Dolphins Secure Number 3 Overall Pick!

Let’s face it.   It was a dismal day all around.  We had 4 different scenarios to make it into the playoffs, and none of them occurred.  Meanwhile, the teams that only had one scenario or two…they made it.

I was tied up today with a move and missed my first Phins game in about 5 or 6 years.  Looks like I didn’t miss much.  I watched my DVR just now, and it was embarrassing.   Too much to cover, but let’s give the main points.

  1.  When your playoff life comes down to a 1-15 team beating the division leader, you’re always in trouble. The Jags made it interesting for a few minutes, but folded as expected. The late game was our final hope, and now it’s all over.
  2. Brian Flores MUST get the Dolphins to remember how they were treated today.  Up 30 points, and the Bills decided to run up the score with long bombs.  It’s legal.  But it’s also something the Dolphins damn well better remember next year.
  3. Different coaches manage differently, and those differences screwed the Dolphins twice over. Mike Tomlin believes in letting his scrubs play.  The NFL allows it, and I really cannot blame him.  But something didn’t feel right with the Steelers laying down the way they did.  I hope we get some revenge on Tomlin for his decision today.  The Bills’ Sean McDermott believes in letting his starters play.  You saw the results.  The Dolphins were outmatched in every phase, and it wasn’t luck or refs or bad breaks.  They simply played horribly.
  4. While I’m a Tua fan, I don’t candy coat his performance…whether it’s today or during 2020 as a whole.  He was horrible.  He got some nice wins that were mostly due to our defense.  He took sack after sack and seemed to be lost in the pocket.   He coughed up the ball on his first pass attempt in his first start.  Let’s face it; there were a lot more negatives from the kid than positives.  Justin Herbert clearly was the better draft choice.
    Now that I wrote all of that, there is no way I’m giving up on the kid.  The star quality is still there.  We can only hope he remembers today’s performance and it motivates all through the off season.  He was not the reason our season is over.  But he did nothing to extend the season either.  My overall grade on Tua is a D; he didn’t fail but he didn’t do enough good.   Pains me to grade him so low because my expectation and excitement were both at an A+ last draft day.
  5. Speaking of the draft, it took a miracle finish from Ryan Tannehill and the Titans, but they secured the #3 pick for us with a win over Houston.  Now the speculation can begin.
    I don’t think we draft a QB.  Tua is no Josh Rosen…where they give him a one-and-done opportunity and then dump him.  No way.
    So let’s assume the Jags and Jets go QB…who do we select?  What position?  While I’m intrigued with WR DeVonta Smith (and my regular readers know I’m opposed to drafting a WR too high), this one has exceptional talent.  And we saw how bad we struggled without quality WRs.
    Penei Sewell intrigues me too.  Even though we have an up-and-coming offensive line, Sewell instantly upgrades that line.  Tua had zero protection most of the year, and it’s hard to pinpoint the line breakdowns because they occurred too often to keep track of.  Another monster lineman and then moving Jessie Davis to a backup role could be a gigantic upgrade.  Also, Ted Karras was outstanding all year long, but he may not be back.
    And finally there is Micah Parsons, a big mean rushing linebacker who could become the difference maker we desperately need.  Even when a guy like Andrew Van Ginkel or Kyle Van Noy had an outstanding year, they are not the type of men that an opposing coach needs to game-plan for.  Parsons is.
  6.  I think the 2021 Dolphins can improve to 11-5 or better.   They can also slip, and injuries and intangibles wreck a season fast.  But honestly I see them as a 10-6 team again next year. But a playoff team.   10-6 is a great record, but this year we were competing with all those other 10-6 teams in the AFC, and we lost all the tiebreakers.  The NFL’s antiquate scheduling screwed us as well.  The Steelers, Browns, and Ravens all made the playoffs…and their NFC “opponent” this season was the NFC East.  That’s essentially 4 free wins that the AFC North received and the AFC East did not.   Add two games against the Bengals, and you see the disparity.   When the AFC teams all compete against each other for those 3 precious wild card spots, the NFL owes it to basic fairness to have them play the same teams.  The league continues to rotate NFC divisions every 4 years, and it becomes the luck of the draw.  The Dolphins lost their playoff spot to the Ravens, Colts, and Browns.  How many times did we play those teams?  Zero.
    In any event, the point of my rant is that we can be 10-6 again next year, but this time we’l make the playoffs.  Because there’s simply no way those other so-so teams are gonna be 10-6 or 11-5 again.


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  1. Good season wrap up. On the bright side Tua was mostly healthy so his college injury held up. That was a major concern heading into this season. Tua also didn’t throw too many interceptions either. He needs to be more patient and throw to guys farther down field instead of the short passes. There’s no way I’d selected another qb within the first 3 rounds of the draft. We have more important issues. The offensive line and even defense have important holes that need addressed right away. We desperately need a couple quality RB’s and at least one WR. Hopefully we can lock Sanders up for a couple more years.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Jimbo. Good point about Tua’s injury. The hip was such a non-factor this year that I forgot about it by Tua’s second or third start.
      At least we know he is durable and not fragile.

  2. I knew you’d be pissed with those buffalo pricks throwing bombs and running up the score. Revenge will be sweet!

    I’d take the OT if he falls to 3 make that oline unstoppable. Trading back would also be nice if you can then grab one of those players you mentioned. Win/win that way but you need a dance partner.

    No shame in this season they did a lot better than most expected. They simply need more talent adding another pick next year wouldn’t hurt either.

    1. Author

      Yes, I saw your comment about this in the chat after the game! It’s just an unwritten rule to make such a dick move.
      However, at the same time, I respect the Bills for driving the stake through the heart of a division rival. Dolphins don’t have that killer instinct yet.

  3. Nice summary, admin. Thanks again for hosting site. That you give Tua a D, speaks of your objectiveness after promoting him so strongly at the beginning of season. When we started him, i did not know what to expect. I did get excited after his first couple of games, but i think that was premature. He is just lost in the pocket. It looks like his second look is always the offensive line, which to me indicates someone who does not know how to play in a true pocket. I agree, Dolphins should resist temptation to draft a QB with #3. Draft Sewell or Parsons. We need SPEED, but i wonder about Devonte Smith’s size. He is awfully lightweight and might injured often??

    1. Author

      I’m also very interested in Patrick Surtain Jr. You may think I’m nuts for drafting a DB at #3, but i like this kid and his dad brings Dolphins’ pedigree and pride. Nik Needham is okay in the slot, but he’s just not a game changer, and Noah Igbenohene showed very little promise in my book.
      You take college football’s #1 coverage man, ask him to play nickel and cover against simple slants, and see what happens. his pride my be hurt and having to play nickel only, but that might inspire him.
      We got toasted all day long yesterday from the non-Xavien DBs. An upgrade cannot hurt. Is a #3 overall pick worth it though?

  4. I watched the highlights, and 2 of the 3 Tua picks weren’t on him. That being said, he NEEDS an O line that can protect him better.

    Not sure what we do with the 3 pick, but I’d LOVE to get that kid Sermon from OSU in the backfield somehow.

    1. Author

      I see that same line collapsing around Ryan Fitzpatrick, yet Fitz steps up and completes passes. The line needs improvement for sure, but they didn’t cause all of Tua’s bad plays.

  5. Tua needs to make a major jump in year 2, or all these extra picks we have had will be wasted without a QB that can move the offense. We need a Plan B.

    1. Author

      I don’t disagree. I wish i could say I was a Tua doubter the whole time (many people did indeed doubt him). But i did not. I thought he would excel from Day One. instead, we’ll have to settle for him excelling at Season Two.

  6. Author

    Once again, i have to question how many of my Dolphins Truth articles are read by Armando at the Miami Herald.
    He wrote EXACTLY what I did about Van Noy and AVG…both good players but not feared, game-changing stars. 53 men on the roster, and Armando “just happens” to pick AVG and Van Noy as the same examples i did?? Hmm

  7. Let’s stick to talking about the game against Buffalo in an objective manner and not speculate the day after on who the Dolphins should draft. I think it’s way too early for that. In the game, my first observation was how SLOW the Dolphins appeared. The Temperature at game time in Buffalo was thirty five degrees. That alone was one big advantage for Buffalo. I believe besides the Jet’s game in New York, that was the coldest weather the Dolphins played in all year. But in all actuality, we all knew that beating the Bills in Buffalo was a loooong stretch. Dropped passes, fumbles, defensive backs getting burned by wide receivers, interceptions, and really all around sloppy play is what really I think, gives us Dolfans a bad taste in our mouths. Alright, the Fins gave it their best, and despite how the season ended, that ragtag bunch of no-name boys made us proud.

    So regardless, I’ll get my food (probably pizza with extra cheese), and big overstuffed recliner ready for Saturday and Sunday’s playoff games, and hold up a drink, and give the Fins a toast for one very exciting season!

    As for next season.. CAN’T WAIT!!!

    1. Author

      Well, in that regard, it was interesting game to see Tua hit Parker on some long passes. Shoulda been doing that since his first game, but at least they got it done at the end. Going into the off-season, I hope Tua thinks about these long plays. Parker can be his stud #1 receiver, and he doesn’t need to dink and dunk 3-yard screens to Lynn Bowden constantly.
      I hope Tua is chomping at the bit to start training camp.
      As for the defense, I don’t blame the cold weather for our lack of coverage or speed. It’s just poor execution. Nik Needham is serviceable, but he gets burned on long passes by a backup QB and practice squad receivers.
      Cold weather. 2 ount return TDs allowed against us is just atrocious execution.
      Watch the Bills punt TD and the first Dolphin near him runs right by him at a full sprint. He had zero idea where the ball was. Just awful.
      We had some very creative plays by our own punter and kicker with fakes, but our coverage side of the ball was bad all year, and it really showed yesterday.
      Our last two losses were the Bills and Chiefs, and we gave up punt returns in each. Poor special teams play = losses.

      1. Dilfer just made a good point I kind of laughed. He said do you fans actually know the play calls? Do you not see that no one is even running a deep route before complaining about Tua not throwing deep? Look at the roster who is catching these deep passes if called? He’s not wrong as Jakeem is the fastest and didn’t play but when he did he dropped them. He also mentioned how about giving the guy a full off-season and some playmakers. Maybe some better playcalls to his strengths. He made all of the throws at Alabama no reason why he magically forgot how to throw over 20 yards… I can’t disagree with him but still like the idea of grooming another QB with a later pick so you have a nice backup waiting in the wings.

        1. Author

          1. Dilfer is a huge Tua supporter and always has been. He’s a little biased pro-Tua.
          2. Chan Gailey had just been fired. Here we go again learning a whole new system.
          3. As soon as i wrote #2 above, a retraction has been issued and Gailey is NOT fired.

          1. Author

            I’m betting on Anthony Lynn for our new OC. Not a great overall decision maker as a head coach, but given the task of only running an offense, the guy could excel. Some guys do well managing an offense or a defense and then flounder when in charge of it all. I think Lynn is one of those.
            Look at Herbert’s progress under Lynn.

            1. Agreed about Dilfer but he must be correct if Gailey is now gone no? I’m not saying that Tua didn’t make mistakes heck any rookie makes mistakes but its not all on him like some fans are saying. He also mentioned that Tua is very loyal to the game plan and playcalling if its a short curl he’ll take it but if bombs aren’t being called he’s not going to still throw it. I think Fitz would on occasion if it looks to be there that’s the difference between the two QB’s at this point. Having defensive coaches this is what they normally want.

              1. Tell you what FLYERFINFAN, not only were Dolphin receivers not running deep passes, Tua had no time to throw to them because he was running for his life. Look, I’m not making excuses about the performance of the Fins against the Bills, I’m just mentally going over things realistically. We all have to remember this, the Fins played back to back road games which went from almost one coast to the other. Before the Bills played at home against the Fins, they played Pittsburg, Denver, and New England. One can say that’s no excuse, but one must admit, they had a lot more time to get acclimated to the weather.

                With the decline of New England, it was a toss up between the Bills and the Dolphins as for who would be number one in the division. One must admit, the Bills really looked good this season

                1. Yes agreed Phil I know that it’s hard to see on TV unless they show the entire field on replay but by the sounds of it Gailey even admitted that their game plan was to call things tight especially to start. Mainly high percentage ball control which defensive coaches like. Now if Flores wanted it to that extent why was Gailey let go? Must have been a disconnect somewhere or he was stubborn to adjust to what Tua did best. Someone said he called a lot of playaction which didn’t allow Tua more time to see the field which he excels at.

                  After seeing what happened to Tanny with bad coaching and I don’t believe Gailey was anything near gase I still have to play devils advocate. Some fault lies with Tua but not all. We need to see a full year and give him time. Sure draft a QB that falls to hedge your bet but don’t waste a high pick. The team needs to give whoever is a QB the tools to succeed. Taking Sewell may be the best thing to finally solidly the oline.

    1. Author

      We were writing at the same time. I’m intrigued by Anthony Lynn.

      Or Adam Gase. 🙂

  8. Great analysis by all fans on this board! We are all passionate about the team and all hungry, very hungry from what we have been hearing from this organization that they are pleased with the team, yada yada, but we just can’t get there. Admin, thanks for bringing the good, bad and the ugly to the forefront. I was not exactly sold on Tua when they drafted him…just didn’t fill my expectation for the right QB for the Dolphins. He had some bright spots and bad spots so I can’t fairly and fully judge him bec. there was no training camp and the preseason was really nothing…so I’ll give him a C-…that being said, I hope that summer camp will be a go and NFL season will be much better for everyone. I would love to see us get a stud WR!..I mean a certified, right out of the huddle, tall & lean receiving machine! Think a Randy Moss type physique…we haven’t had that type of WR in years! Picking up another QB would be an option to keep in the back pocket. The plays that Gailey devised were not totally cream of the crop…he may need to be replaced and the Dolphins’s scouts should be scouring for a big upgrade.
    The cold weather can be somewhat a factor but it wasn’t Green Bay type of cold! Visiting teams to MIA in Sept. and Oct. seem to fair pretty well, so what’s this team’s excuse dealing with 35 degrees? From the film I saw, they looked sluggish, missed tackles (really hate those) and not looking like they were gritty in how they were playing. The score was a disgrace!! Going forward, the Jets will have a new coach and a new attitude, Patsies aren’t likely to be as bad next season…so this team will be challenged from the first game in their division. So as we all watch the games, we don’t have to be sickened by losing in first round. No stress, just enjoy the game of football.

  9. I think everyone on this board knows what a huge Micah Parsons fan I am and I really think he could take our defense to a whole new level. Our defense played great overall but I think we really need a game wrecker in the front seven… We’ve got a lot of very good guys but not that one guy that just wrecks an offensive game plan. Micah is that in spades. Having said that. I saw nothing in Tua this year that makes me think he was anything but a bust. I don’t want to use the #3 pick on a QB after drafting Tua last year but at the same time we have to keep taking a swing at QB until we get it right in my opinion. Maybe we can do it later in the round.. none of the QB’s after Trevor scream sure thing to me and there’s enough in that second tier to think one will drop to the middle of the first. Then we can go WR and RB in the second where historically you can still draft REALLY good players at those positions. At least that’s what I would do, not that Chris or Flores cares lol

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