Congratulations, Fin Nation! Yesterday at roughly 12:05 PM EST, it became official that Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa declared for the 2020 NFL Draft this coming April in Las Vegas. Since then, the inevitable occurred on Twitter and other realms of social media.
TUArmageddon is here.
In less than 24 hours, the football world has seen another chapter unfold in what has become the Miami Dolphins version of a J. R. R. Tolkien epic.
No, not Lord of the Rings…yet. I have become a Hobbit with this team...
I understand the concerns about a quarterback in the Top-5 with a potentially career-changing injury and perhaps a year without actual football until 2021.
The concerns are warranted, and I would be a fool to not see and acknowledge it, however, and this is something I will repeat over and over again…
This is the most unique draft situation in NFL history
What I mean by that is multi-layered but in football, like life, timing is everything.
We all saw it this year. The EKG it was for us fans, however, the Endgame result simply worked, as if Tony Stark finally figured out the Time Heist. You know Chris Grier is Ironman in this analogy, and man did he heist the heck out of a few teams in the last calendar year.
Trades, timely arrivals of new Dolphin acquisitions and young free agents who took control of their opportunities only helped make this offseason the franchise changing one we will soon see it be.
The timing of trades and the location of the Miami draft picks are extremely workable for accomplishing all if not many of their goals.
The last day has seen many concerns, a lot of joy, but more questions.
Here is The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of what we can expect.
The “good” is that there are more trading chips in Miami’s holster than anyone who would dare draw with Grier and The Outlaw Brian Flores.
The “bad” is that some team could get In The Line of Fire and put a bullet in Miami’s draft plans at #5. Will a team make a drastic move and leap-frog Miami?
The “ugly” is what the cost could be on a potential trade up. Mind you, Miami has prepared for this in form of extra insurance picks for movement up the board. This is more conjecture on my part than cold-hard truth, so bear with me like you did with The Mule.
Miami can, and probably will make a deal with Detroit at #3, to guarantee their Messiah is chosen at quarterback. Of course, this is all a dangerous game to play with so many lives at stake, much like in Sully when a hero pilot saved the masses after a questionable decision with so much on the line.
My point is that if Miami is in that much love with Tua, they very well may have to guarantee it.
I can safely say that Cincinnati will select LSU quarterback, Joe Burrow and Washington will make it a bonus play with Chase Young from Ohio State becoming their second straight Buckeye in the Draft’s 1st round.
The Lions are the perfect team to match with the timing of this season, to select this “Savior.”
Now what is the cost?
Glad I asked…because payment these days can have many forms like cash, credit, or crypto.
Assets are what Miami has, that being in 2020 picks, 2021 picks and of course, players.
In my following hypothetical, please take it with a usual grain of sea-salt, as I can very much see several combinations being potentially offered to Detroit to move up a measly two spots in the draft.
Players and future picks can easily be “thrown in” to a 1st round swap of Miami’s #5 and Detroit’s #3. Let’s say Detroit needs a 2nd from 2020 at minimum to even take the phone call.
People – two 1st rounders in a market that is owned by Miami with their assets will not be needed to move up two spots.
So, we have a situation where Detroit can move back, and still end up with the draft’s top WR, OL or secondary player. And then pick up a few selections to boot.
For the heavy detractors of the cost prediction let’s go to my favorite thing in sports…MATH!
(Hard sarcasm there…but here we go)
The Famous Jimmy Johnson-like NFL Draft Pick Trade Value Chart.
Before showing you the chart, I will say this and you can take this for what it is worth.
Jimmy Johnson was a master at finding talent. In the 1996 and 1997 drafts, similar to 2020 and 2021, the Fins had 26 selections. While Johnson was responsible for players like Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Daryl Gardener and Sam Madison in those seasons, a few problems persisted.
With just a few years left in the Tank, the Dolphins did not insure Dan Marino with his successor.
26 picks and not a single quarterback. Not. One.
Many busts, but what would anyone expect with 26 picks?
See what I’m getting at?
The Chart, thanks to Drafttek
Before anyone panics and thinks Detroit will get all Dirty Harry on Miami, math is key here.
The Detroit Lions have a #3 pick valued at 2200. They have a quarterback but have several other needs.
Miami’s pick #5 is valued at 1700.
Math majors and those not sure, the difference to make up is 500.
If you notice, that 39th overall pick valued at 510 makes it a done-deal in the world of arithmetic, but it’s not that simple.
I don't like this one for Miami, and it may not be enough additional selections to entice Detroit. Maybe they can simply select and stash Tua a few years...
(no one from Detroit is reading this, relax)
So let’s do this and go all “Chris Grier,” and be creative. The man basically has two year’s worth of selections this April alone. And 2021’s haul. So let us construct a tolerable and enticing package for both parties for Miami to move up two spots.
#5 pick 2020 (1700 value)
#56 pick 2020 (340 value) *this was the Saints bonus pick in 2019 Draft trade that netted Rosen
THE SWEETNERS can be a combo of a 2021 3rd or 4th, and even a current contracted player or two, to make up for the math being slightly off. I could even tolerate the #144 pick thrown in from 2020, which is valued at 34. Let us also wait and see compensatory picks as well.
Before I get torches thrown in my living room, I realize the trade chart is simply a barometer and like most meteorologists, not 100% accurate. This is a hypothetical to illustrate the acceptable and realistic cost of a very small move up the draft board. This model would have Detroit still able to select an instant impact player at #5, while picking up a valuable 2nd rounder in 2020 and perhaps more assets to help them right away.
Of course Detroit can always counter with that #39 pick Miami owns, and that could be a tolerable proposition for the Dolphins, but let us not get too ahead of ourselves as we have months to go. They could always ask for a 4th rounder back in this case as they vacated that round in the Minkah Fitzpatrick deal with Pittsburgh.
Miami would still have a board that roughly looks like this in this scenario:
#3- Tua, with remaining picks #18, #27, #39, #70, #144, #165, #177, #220
I would even send the #144th to get it done.
If we are thinking like El Torino, this damage wont even make a dent.
All this can be called a contingency as there is a major hope a trade is not needed. In the NFL things can change in a heartbeat, so what happens from now until April is truly anyone’s guess.
If there are questions, comments and concerns by all means, bring ‘em on, but be respectful with limited Sudden Impact.
“Go ahead, make my day...”