Could we have picked different players ?
I think that like everyone else i find myself thinking about that (probably) ill fated draft. This is not an attempt to make any "hindsight" smart picks. I try to be as logical as possible in my review.
Pick no.5 Tua Taigovaloa QB Alabama - I want to remove the possibility that we could have drafted another position, they aimed a QB and that was the most logical choice. So they could have drafted Tua or Herbert or try to move up to draft Burrow (or as some smart guy suggested climb to 2 to draft Tua anyway !!). I am pretty sure they liked Burrow a lot but we don't know if the offers were really brave or shy. We don't know the gap they thought there was between Burrow and the other two in their scouting report. We need to assume that the Bengals didn't want to trade the pick.
So all boil down to decide IF the Dolphins had really the possibility to see that Herbert was a better prospect. I share what happened to me. At first i didnt like neither of them, i was always a Burrow one and only guy and if was not possible to pick him i preferred to pick another guy (Thomas or Simmons) and take Love later. But i changed stance few days before the draft, for just 2 things. Remember that Herbert main fault was considered to not be a leader, and i was totally astonished when i saw him cheered by every single guy after the senior bowl. the second one is when i graded every single throw in at least 5 games of the top 4 prospects. And Herbert took the second place with Tua in the last. and i wrote
"Justin Herbert . Surprised me. He is very (too) mechanic in his short passes but he is accurate. And when he get into rhythm (something that his kind of offense never allowed much , so many short throws) he made strides even deep in the field. His best asset is the VERY FEW bad throws that he made . It's almost incredible . I still dont like him "that much" but i start to think that he is a good fall back option (from Burrow)"
That thing happened to Grier too watching films ? And if so why they did chose Tua even adding that he was seriously injured ? I fear that the main point here is "lack of courage" and is possible that since Grier isnt fired yet that someone else weighted to draft the "shiny" thing instead the more safe option.
Pick No.18 Austin Jackson, T USC - Was pretty clear to everyone that there was a big drop off from the first 4 tackles (Wirfs-Becton-Thomans and Wills) and the other 2 prospects (Wilson and Jackson that i both rated early second rounders). So the problem here was why they didnt trade up (if they could). The obvious trade here was with the Raiders (Ruggs, Raegor, Jefferson and Lamb were still on the board and one would have been surely available at 18) and we could have drafted Wirfs. IF we really didnt see that Wirfs was much better than Jackson then was another horrible scouting mistake while if no one was interested in a trade then Jackson was an obvious over-drafting choice.
Pick No. 30 Noah Igbinoghene CB Auburn - This pick was forced by Howard erratic post season. And is a mix of that and bad scouting because is clear he have problems and other players are better. I didnt scout the player, i know that PRisco loved him a lot. So is a pick that i can understand even if it panned terribly bad. The fault of this pick is heavily on Howard. We could have drafted another position otherwise.
So were we terribly wrong in the process that lead us to probably waste 3 first round picks and screw the rebuild ? Probably not but is screwing all the 3 that is an outrage. You can screw a process and that can be understood, you can screw two and that is bad luck but when you screw three then there is something rotten behind all the process.