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They say that hindsight is 2020. But hindsight can also be quite tricky in its own regard — especially when it is applied to events as nuanced and complex as the NFL Draft process. Because yet, turning to the draft queue after the fact and pointing out the best players at any given spot and those drafted ahead of them can generate some pretty serious buyer’s remorse — but there are no guarantees. There’s no guarantee that Player X will perform the same way in a different environment.
But never the less, re-drafts are a popular exercise for the NFL Draft, because it showcases the value some teams found and potential missed opportunities from teams elsewhere in the draft order. So, naturally, there’s plenty of interest in the latest re-draft effort, which comes from ESPN and focuses on the 2020 NFL Draft. For the Miami Dolphins specifically, this exercise offers a chance to reflect on not just one pick but three — as Miami drafted at No. 5, 18 and 30 in last April’s event.
How does an amended Dolphins draft class look? Well…different.
No. 5: QB Tua Tagovailoa
New selection: QB Tua Tagovailoa
The primary difference in reality versus the re-draft is that Tagovailoa was QB2 when the actual picks were made and in this scenario, Justin Herbert is drafted at No. 2 overall ahead of the Dolphins, leaving Miami to draft him as QB3. It is far too early to make any judgements on Tagovailoa as an NFL quarterback and he showed the as advertised quickness within the pocket and accuracy throughout stretches of 2020.
No. 18: OT Austin Jackson
New selection: OT Andrew Thomas
Thomas was the first tackle taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, one pick ahead of Tagovailoa. In ESPN’s re-draft, the run on tackles is less severe and the demand on Thomas, who was brutal in the first half of the season before settling in as a rookie slides all the way into Miami’s lap. There were pre-draft whispers that Miami would even consider drafting a tackle (Thomas) at No. 5 overall and then come up for their quarterback from there. That obviously didn’t happen, but the interest was real.
No. 30: CB Noah Igbinoghene
New selection: RB Jonathan Taylor
This is the one that grinds Dolphins fans plenty. Because Noah Igbinoghene can not rush the football and he was pinned behind Xavien Howard and Byron Jones this season, many felt his selection was a missed opportunity. ESPN seems to think so as well — but don’t sleep on the long-term outlook of both players. If Igbinoghene eventually steps into a starting role, Miami will have gotten a more high-value position player on the cheap 5-year deal. And best of all, running backs are plentiful each year. So while we don’t blame this redraft selection of Taylor, Miami will have a great chance to draft a back to make Dolphins fans forget all about him once again this offseason.