Dolphins Are Blowing an Opportunity in a Season that they Wanted to Blow Anyway


The Dolphins are now extremely, dangerously, seriously, and positively close to blowing this once-golden draft coming up in 2020.

The pundits and our own Dolphins Truth group here– for months–have discussed who we would take with the #1 overall pick.

We went with the assumption that we’d get first choice, and the ability to pick anyone we chose.  The Steelers were 0-3, and we got their pick too.

Tua’s name came up a lot.

But then Justin Herbert and Chase Young entered the picture.   And we won a game.  We also beat the Jets, which means we pick after them.  And the Bengals.

We all changed our tune to “Well, the Dolphins will still get one of those guys.”    Even if we pick third, we’re guaranteed one of those studs.

Then Joe Burrow began to pop up as a 4th candidate for us to nab.  3 QBs and a “can’t miss,” game-changing DE sack machine.   Any one of those guys would be a welcome upgrade to the Dolphins.

But now, for the first time, we have to face the fact that we may not get ANY of them.   We are on the precipice of a so-so 5-11 season.   Maybe 4-12.  3-13 is about the best we can hope for.   And even at 3-13, we’d need help.

Look at this worst-case scenario:  Say we beat the Bengals and the Browns.  That puts us at 4-12.  Can we beat the Jets again and the Giants?   Yes, and then all of a sudden we are at 6-10.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.   Let’s just look at the scenario where we go 4-12 and pick 5th, behind the Bengals, Jets, Redskins, and Falcons (with the Giants, Cards, Lions, Broncos, and Jags ALL with a strong chance of picking ahead of us too.   Uggghh).

Say the Bengals grab Herbet.  Jets take Chase Young.  Skins take Tua (they will; he’s a massive upgrade to the “maybe” Dwayne Haskins), and the Falcons take Burrow (Matt Ryan is clearly done).

Great.  So the Dolphins pick 5th and take an offensive tackle.   We use the Steelers’ pick (which gets worse and worse every week) at around #20 to select a project QB.   And then we use the Texans’ pick at around #25 to pick…who cares.

By the time we’re on Houston’s pick, our entire 2019 season strategy has been shot to hell.   4 main prizes out there, and we get none of them.  None.

I understand that we don’t NEED the number one overall pick, but we do need a top 4 at least, and we’re oh so close to blowing it.  We cannot afford to pick in the 6th-9th range, but guess what?   A few more wins and we’re there.

It’s time for Grier and Ross to not so subtley get a message across to Flores.  The head coach shoots himself in the foot with every win, and deep down, he must know that.  He’s already destroyed his player-evaluation reputation by forcing Minkah Fitzpatrick to learn five different positions, and then jettisoning him for asking for stability.  If you missed it, Minkah recovered a fumble, scored another TD, and had the game-sealing pick yesterday.  He’s in the running for defensive MVP this season, playing for a coach who quite simply said, “Go be our safety.”  Period.

I think Flores has learned his lesson, so I suspect the next time he has a budding star on his hands, he will groom that player much better and not send him packing.   But the first step is to get him that star player.  Ross needs to ensure this.

Flores has proven himself.  He has clearly proven to the players and to the NFL that the Miami Dolphins are not the worst team in the league.  He is not the worst coach.  He does not have to get to 5-11 to prove it.  He can (and must) relax now and save it all for next year.  He needs to officially start the tank now, knowing his job is safe and knowing his next “real” game is in September 2020.

Yes, we might find a superstar with the 8th or 28th pick, but chances are we’ll need to be in the top 3 to get one of the true prizes in the upcoming draft.

A year from now, it could be very very depressing.  Think about NY Jet defensive end Chase Young going up against Bengal Tua or Falcon Burrow.  The Dolphins will be in London while Justin Herbert gets a hero’s welcome in Washington.

And as always, I’ll gripe about the Steelers again.   At one point, they were 0-3 like us, and we stood to have the 1st AND 2nd overall pick.  But now they are red hot, thanks to a few opponents choking (the Rams are so laughably exposed right now) and thanks to Minkah.   For the first time in a month, the Steelers have a road game finally, and we can only hope for a long losing streak.

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  1. All we can do now is wait to see things play out. Maybe they like Rosen and are having him sit for this year to learn. Maybe they intend to trade up this year or maybe next year for Lawrence. But still a mistake for meaningless wins when 1/2 this roster is not in the long term plan ( they dont need morale wins). Really would have liked Young and a QB in round one.

    1. Author

      Yahoo Sports just speculated that the Dolphins could be going for Cam Newton in free agency and not drafting a QB.
      I, for one, would lead the revolt against Ross if he allowed that.
      A 30-year-old with a bum foot whose best-remembered play was when he fumbled in the Super Bowl and then jumped OUT of the way as Denver recovered it? No thanks.

      1. They had Newton in Tannehill. This will strike the final blow if they do this. I dont think Flores strike me as this dumb.

      2. Admin, you know our moron owner knows nothing about football so he’ll be looking at Cam Newton cuz he’ll think that is the sizzle. The bloom is falling off the stem for Newton unfortunately, but the dude got his money and he’s set for life, better than all of us on here. Ross should not be allowed to make any decisions related to football. Stick to real estate and don’t do football. All along on this site, the discussion on draft picks drove me nuts bec. in Oct., with all the trades and picks we got, we might now end up with crap by the time draft day comes around due to other teams losses etc. For me, depending on the draft is very risky…that’s just me. We’d be better trading up for better picks IMO. Just wondering what the thoughts are on Grier as GM?

        1. Author

          Top of my head, I’ve been pleased with Grier. He made some good picks in the 2018 draft in April 2018, and those guys went on to play well in 2018. Three of Grier’s rookies (Minkah, Ballage, and Baker) scored touchdowns. That shows me that the guys Grier selected were not picked just to fill a gap here and there, but to play.
          The 2019 draft is still in flux. Wilkins can improve, Dieter has become an adequate lineman. And the undrafted guys who Grier took at the very end have been productive.

  2. Yes, Cam is awful idea. I do wonder that they keep playing Fitz to increase his trade value, because some playoff bound team might need a decent backup

    1. Author

      I’ll have more on this upcoming, but we have to keep Fitz no matter what next year. He’ll have to swallow his pride and accept a backup role, a mentoring role, and I think he’ll be great at it. The team comes to life when he enters a game.
      After his playing days are through, we should then pay him to stay here as a QB coach. He’s grown on me, and I don’t want to see him elsewhere.
      I think the Dolphins should just say “Fitz, you’re great and we want you back next year. However, we are gonna let Rosen play the rest of the year.”

  3. Author

    Here’s the order as of now. Just imagine if we win a few more games…we could end up picking 15th!!
    If the season ended today, we’d be picking 6th.

    4 wins and picking 15th? It is very very possible:

    1 Cincinnati Bengals (0-9)
    2 Washington Redskins (1-8)
    3 New York Giants (2-8)
    4 New York Jets (2-7)
    5 Atlanta Falcons (2-7)
    6 Miami Dolphins (2-7)
    7 Cleveland Browns (3-6)
    8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
    9 Denver Broncos (3-6)
    10 Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1)
    11 Detroit Lions (3-5-1)
    12 Los Angeles Chargers (4-6)
    13 Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5)
    14 Oakland Raiders (via 4-5 Chicago Bears)

  4. Admin, I don’t always agree with you, but this time you are spot on. The “experts” who insist that Atlanta and Jets and Washington won’t take a QB?
    They will.
    Matt Ryan is old and fumbled away a super bowl. Now he’s blowing games left and right, and the Falcon management isn’t blind. Washington will let Haskins play the next 8 games and realize he’s so so. They want better.
    And can you imagine Adam Gase explaining to the NY media why he passed on a new QB because Sam Darnold is a proven star ? Nope. He’d take a new QB in second.
    I think it’s risky for dolphin management to think “those other teams won’t take a QB. Tua and Burrow will still be there if we pick 4th- 6th”

  5. This is one of those situations where you really can’t win. We certainly can’t ask our coaching staff and players to not “play to win” and the fact that he’s getting wins now with clearly inferior talent is really encouraging. But I COMPLETELY agree that in so doing, we are risking a chance at one of those franchise QB’s that we desperately need to take us from chronic mediocrity to an organization that is “always in contention” to go deep into the playoffs and maybe with a little luck contend for a Super Bowl.

    As much as I absolutely DESPISE the fact that we just handled the Minkah thing so poorly the one thing we do have is a lot of draft capital. At this point I think we might be in a situation where we might have to bundle some of those picks to move back up to get Burrow, Tua or Herbert. I did see one mock draft that had Herbert sliding to #20. Would I be as excited about getting him over say Burrow or Tua? No. But does he still have the potential to be a great QB in the NFL? I think so. And that’s really all we can say about any of these guys. We feel better about the potential of Tua or Burrow but it really still is just “potential”. There’s no guarantees college excellence will translate to NFL excellence. BUT if we lose out on all three? We could be really screwed and have to look at other options (like Cam)….or we’re going to have to seriously reach on a guy like Fromm or one of the other “second tier” QB prospects. Personally I think I’d rather take a chance on a guy like Fromm in that scenario but either way we could be screwed because one has to think we’re only going to improve the following year with an infusion of talent so getting Trevor Lawrence the following year seems even more unlikely.

    I’m rambling, but I think the bottom line is we can’t screw this up… I would hope we can hang on to as much of these picks as possible (we certainly need upgrades in talent all over the board) BUT we have to do whatever we need to to move up and get one of those three if we have any hope of this “teardown and rebuild” succeeding. If it means trading two 1st rounders and a second to move up into the top three picks. Friggin do it. Even if it takes two first rounders and one next year. Do it. This maybe the most critical draft for Miami since they drafted Marino.

  6. One possibility is that the dolphins are going to pass on a Qb build the lines and d start Ryan and get a qb on 2021

    1. Author

      Yeah, if they really really want Trevor Lawrence in 2021.

      1. That’s assuming we’d have a shot of being able to draft Lawrence, that’s a big gamble assuming the rest of the team improves around Fitzmagic for one more year…

    1. I also like what I’ve seen in Needham lately, not saying he’s going to be a pro bowl lockdown corner like X but I think he could be a quality depth CB for us and even start when needed without being a liability.

  7. Now we’re sending scouts to look at that Colin cancer. fml

    1. Author

      Very frightening, because Ross cares about community spirit far more than he cares for the Miami Dolphins. Oh man, this could be worse than Ross making us play in Europe.

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