As we enter April, mock draft season in the NFL community is reaching a fevered pitch. Most years, all forms of media content are saturated with predictions as to which players will be selected by which NFL teams in the league’s annual draft, but that has never held more true than in 2020 as players, fans, and media personnel alike are at home with little else to do than speculate.
Todd McShay, a resident draft expert over at ESPN who is one of the NFL media’s top draft pundits, released his post-free agency mock draft on Tuesday. For Dolphins fans, it’s familiar faces who are the projected selections at picks 5, 18, and 26.
5. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
With Joe Burrow going no. 1 overall, McShay has the Dolphins selecting their quarterback of the future in the left-handed Tua Tagovailoa. Of Miami’s first selection, McShay writes:
I’m sticking with Tagovailoa here, but where he goes really comes down to the medical evaluation and how comfortable Miami — or any other team — is with it. When he is healthy, he’s special. In a best-case scenario, the Dolphins get their franchise quarterback without having to move up and then build out the rest of their roster with a boatload of picks. But that added layer of risk with Tagovailoa and all that draft capital also could lead to some creativity and maybe a trade up to get Burrow, if Cincinnati happens to be open to it.
Following Miami’s selection of Tagovailoa, McShay shakes things up by projected former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love to the Chargers with the sixth overall pick. Most media personnel have Love as the draft’s fourth-best quarterback prospect behind Oregon’s Justin Herbert, but in this mock, McShay has Herbert being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars at ninth overall, three selections after Love.
18. S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
McShay has the Dolphins sticking with blue-chip Alabama prospects in the middle of the first round. Describing the reasons for Miami’s selection of the Crimson Tide defensive back, McShay notes:
The Dolphins opened their checkbook in free agency on defense, but safety wasn’t part of the spending spree. McKinney’s versatility, instincts and burst would be great over the top behind Byron Jones and Xavien Howard.
26. OT Josh Jones, Houston
The Dolphins sported one of the league’s worst offensive lines last season. With the very top of the tackle class already off the board, McShay has the Dolphins nabbing one of the highest upside, yet highest risk offensive line prospects in this class. Of this pick, McShay writes:
If you are drafting a quarterback with the injury history of Tagovailoa, and your offensive line tied for the league’s high mark in sacks allowed last season (58), you better direct some attention toward protection. Tackle, in particular, is a big hole. Jones has versatility, shows an ability to drive defenders off the ball and flashes as a nasty finisher.
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Want more Miami Dolphins-related news, analysis, and preposterous opinions? Follow Justin Hier on Twitter @HierJustin.