Miami Dolphins 2020 NFL Draft grades: Tua Tagovailoa finds his home

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins needed to get a franchise quarterback for head coach Brian Flores, and they did just that with Tua Tagovailoa while also filling other needs.

Miami entered the 2020 NFL Draft picks in the early rounds, and they were able to fill a ton of needs on an already improved roster. They are now looking like a team ready to dethrone the Brady-less Patriots in the AFC East.

The Dolphins were able to grab their franchise quarterback, some protection for him, and some defensive needs early on. The roster is vastly improved and ready for a second season under Brian Flores.

First Round

Pick Analysis. QB. 59. Scouting Report. Alabama. Tua Tagovailoa. 5. player

The only reason Tua Tagovailoa was in the conversation to be the first overall pick was his injury history. “Tank for Tua” was the unwritten motto for the Dolphins in 2019, and they were able to grab him without having to trade up or land the top pick. That is incredibly lucky for them.

When healthy, Tagovailoa is a super star. He will be the starter right away for Miami if his health issues all check out, and that is certainly an improvement over Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. The Hawaii-born product will be the face of the franchise, and will be a key figure in changing the team’s fortunes in the NFL.

Pick Analysis. Austin Jackson. 18. 59. Scouting Report. OT. USC. player

After grabbing their quarterback, the Dolphins needed to prioritize their protection up front. They made it clear that they want to be better on the line with their selection of USC’s Austin Jackson. He must have been the guy Miami had in mind all along, as Isaiah Wilson and Ezra Cleveland were both still available. He has an incredibly high ceiling, and will be a starter from day one.

Auburn. 30. player. 59. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. CB. Noah Igbinoghene

Miami surely had needs on offense, but a hole was filled defensively with their third pick of the first round. In the Dolphins eyes, he was the best all-around player on the board, and they couldn’t pass that opportunity up.

“Best player on the board for us,” Grier said. “We felt really good about Noah. We got to know him. This is a passing league as everyone says. You can never have enough corners … (head coach) Brian (Flores) came from a really good defensive team when we hired him, and they had a lot of corners. At the end of the day, the way this league is offensively, it’s a premium position and the more you have, the better. It breeds competition. (He’s a) competitive kid that we really liked in the process.”

Igbinoghene will need some time to develop, as he has few seasons as a corner after a switch from wide receiver. He’s a depth piece for now, but that could change.