point now. The Draft will fall into place however it falls. The Dolphins have draft capital to move around if they choose, or if they feel they need to move up. It could be costly, but let the players and coaches do what they are paid to do - win games.
Second, fans need to start looking at players like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, Jordan Love, Jalen Hurts, and Jacob Eason as potential quarterback options. Burrow likely moves up tot he number one quarterback selected, but Miami could look to any of those others as their quarterback selection.
Third, the Dolphins could look to select Tagovailoa in the first round, then double up with another quarterback later, giving them two young passers to develop, and a quarterback to evaluate if Tagovailoa is not available.
Finally, players like Chase Young, Andrew Thomas, and Okudah could become targets for Miami instead of a quarterback with their first pick in the first round. Three picks gives them the flexibility to address pass rush, offensive tackle, cornerback, or anything else, with any of their picks.
The Dolphins will have plenty of options, and will already have a plan in place, just in case something like this happened. Tank for Tua may be over, but the Dolphins 2020 Draft will still be the foundation upon which the rebuild is completed.