At this point, it feels like trying to be suspenseful with the Miami Dolphins’ first pick in any 2020 NFL Mock Draft is just a waste of time. You see, nearly every projection being published has the Dolphins selecting Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with their first selection. The good news about this year’s mock draft season is, the Dolphins do not have just one first-round pick. You may see Tagovailoa’s name next to the Dolphins in every single mock draft you read, but there are more picks for Miami to be able to make a mock draft worth reading.
This week, Pro Football Focus released their updated mock draft, and they have Miami adding Tagovailoa with their first pick - except, it is not with the fifth-overall selection the Dolphins currently hold. Instead, they have Miami trading up to the third spot, swapping positions with the Detroit Lions. Of the pick, PFF’s Michael Renner writes, “We’ll obviously have more clarity on Tagovailoa’s injury come draft time, but assuming he’s healthy, Tagovailoa is the type of prospect you trade up for. No one has more ammunition to get a deal done than the Dolphins, who cough up a late first-rounder to secure their quarterback.”
The Dolphins are next on the clock with the 18th pick, a selection they held on to despite the trade with the Lions. There, they add another key piece to the rebuild of the offense. Houston tackle Josh Jones gives Miami a rising prospect who stood out at the Senior Bowl.
josh jones is on another level— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) January 23, 2020
Of the pick, Renner writes, “Coming from a Group of 5 school like Houston doesn’t exactly scream ‘NFL-ready’ at offensive tackle, but after seeing Jones dominate with the highest win rate at the Senior Bowl, he qualifies as that. The Dolphins get Tua some much-needed pass protection.”
The Dolphins need to look for a franchise right tackle to protect the blindside of a left-handed quarterback if they are going to select Tagovailoa as their franchise passer. Jones is not a household name, but if he is able to develop into consistently playing like the flashes he showed at the Senior Bowl, he should be a great selection, assuming the Dolphins coaches can reverse his footwork.
Miami currently holds the 26th pick as well, but that is the selection PFF utilized in the trade with the Lions.
Renner was not done, however, as he actually put together a two-round mock draft, giving us two more Miami picks. With the 39th overall pick, Renner has Miami addressing one of their two biggest defensive needs, adding Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson. He explains, “In each of Johnson’s three seasons with the Utes, he allowed a passer rating against under 60.0. He’s shown consistent playmaking ability and plays far bigger than his listed size. Pairing that with Xavien Howard would be a smart long-term play.”
Love Jaylon Johnson's recovery on this play; dude just doesn't give up big plays.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) December 24, 2019
He's allowed just a 19.5 passer rating when targeted 10+ yards down the field since 2018... best in the Power 5 by a significant margin. pic.twitter.com/dVJKykQEDd
Jaylon Johnson allowed a passer rating against under 60.0 in each of his three seasons with the Utes. pic.twitter.com/cxjRICgsDG— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 12, 2020
Jaylon Johnson in 2018 & 2019:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 7, 2020
944 Coverage snaps
3 TD's allowed pic.twitter.com/pw3IyBUzHx
As for the other biggest defensive need, Renner comes back with Miami’s 56th overall selection to add Florida pass rusher Jonathan Greenard. He writes of the pick, “Greenard may not be the most toolsy edge defender in the draft, but his production is difficult to ignore after earning a 90.4 overall grade for the Gators last season. He graded out equally well against both run and pass with an 87.7 run-defense and 87.3 pass-rushing grade.”
Jonathan Greenard was a FORCE in the Florida defense this season pic.twitter.com/yFfvSu42Ug— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 12, 2019
Miami, with their first five picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, Miami trades up for a quarterback, adds an offensive tackle, selects a cornerback, and picks up an edge rusher.
There is not a lot of ways Miami could attack this year’s draft that would be better than what Renner did. The names might not be who you or Miami would select, but the positions make a ton of sense and gets Miami well down the road of a rebuild.