The movie Draft Day follows Kevin Costner as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Sonny Weaver Jr., who eventually garners the first pick in the draft for his team. In the end, the Browns owner, played by Frank Langella, says, “We had a great day.”
Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins had a bad day.
All is not lost, even though the Buffalo Bills defeated the team by a massive 17 points. Wide receiver DeVante Parker had seven receptions for 135 yards. Cornerback Nik Needham continued the good run he’s been on the past three weeks. Needham did, however, miss a few tackles, including a huge one that led to a big play by Bills receiver John Brown. He also had a great game with nine receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills ran the ball exceptionally well with quarterback Josh Allen and running backs Devin Singletary and Miami’s own Frank Gore combining for 158 rushing yards. Allen scored the only rushing touchdown. Singletary averaged five yards per carry, and the Bills had their way running the football. The Dolphins couldn’t get a free pass rusher and got bullied in the trenches on both sides of the football. It was the seventh different starting offensive line this year. The team also clearly missed defensive end Taco Charlton. The game is won in the trenches; the Dolphins must improve.
It does suck losing to a divisional opponent. There are still three teams the Dolphins could beat this season: the New York Jets, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals.
Because Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury this past weekend against Mississippi State, his draft stock will suffer. If the Dolphins are thinking about passing up on Tagovailoa, they should consider their very own cautionary tale. Under a different regime and owner, the Dolphins had the chance to sign quarterback Drew Brees when he was a free agent but didn’t due to injury. Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints and has now won a Super Bowl, broken records, and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Tagovailoa suffered a dislocated hip. Alabama released a statement on Saturday night that he would fully recover, but some fans and media are comparing this injury to that of former NFL phenom and running back for the then Los Angeles Raiders (who will become the Las Vegas Raiders next season) Bo Jackson. Jackson played college football and baseball for Auburn University and looked like he would be the best athlete ever to grace a football field.
He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1986 NFL Draft with their first-round pick, but famously stated he did not want to play for the team. This was after he lost trust in owner Hugh Culverhouse, who at the time flew Jackson on a private jet during baseball season. Jackson was told it would not affect his eligibility to play baseball by the Buccaneers organization. In the end, the Buccaneers wasted a pick on Jackson in 1986 before releasing his draft rights in 1987. He went on to be drafted by the Raiders in 1987 in the seventh round and played four seasons before the hip injury that ended his career.
Why does this injury and story relate to Tagovailoa? It happened in almost the same way. A harmless tackle that led to a dislocated hip and pain. The clear difference between the two is Jackson’s relentless assurances that he popped his hip back in place, while Tagovailoa could barely move. This is a serious injury that could affect Tagovailoa for the remainder of his life and will 100 percent cause his draft stock to fall.
This leads to the discussion of other possible quarterbacks the Dolphins could end up selecting in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. One key player that has been tweeted about as a “Ryan Tannehill double” is the University of Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Another target who is still raw: Utah State’s Jordan Love. Both are immensely talented and could have a bright future. Who should you want from these two possible choices? Herbert. Coming into the season, Herbert had broken both his femur and collarbone, which could potentially be a concern. He is no Tannehill, who played his college football at Texas A&M and was a wide receiver in his first two seasons. However, Tannehill never had the same accuracy and phenomenal talent set that Herbert possesses.
The Dolphins should NOT waste a pick on Tagovailoa with the latest injuries. He was already injury-prone before this hip injury, having dealt with ankle problems. While Tagovailoa should recover fully, he won’t be the same, and neither will his body. With 2,662 yards, 28 touchdowns, and only three interceptions, Herbert could potentially push Oregon to the College Football Playoffs. The playoffs are packed with LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia, but one bad game could change it all. Look for Georgia to potentially move down from number 4 and for Oregon to be moved in after Georgia’s close win against Auburn.