Ryan Fitzpatrick. Josh Rosen. Jake Rudock. And two rookies? Could that be the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback group heading into the team’s 2020 training camp? Would Miami, with their 14 selections in the 2020 NFL Draft, use two of them on quarterbacks?
It might be the wisest choice they can make.
Flash back to the 2012 NFL Draft, when the Dolphins used the eighth overall pick to select Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. That year, the Washington Redskins used the second overall pick on Baylor Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 was a sure-fire NFL success, a cannot miss prospect, and would immediately turn around the Redskins. In the fourth round that year, Washington added Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, a move that seemed odd given the guarantee of RG3’s greatness.
Griffin was a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie, but only last three more seasons in Washington, including the 2015 season when he was the third-string quarterback and inactive on gameday all year. He then moved to the Cleveland Browns in 2016, started five games during the season, but was on injured reserve for most of the year. After being out of football for the 2017 season, Griffin joined the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, appearing in 10 games with one start over the last two season. He has thrown for 9,229 yards with 43 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in his career, giving him an 87.4 passer rating.
Cousins started his career backing up Griffin, eventually taking over for him as the starter at the with three games remaining in the 2013 season. Griffin resumed starting in the 2014 season, with Cousins again serving as the backup until an ankle injury sidelined RG3. Cousins started five games, but was eventually benched in favor of Colt McCoy. Cousins was named the top quarterback for Washington in the 2015 season,starting all 16 games for the year. After receiving the franchise tag before the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Cousins returned as the starter, earning his first career Pro Bowl selection after the 2016 season. He signed a three-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings before the 2018 season, becoming the highest paid player at the time and receiving the first fully guaranteed contract in league history. After the 2019 season, Cousins was again selected to the Pro Bowl. He has thrown for 24,107 yards with 155 touchdowns and 71 interceptions in his career, giving him a 96.8 passer rating.
Which brings us back to the Dolphins. They have 14 picks and need to ensure they find their quarterback of the future. Fitzpatrick is set to hold on to the top spot on the depth chart for the 2020 season, but that will let Miami ensure their rookie is ready for the league prior to being thrown on the field full-time. If the Dolphins were to select a quarterback who either has health or development questions, Fitzpatrick’s role would allow them to get the answers to the questions.
Miami has consistently being linked to Alabama Tua Tagovailoa, likely using the fifth-overall pick to add the quarterback. A player who, heading into the 2019 season, was considered a potential first-overall before injuries sidelined him. There are concerns over Tagovailoa’s hip being fully recovered from the dislocation and fracture he sustained during the season, as well as the history of injuries he has had, including ankle issues. The Dolphins could take Tagovailoa with the fifth pick with the plan to not play him at all this season, ensuring he is fully healthy for 2021 and the future.
Questions. A ton of potential, but questions.
Which brings us to the possibility of using two picks on a quarterback this year. Miami could look to Rosen to be the developmental quarterback, especially after trading for him during last year’s Draft and just two years after the Arizona Cardinals used a top-ten pick to select him in the Draft. Or, they could look to add another quarterback on day two or three of the 2020 Draft.
Adding a player like Jalen Hurts or Jake Fromm could give Miami two chances at landing their franchise quarterback this year. It could give them the long-term backup they need if they do not think Rosen will be that player. Jordan Love and Jacob Eason could also be on Miami’s radar, but they likely will be selected prior to Miami wanting to make a second quarterback pick.
Miami might be smart to consider taking two quarterbacks during the 2020 NFL Draft. They have to find their franchise quarterback, and they have the flexibility with 14 picks and an established veteran to start while the rookies develop. They can afford the double-down on the position, and this may be the best way to jump start the rebuild of the roster.