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Could Justin Herbert Be Dolphins’ Target?

NFL Combine - Day 2

Alright, I didn’t really want to do this, because quarterbacks are by no means my area of strength, but after seeing not one, not two, but three completely ridiculous theories making the rounds over the past week — at least one of which, in fairness, has come from elsewhere — I feel I have little choice but to address these theories one by one.

First, and most importantly, no matter how doggedly we continue to insist that Josh Rosen is still in play to become the Dolphins’ long term answer at quarterback, he just simply isn’t. That question was answered six months ago, when he stunk up the field in the three starts he made for the team. This after stinking up the field out in Arizona as a rookie in 2018. Everything the team has done, and that head coach Brian Flores has said since then underscores this, but for whatever reason, we’ve chosen to disregard the writing on the wall. Living in Chicago, I was able to watch firsthand as Rosen essentially handed the Bears a victory in a home loss to Chicago, after starting quarterback Sam Bradford and a stifling Arizona defense had completely outplayed the Bears and staked the Cardinals to a 14-0 second half lead. It’s simply mind boggling to me that a guy who had a 52.0 quarterback rating last season, and 63.5 for his career, may actually be more popular among Dolphin fans than one of the best players in the nation, in Tua Tagovailoa. For the ‘Roll With Rosen’ crowd, there are two points I want to make. Number one, draft picks are intended to be used to improve the team; they aren’t family heirlooms to hoard away like gemstones and take out and marvel at from time to time. You have to spend them. Number two, the goal in the National Football League is to win, not to tiptoe around being fearful of making a mistake. Do you really think the front office came all this way, put the team and its fans through a nightmarish 2019 season, and stockpiled all those draft picks just to stand pat at the most important position on the field? Lest we forget, Rosen was the fourth quarterback selected two years ago, so he was far from a sure thing even then, and much less so today. The Dolphins are going to draft a quarterback three weeks from now, and that quarterback will, in all likelihood, be selected somewhere in the first round.

Next, after the ‘Roll With Rosen’ faction of the fan base, we have the ‘Wait Till Next Year’ crowd, who apparently want the team to just use all their draft picks on offensive linemen and other players, and come back to choose a quarterback in 2021. Right, and waste a year of all those free agents’ and newly minted rookies’ contracts, and make it that much harder to assemble a championship contending team before they have to be resigned. That’s another complete non-starter. Again, you win in the NFL by taking chances, not by conducting business with your tail between your legs, afraid that you might make a mistake. Mistakes are part of life, and believe me, I’m afraid of the team making a mistake at quarterback, too. That doesn’t mean I want them to sit on their hands at quarterback and not try to improve substantially at the position.

This next one is way out there . . . apparently, former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew thinks that presumed number one overall pick Joe Burrow will fall all the way to the fifth pick of the draft, to be obligingly chosen by the Dolphins, without them having to trade for him. I can absolutely, positively guarantee you that scenario will, unequivocally, not happen. At least I can’t blame that one on anyone here, and that’s probably a good thing. In fact, it’s looking increasingly likely that the top three quarterbacks could go in the first four picks, thus necessitating a move up at least one slot to assure that the Dolphins come away with one of them.

Which brings us to my next point. Assuming the Bengals are locked onto Burrow, and won’t part with him for anything less than an RGIII like compensation package, which I don’t want to see the Dolphins give up for him, and that either, a), Grier doesn’t like Tagovailoa’s injury history or, b) the Chargers trade ahead of Miami to select Tagovailoa (as of this writing, the Chargers apparently aren’t interested in Cam Newton), that would seem to suggest University of Oregon’s Justin Herbert could be the pick at five, or perhaps a spot or two higher, if necessary. After hearing what Chris Early had to say about Herbert, I like him a lot better now than I did a month ago. If Chris says Herbert is rated higher than Buffalo’s Josh Allen was a couple of years ago, I believe him. I know one thing, the guy has a serous arm; I’ll never call him scrawny or gangling again.

If we’ve learned anything about the Miami Dolphins over the past year, it’s that they’re actually ahead of schedule in their rebuilding plan. This makes it more, not less, imperative that they step up to the plate and take a swing at a quarterback this off season. Since they haven’t signed or traded for anyone, we can only assume that they intend to select one in the draft, and that, in my opinion, is absolutely the right move. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.