Podloski’s Re-Grading of the 2020 Draft Class: Miami Dolphinsby Brady Podloski August 8, 2021 0 comments
NFL analyst Bucky Brooks talks lots about draft analogies that hit home and accurately describe situations. Brooks often refers to the idea of a draft pick being a single compared to a home-run pick. For the 2020 class of Miami Dolphins, that was seemingly all it was, a bunch of “singles’’, which may not be high-end stars, but will be starters. There were a few players who have significant upside, so with that said, let us analyze the Dolphins 2020 draft class with upside.
Be sure to check out all of Podloski’s 2020 NFL Draft Re-Grades.
- Round 1, pick 5: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
- Round 1, pick 18: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
- Round 1, pick 30: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
- Round 2, pick 39: Robert Hunt, OT/OG, Louisiana-Lafayette
- Round 2, pick 56: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
- Round 3, pick 70: Brandon Jones, S, Texas
- Round 4, pick 111: Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia
- Round 5, pick 154: Jason Strowbridge, DE, North Carolina
- Round 5, pick 164: Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State
- Round 6, pick 185: Blake Ferguson, C, LSU
- Round 7, pick 246: Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy
Best Pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tagovailoa was considered a generational prospect before going down to a career-threatening hip injury. Then the following year he returned and became a mid-season starter, where he was just fine. Tagovailoa still has significant upside to be an excellent quarterback and judging him based on one year isn’t right since he was coming off a severe injury and was a rookie quarterback. His mobility, accuracy, and playmaking should make him a threat to be great. In that way, Tagovailoa was more of a scorer than passer, similar to Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, where they aren’t instinctively the best passers but find ways to make plays. There’s a path to become an MVP player and Tua could be one if he develops properly.
Questionable Selection: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Jackson was thought of as a low-floor, high ceiling draft pick, however, there were few flashes of the high-end reps in college. He was too raw of a prospect for the 18th selection overall, largely due to his pass blocking and poor feet. Both of which weren’t good at USC. His baseline of balance was good but needed to gain quickness. This pick becomes less questionable if his development occurs right with quickness and pass blocking gets better. Overall though, this was too early of a selection for Jackson.
Late Bloomer: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
Igbinoghene is a unit and has the potential to be a very good and physical cornerback. Igbinoghene hasn’t played enough to warrant a high grade. Not sure this is a result of a lack of technique or if other players are better. Still, he was billed as a project corner, who needed a year to refine his technique. His strength and grip strength in press was fun to watch and can be a dominant trait in the NFL. Fans should expect to see more of Igbinoghene by the end of the year.
Player to Keep an Eye On: Robert Hunt, G, Louisiana-Lafayette
Hunt has the makings of a good, not elite guard, which is an okay selection in the second round. He’s extremely powerful, but not great in space and has a hard time resetting when he has to get wide at right tackle. If he moves to right guard as expected, he has the potential to be a solid guard who wouldn’t make many mistakes. As a guard, he’s excellent in short space/tight areas, where he may have a rep or two where he gets beat, but is overall consistent.
What They Should Have Done: Drafted More Upside Players
There is a difference between drafting low-floor players versus drafting players with high upside. The Dolphins chose players who were unpolished but don’t necessarily have all-pro ceilings. This is especially evident in rounds two and three where the team didn’t get any special players. The team did a much better job this year, drafting players with lots of risk but immense upside.
This draft was good because the team has so many picks, however, there weren’t many players who have high upside. The team will have 22 good starters, but that won’t win you a super bowl. You need elite players and to take those shots on boom-bust players, similar to what they did in the 2021 draft. That aside, if Tagovailoa becomes a franchise quarterback, this draft is a success. Jackson has lots of development to go but was selected too early for the value he provided. Igbinoghene may have the highest potential in this draft class, aside from Tua, but his current floor is extremely low as he hasn’t been playing for long. Kinley and Davis are nothing special but offer capable starting potential. Overall, with so many picks it was disappointing the team didn’t get better players.
Final Grade: B- (Several Contributors but only a Few Picks with Upside)
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