Dolphins' Draft with Tua Tagovailoa Draws 'Meh' Response from Anonymous Execs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama looks on during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Not everybody was impressed with the Miami Dolphins' 11-player class from the 2020 NFL draft, which was headlined by Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins made three picks in the first round and five selections within the top 56, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday the choices "elicited a few 'meh' responses from NFL personnel evaluators."

"Felt that with a team with so many resources to control the draft, they made some good value picks but also reached on some guys unnecessarily," a veteran NFC scout told Fowler.

After taking Tagovailoa at No. 5, Miami added USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson at No. 18 and Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene at No. 30 in Round 1. They selected Louisiana guard Robert Hunt and Crimson Tide defensive tackle Raekwon Davis in the second round.

In all, the Dolphins added five offensive players, five defensive players and a long snapper in the draft.

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, so the long-term success of the class will be directly tied to whether Tagovailoa develops into a legitimate franchise signal-caller.

"If Tua pans out, then that will solve a lot of their issues," a executive told Fowler. "When he's healthy, he plays the game at a fast pace that's made for the modern NFL."

Chad Reuter of NFL.com was more bullish about the Dolphins' overall haul, giving the team's front office an A- grade for its picks.

"Miami needed a franchise quarterback and offensive line help coming into the draft—and they got both within the first 18 picks on Day 1," Reuter wrote. "Add in a starting safety and run-stopper, and the Dolphins acquitted themselves well over the first three rounds."

Bleacher Report's Mike Tanier gave the pick of Tagovailoa a B+.

However, the Dolphins probably aren't ready to contend in 2020 coming off a 5-11 campaign last season.

They started to lay the foundation for future success via the draft, however, and they'll have four picks inside the first two rounds of next year's draft to continue the building process. It sets the stage for the team to start making some serious noise in 2021 and beyond as Tagovailoa starts to hit his peak.

It's ideal timing as the AFC East becomes wide-open after two decades of division dominance by the New England Patriots during the Tom Brady era.