An Unknown Time
We’re in a difficult and stressful time. A bit scary as well, to be quite honest. These last few months have brought on a lot of uncertainty for most people. Life has changed. So many unknown things are still to come and we’re all just waiting and wondering when life may get back to “normal” (which may look much different than before). The next few weeks and even the next several months leave many of us asking, “What’s going to happen next?” and rightfully so with all this uncertainty. If you’re like me, you’re looking for something to bring you some hope, or maybe just a reason to smile. Well, my Dolphins’ friends, we now have something to make us smile. We have a reason to be hopeful again.
Remember the Past
Let’s take a second to think back to last season. Remember when we didn’t know what to expect from our team. We were told that our franchise was going to need to be completely rebuilt. We had to get the Miami Dolphins back to becoming a competitive football team again. A team that makes it to the post-season and actually win games. A team that can one day make it back to the Super Bowl. We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty or easy. I know many fans lost hope (rightfully so because we’ve heard the “rebuilding” word too much over the last 18yrs) and doubted the process. All we heard throughout the season was that the Dolphins are tanking. We were trashed in the media and were rated as the worst ranked team in the beginning of 2019 season by everyone.
The 2019 Miami Dolphins might be one of the worst football teams I’ve ever seen.— Tony Massarotti (@TonyMassarotti) September 15, 2019
We were a team thrown together who looked like a bunch of misfits. I didn’t even bother to check pre-game injuries or which new player we signed , because that was a weekly thing for us. Most of our team consisted of injured players and some guy we just signed as a starter who appeared to never play in an NFL game before. We were a joke.
Don’t get me wrong, I still watched every game and hoped for some kind of competitive playing (even if most games we fans were just hoping to not get too humiliated). We had some terrible moments last season, but we also saw some beautiful ones. For instance, Mike Gesicki showed us why he was worth a second round pick in 2018 and show his potential to one day be a top tight end (with the right coaching). We witnessed Preston Williams have a killer rookie week (before his season ending knee injury) and smile knowing we got a deal with him as an undrafted free agent. Let’s not forget about Parker. The guy who many of us fans doubted would even be back on the team beginning of 2019. He truly showed how much our previous coaching staff held him back, and made many of us doubt his potential. It was a beautiful thing to watch him prove us all wrong. Lastly, even when our season was supposed to be a complete loss, we were surprised and quite entertained by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s weekly performances. I may have been one of those fans who was alright with losing games (for the sake of the draft spot), but I couldn’t help but smile watching Fitzpatrick find ways to win games (that seemed unwinnable) and watch him have one of his best seasons. What a year for our team and us fans. Looking back, last season was worth all the frustration and unknowns.
To A New Beginning
Our Miami Dolphins are finally looking like a hopeful franchise again. Chris Grier and our coaching staff, appear to be rebuilding our team in the right direction. What do you need to build your franchise around? A franchise quarterback. Well fans....WE GOT OUR QUARTERBACK!
Can you tell I was a bit emotional. All the Tank for Tua talk paid off (even though we failed at tanking and Dolphins were “never tanking”). I still have to remind myself daily, since Thursday, that the Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa. It’s not a dream. It happened. All the stress of last year was worth it. We won games last season causing us to drop out of the top three draft position, and we still were able to get Tua. We didn’t even have to use any picks to move up to get him. All the stress of not knowing what Grier would do and so much chatter of picking Herbert or an OT with our first pick, left everyone guessing.
S/o to Dolphins GM Chris Grier. He fooled a lot of people. Me included. ♂️— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 24, 2020
There really isn’t much to say except that Chris Grier is a genius! Well done Grier. Very well done.
Now let’s briefly discuss the Draft selections.
2020 Draft Selections
#5 Tua Tagovaliloa, QB:
Our Dolphins took the chance on a top rated rookie quarterback.
A few Tua Tagovailoa stats:— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) April 22, 2020
He was the most efficient QB in CFB history with a 199.4 career passer efficiency.
He has the best career TD-INT ratio (7.91, 87 TDs-to-11 INTs) in FBS history with min of 70 pass TDs.
He has the best QBR (93.5) & YPA (10.88) since at least 2004.
It’s something we’ve been waiting far too long for them to do. They picked the guy that makes you want to immediately buy a new jersey. A guy that will pack the stadium, once again, with actual Dolphins’ fans. As a lifelong Dolphins’ fan, this is the first time in years I’ve been this excited about our future. I know there are still those who are nervous about his injuries, because it is something that is a bit concerning. However, you take the risk with someone like Tua. A guy that is that good. A guy who probably would have been rated the top quarterback if it weren’t for his hip injury. Remember when passed on a quarterback with injury concerns?
Nick Saban, appearing on College GameDay, on Tua Tagovailoa: "I just hope teams don't make the same mistake we made in Miami when we didn't take Drew Brees because we thought he was hurt. And look what he's done since then."— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) April 23, 2020
I honestly don’t see Tua playing until the end of the 2020 season or even waiting until 2021. There are rumors now circulating wondering if or when he will play. We got our guy. Trust me, I’d love to watch him play as soon as possible, but I also want him to be completely healthy. Plus, we need to make sure we have a solid line protecting him. It’s going to take some time. Grier and Flores have a long-term plan. Let’s keep trusting the process.
#18 Austin Jackson, OT:
Most people were a bit surprised by our second pick. That being said, after they announced him and people starting talking, I realized I believe they made a solid choice. He’s basically a great human. His character couldn’t be better. He took time off last season to help save his sister’s life.
“Being here right now … reminds me how grateful I need to be to have an opportunity like.”— ESPN (@espn) April 24, 2020
Austin Jackson’s sister, Autumn, has a rare blood disorder. With her condition worsening, Austin decided to be a bone marrow donor. Now he’s chasing his dream at the #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/T2TwMzJ3ll
He’s a young guy at only 20yrs old. He may need time to develop as a solid player at left tackle, but has massive potential. Some people have doubts this selection, but there are others who believe he may end up as a solid pick.
USC OT Austin Jackson is the de facto replacement for Laremy Tunsil in Miami. He has BIG potential. The one thing is that Jackson needs to get stronger.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 24, 2020
Part of it was losing time last offseason for the best reason possible -- he donated bone marrow to save his sister.
#30 Noah Igbinoghene, CB:
I’m going to probably forever have to google his name to spell it (and pronounce it), but the Dolphins selected the top CB from the draft.
I love this pick (War Eagle). He has only played CB for two years (started as a wide receiver), but has a massive upside. I’ve read several quotes from previous coaches stating that he is a tough guy. Players love being around him. He’s such a competitor and confident player who comes from parents who were Olympic athletes as well.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn on what the Miami Dolphins are getting in Noah Igbinoghene: pic.twitter.com/30pyVNrSeg— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) April 24, 2020
We’re going to be one heck of man to man coverage defense with this addition with already two top guys like Byron Jones and Xavien Howard.
Well I guess the dolphins are patriots south east and are gonna yet to have the best secondary in football. Noah Igbinoghene is gonna be an awesome slot corner. Man the dolphins are gonna be hard to throw on.— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) April 24, 2020
#39 Robert Hunt, G:
This was a guy I didn’t now much about, but was told that he’s a beast and a fantastic pick. All I heard over the the last year was we need to find guys and “fix our o-line” to protect Tua (or whoever our quarterback would be). Well, they got one.
Great pick by the #Dolphins.— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) April 24, 2020
Robert Hunt was my top guard. Absolute mauler in the run game/plug and play starter. Build that OL for Tua!
#56 Raekwon Davis, DT:
Dolphins selected another Alabama player and another solid addition to our defense. Lot’s of praise for this pick. I mean, who would have thought we would be building to have one killer defense. Who imagined that from a former Patriots’ coach in Flores (wink wink). You know, the team that had a top defense every single year.
Oh baby dolphins got a straight up beast with Raekwon Davis. He is like a Richard Seymour type. Shocker Flores is from New England— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) April 25, 2020
#70 Brandon Jones, S:
Another player I was unfamiliar with, but this tidbit of information about him sounds good to me.
Yo #Dolphins, y’all just got yourself a tough, physical, uber intelligent safety in Brandon Jones!— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) April 25, 2020
The dude literally studied every #NFL defensive playbook this offseason during his combine training! @TexasFootball @BlessedJones33 @OmarKelly @schadjoe
If you search his name on Twitter, you see over and over about how intelligent he is and overall great player.
#111 Solomon Kindley, G:
When the Dolphins selected Kindley, my phone immediately began buzzing from Georgia fans stating we got another beast player. We’ve been waiting for our offensive line to improve and Grier is doing just that for our team.
So now the Dolphins have added Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley to an offensive line that already added Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras this offseason.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 25, 2020
#154 Jason Strowbridge, DE:
There are always some players that are called, “the steal of the draft” and apparently Strowbridge is that for us according to what I’ve seen on Twitter. In multiple mock drafts many had him going in round three, but we snagged him in round five.
#164 Curtis Weaver, DE:
Weaver is another guy that is considered a steal in round five.
Over the last 3 seasons, no player in the FBS has recorded more sacks than Curtis Weaver (34). Chase Young was second with 30 1/2.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) April 25, 2020
Weaver also had 56 total pressures last season, only two fewer than Young.
Great value pick to land Weaver in Round 5.
We all know the talent of Chase Young and if this guy is mentioned along side Young, than I’m looking forward to what he as to offer our team.
Trade for Matt Breida:
The Dolphins shocked everyone when we heard they traded their fifth round pick for RB Breida from the 49ers. It wasn’t expected, but a brilliant move. He’s a fast dude. He’s gonna be fun to watch. I know we were wondering if the Dolphins were going to draft a rookie running back, but I like this even better. I like that he’s already looking forward to being in Miami.
The love from the # 305 is real!!!! Appreciate you Miami!!— Matt Breida (@MattBreida) April 28, 2020
#185 Blake Ferguson, LS:
If there was a position that made fans question drafting, it was this pick with long snapper Ferguson (still wish we had Denney). It’s hard to get excited over a pick like this because it’s just not an exciting position. However, based on what I’ve seen it should turn out well. Kinda interesting too that his brother is a long snapper for the Bills. That’ll be fun!
#246 Malcolm Perry, WR:
The last pick of the draft the Dolphins selected Malcolm Perry who apparently plays several positions. He played as a quarterback for Navy as well as wide receiver and running back position. Here’s some information I read about him, which is very impressive.
“Perry, who served as one of Navy’s four captains, rushed for a school-record and FBS record for a quarterback 2,017 yards and 21 touchdowns while completing 48 of his 86 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns. His 181.58 passing efficiency mark was also a Navy record. Perry’s 11 100-yard rushing games were a school record, as were his 10-consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Perry set a program record for most 200-yard rushing games in a season with three, including his epic Army-Navy game-record 304 yards in the Mids’ 31-7 rout of Army.” https://navysports.com/news/2020/4/25/football-malcolm-perry-drafted-in-the-seventh-round-by-the-miami-dolphins.aspx
Here’s a video of his highlights someone shared. He’s impressive. I’m excited!
Have y'all seen Malcom Perry's highlights? This guy is the steal of the draft! https://t.co/VjG73RQnTX— #TuaOrBust (@RDHermelee) April 25, 2020
Grades of the Draft mean nothing to me, to be honest. The Dolphins got their top guy and filled some positions that were desperately needed. Let’s see how it plays out. We still have work to do, but they’re building this team the right way.
Now We Wait...
I was unsure if I wanted the Draft to take place last weekend. I think I was still upset that we were unable to attend it live. I know I had been planning that weekend for the last year. There were questions wondering how this Draft would do with everyone being remotely located, but it went better than expected. I also realized we all needed this right now. So much is unknown, for example if/when the 2020 season will actually begin, and it just felt good to smile again. I’ve been isolated at home with a new puppy and it can get lonely most days. I miss my friends, family, my beach trips and my football planning. But, this Draft brought me some hope and I believe it did for many others. We have something to look forward to even if everything else seems to be a mess. The next few weeks we wait and see what the NFL plans to do with everything surrounding this pandemic. We will have a full season? Will fans be able to attend games and if so, when?
There are lots of questions to be answered, but the one thing we can know is that our Miami Dolphins got their franchise quarterback.