A lot of the pre-draft focus has been on what the San Francisco 49ers will do with the 3rd overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Equally intriguing is what the Miami Dolphins plan to do with the 6th overall pick.
Recall that the Dolphins traded their 3rd overall pick to the 49ers for their 12th pick.
Then, they turned around and traded the 12th pick to the Eagles for the 6th pick.
What was the method to the madness of going from 3rd to 12th to 6th?
Could the Dolphins be in the quarterback race?
It seems unlikely, and here is why.
1. The Dolphins Are Committed To Tua Tagovailoa.
— Miami Sports Vibes (@SportsVibes305) April 8, 2021
Just one year ago, the Dolphins drafted Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the 5th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Tua had an okay season, but he did find himself benched in favor of veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at a critical juncture at the end of the season.
Regardless, Tua was named the starting quarterback in Week 8 and won his first three starts.
In the 9 games he started, he finished with a 6-3 record.
Tua threw for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick is now a member of the Washington Football Team so it is clear the Dolphins are invested in Tua Tagovailoa at least for 2021.
Dolphins Coach Brian Flores talked about the team’s commitment to Tua in March.
“I’m excited to work with Tua. That’s where my interests are. He’s a talented player, and we here believe in developing players…Tua and I had lunch yesterday — a lot of that development is about building relationships. He’s confident; I’m confident in him.”
Dolphins GM Chris Grier on Tua Tagovailoa: “He's going to take the next step. He's been a winner wherever he's been."
Grier says when they evaluate playmakers to add it’s a blend between who they feel is the best player and how they feel that skill set will mesh with Tua.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) April 21, 2021
2. The Dolphins Would Have Kept The 3rd Pick If They Wanted A QB.
To have a chance at one of the fab five 2021 NFL Draft quarterbacks, the best draft positions are the first 5 picks of the draft.
The Dolphins had one of those picks, the 3rd pick to be specific, and they traded it.
Because they traded that pick and put themselves out of the quarterback chase, it seems unlikely that they were ever planning to draft a quarterback in 2021.
At this point, mock drafts point to the Dolphins drafting a playmaker target for Tua, a wide receiver.
The interesting question and dilemma will be if one of the fab five quarterbacks is available when they are on the clock with their 6th overall pick.
3. The Dolphins Are Accumulating Draft Capital.
By many accounts, the Dolphins are being shrewd.
They have accumulated draft picks that can be used in a variety of ways.
First and foremost is to build a team around Tua in 2021.
Ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, which begins next Thursday, #Dolphins GM Chris Grier will speak to reporters at 11 a.m. today.
Miami currently possesses eight total selections, including the sixth and 18th picks. Biggest needs: WR, RB, Edge, LB, C
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) April 21, 2021
If Tua does not have a good 2021 season, perhaps the Dolphins could trade him and future year draft picks for a more established veteran quarterback in 2022.
The Dolphins are a good team that finished 2nd in the AFC East.
They finished 10-6, narrowly missing the playoffs.
All of these and other draft questions will soon be answered when the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off tonight at 8 pm EDT on ABC, NFL Network, and ESPN.