By: Brandon Liguori
After months of speculation, the Dolphins have found their hope-to-be franchise-changing quarterback. In the opening round of the 2020 NFL Draft Thursday night, Miami used one of their three first-round selections on Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, selecting the left-handed gunslinger with the fifth overall pick.
The Los Angeles Chargers, a pick later, took Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Tagovailoa has endured numerous injuries throughout his three-year collegiate career at Alabama, including a season-ending hip injury against Mississippi State this past November of 2019.
“Man, it was a dream come true, to be able to have this opportunity. This is special for not just me but my family as well,” Tagovailoa said to reporters.
It is the first time since Ryan Tannehill in 2012 that the Dolphins used a first-round choice on a quarterback and the Dolphins are hoping Tagovailoa can become what the Dolphins have been searching for since Dan Marino’s departure before the 2000 campaign.
12 picks later, Miami selected USC’s Austin Jackson, giving Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick protection on the offensive line, with Fitzpatrick most likely getting the nod under center this upcoming 2020 season. Jackson saved his sister’s life a year ago by donating his bone marrow.
Originally, Miami was scheduled to hold the 26th pick, but a late trade with the Green Bay Packers, who took Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, resulted in the Dolphins moving four spots down, using their final first-round pick on Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, beefing up in what is already a strong secondary after signing former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones to a five-year deal this past March during the free agency period.
The Dolphins move into the second day of the draft holding on to two second-round choices and the biggest question now remains whether Miami will select a dynamic running back to work alongside newly-acquired Jordan Howard.