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.