The Miami Dolphins are in need of a quarterback. It is not a secret. It is not something anyone would deny. “I think that’s from all of us,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told the media on Wednesday when asked about the desire of team owner Stephen Ross to find a franchise quarterback this year. “We’d like to find the right guy to be the quarterback. You see how important it is around the league. I wouldn’t just say it’s Steve. I would say it is [head coach] Brian [Flores], myself, everyone – the coaching staff, scouts. We think it is important that we find the right guy to be the leader and the quarterback here for a long time.”
The Dolphins need a quarterback and everyone knows it.
Which is why, it is now time to hear rumors linking the Dolphins to potential quarterback draft targets. The most common name to float around the Dolphins right now is Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Prior to the 2019 season, and even early in the season, the talk was of Miami’s “Tank for Tua” plan, with the Dolphins trying to lose games to position themselves to select Tagovailoa with the first-overall pick. Except, Miami won five games this year, landing in the fifth-overall position.
And, Tagovailoa dislocated and fractured his hip, pushing him out of the consensus number-one position. Miami will likely have a chance to select Tagovailoa with the fifth pick as teams worry about his medical status, though there are rumors the Detroit Lions could look to trade out of the third position, allowing a quarterback needy team to jump Miami - or forcing Miami to move up to the third spot to ensure they can get the player they want.
Now, as the Senior Bowl practices continue this week and scouts, coaches, and executives are beginning to get an up-close look at the soon-to-be rookies, the rumors are starting to spread to other quarterbacks.
“For us, it’s always the first step,” Grier said of the Senior Bowl and its importance in preparation for the Draft. “This is the first meeting you can actually sit down and talk to [prospects] and kind of begin to figure out who they are and what makes them tick. In terms of practice, it’s the competition. I love the fact that [Oregon quarterback Justin] Herbert and [Utah State quarterback Jordan] Love and those guys have come down here to compete, just like in the past when Baker [Mayfield] and Josh Allen and those guys all came down. That’s the thing, you get to see them in a competitive situation. They’re all on equal footing. They’re all learning a new playbook and everything, so that’s the thing you like about the Senior Bowl and you appreciate those guys coming down here to compete.”
According to a league source who spoke to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Dolphins “covet” LSU’s Joe Burrow. Florio adds that it is specifically Ross who is interested in Burrow, while it is “unknown” if Grier or head coach Brian Flores are also interested. Burrow, after the injury to Tagovailoa and a stellar season at LSU, is expected to be the first-overall pick this year. The Cincinnati Bengals hold the top pick, and likely will be looking to select a quarterback as well.
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson has reported Utah State’s Jordan Love “intrigues” the Dolphins. The Dolphins hold three first-round picks this year. They could use those picks as part of a trade up if they are locked in on Burrow, or feel the need to move to the third spot, but they could also look to another position with the fifth pick, then use either the 18th or 26th pick, or even wait until the second round, to grab a quarterback if they do not land Burrow or Tagovailoa.
The Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad reported the Dolphins were meeting with Love this week at the Senior Bowl. There are plenty of Love/Patrick Mahomes comparisons being floated by analysts right now, which could tempt some team to make a move for the Utah State prospect.
Could Miami be considering someone other than Tagovailoa? Whatever the truth, the Dolphins will likely continue to be linked to quarterbacks all the way up until the Draft in April. The rumors, leaks, and speculation is likely just starting.