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2020 NFL Mock Draft: A funny thing happened when Dolphins pass on Tua Tagovailoa

Alabama v Mississippi State Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Today, I decided I was going to run a mock draft over at FanSpeak, using their On The Clock mock draft simulator. I used the premium version of the simulator, but I went into the draft with the idea that I was not making an trades. My only thought was to do this draft without the Miami Dolphins selecting Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth-overall selection.

When Miami came up on the clock after the first four picks, I was happy because Tagovailoa was still on the board, so I could see exactly what would happen. I used Miami’s pick to grab Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, a pick that should lock down Miami’s secondary when he is paired with Xavien Howard. Miami could have the best tandem of cornerbacks in the league with this selection.

That is when something funny happend.

Tagovailoa was not picked sixth, or seventh, or at all. Suddenly the scenario from the movie Draft Day seemed to be happening. Everyone was afraid of Tagovailoa, so no one made the move. That was, until I was back on the clock with the Dolphins’ 18th overall selection. Tagovailoa still ended up in Miami, but this time it was with the Dolphins’ second pick of the year, not the first.

With the 26th overall pick, I decided to go ahead and finish off a rebuild of Miami’s secondary, selecting Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. The Dolphins have an Alabama safety who could be a jack-of-all-trades types, who Miami can move around the defense, creating mismatches, having support the run as well as cover. It seems like something the Dolphins might like - or something they almost already had...

Anyway, moving to the second round, the Dolphins used the 39th pick to add running back D’Andre Swift from Georgia. They can immediately plug him in at the head of a young running back group, and he should give Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tagovailoa a strong ground game to compliment their passing attack.

Now, there are two major needs for the Dolphins which have not been addressed thus far into the selection process: offensive line and pass rusher. I went hard at the offensive line over the next several picks, using the 56th pick to select Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz, the 70th pick to add TCU tackle Lucas Niang, and the 142nd pick to add Washington center/guard Nick Harris.

I was not done with the offensive line yet, but I did move to pass rush with Miami’s first pick in the fifth round. He may not be the complete answer to Miami getting after opposing quarterbacks, but I added Syracuse edge rusher Alton Robinson. I think in this scenario, Miami has to have addressed the pass rusher position in free agency - a move that with all of their salary cap space this offseason could be the right one for the Dolphins.

With the second Dolphins pick in the fifth round, the 173rd overall selection, I added Texas center/guard Zach Shackelford. I have seen projections that have him rated as a second day pick, and I have seen some that have him as an undrafted free agent. I am probably not looking for him to be a starter in 2020, but he could be a depth option and someone who can develop over the next few seasons.

Moving into the sixth round, I started with the addition of Miami linebacker Shaquille Quarterman with the 185th overall pick. Quarterman gives the Dolphins a depth linebacker who is stout against the run and could be a special teams player for the club. I followed that with pick 197 being used on Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman, giving them another developmental player, but one who receiver plenty of experience as a free safety while at Notre Dame. Miami’s sixth round then concluded with Penn State defensive lineman Robert Windsor with the 202nd pick, giving them a depth option on the interior of the line.

Finally, with the seventh round picks, I used the 246th selection on Michigan tackle Jon Runyan and the 251st pick on Navy’s Malcolm Perry. Runyan needs time to develop and add strength, while Perry, who played quarterback for Navy’s option attack, will likely need time to settle in as a receiver or running back at the NFL level.

While I do not see the actual draft unfolding like this, especially with Tagovailoa staying on the board until the 18th pick, what do you think of this seven-round Dolphins draft?

Pick 5: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Pick 18: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Pick 26: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Pick 39: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Pick 56: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Pick 70: Lucas Niang, T, TCU
Pick 142: Nick Harris, C/G, Washington
Pick 162: Alton Robinson, Edge, Syracuse
Pick 173: Zach Shackelford, C/G, Texas
Pick 185: Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami
Pick 197: Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame
Pick 202: Robert Windsor, DT, Penn State
Pick 246: Jon Runyan, T, Michigan
Pick 251: Malcolm Perry, WR/RB, Navy