It’s still early in the Off-season for the Dolphins, as Wildcard weekend wrapped up its slate of games. The team’s interest in the playoffs continue to crystallize with a New Orleans Saints loss. Subsequently the third 1st round pick coming from the Houston Texans is still fluid with their overtime win against Buffalo. On Monday, the most interesting off-season of the past decade continued with Tua Tagovailoa declaring for the 2020 Draft.
Scheme fit and medicals aside, The Miami Dolphins are in the position they worked very hard at attaining, and that’s the chance to get the Alabama Quarterback. All season we have called it Tanking for Tua, and it’s been an incredibly rough season to be a fan of. What may be even more difficult to swallow, is at 5th overall, it’s not a lock to be able to draft him.
The phrase “war chest” is typically used to symbolize how much capital someone has to use for whatever reason. The war chest the Dolphins have is the number of draft picks in the next two years to be able to move up and down the draft board as they see fit. Let’s assume:
Cincinnati Bengals select Joe Burrow 1st overall
Washington Redskins select Chase Young 2nd Overall
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) January 6, 2020
The 3rd overall pick belongs to the Detroit Lions. Assessing their needs can be a tad bit difficult. They have long-standing incumbent Matthew Stafford who dealt with a back injury most of the 2019 season. The rational for drafting Tagovailoa there for the Lions would be this: “are we ready to move on from Stafford.” If they are, trading him and his contract may prove to be problematic as he is owed 20-Plus million even after a recent restructure to split is bonus over a few seasons. Also, as one Dolphins writer pointed out, Trading Stafford and risking another losing season would be unwise for a Front Office that may be on the hot seat. They also traded Quandre Diggs to Seattle mid-season and replacing him might be the more prudent play.
Remember the war chest I spoke about earlier? The central theme is this-Cornerback Jeff Okudah is the best move for the Lions. They can have him at 5th while the Dolphins move up 2 spots to secure Tagovailoa. Is this ideal? Admittedly not. We would want to keep the 5th overall pick and draft him there. However, with the reports that his most recent medical visit turning out to be positive. More teams would be willing to take a risk and draft him early. So, there is more risk for Miami to stay at 5.
How much would it cost? If I’m using “old-time” 3000-point draft chart, that teams, recently, have strayed away from when trading up in the first round, the Dolphins could attack this from varying angle. Using the chart, we assume:
3rd overall pick is worth 2200 points
5th overall is worth 1700
18th overall is worth 900(from Pittsburgh)
The 25th overall pick (should the Texans lose in the divisional round) is 720
If the Dolphins are comfortable trading, it’s bookend picks in the first round it would be a variance of 2420(5th and 25th) for the 3rd worth 2200. That would be a good enough deal for the Lions to run away with, according to the value chart. If the Lions want More picks that equal to the value given. The team can part ways with the 5th, the 54th (from New Orleans) and the 3rd round pick to maintain 3 premium picks while maintaining the value based on the chart.
The Dolphins’ options to get Tua, should they want him, are limitless. There is no other team that can offer the value that the Dolphins could provide should they want to trade up to the third or even the fourth pick. Tua Declaring for the 2020 Draft just made things a heck of a lot more interesting. Let the Draft Games begin!
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