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Miami Dolphins' 2020 NFL draft analysis for every pick

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Austin Jackson's NFL draft profile (0:44)

Relive some of the most memorable moments that make former USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson a desirable player in this year's NFL draft. (0:44)

The 2020 NFL draft is in the books, and the Miami Dolphins' draft class is complete.

The draft, which was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, was successfully completed virtually from the homes of coaches, general managers and other front-office staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Miami has selected will fit.

Analysis of every pick | Updated depth charts


Round 1, No. 5 overall: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

My take: It's a home run. The Dolphins were faced with the choice of taking a chance on Tagovailoa and his injury/durability risks or "settling" for a lesser quarterback prospect in Justin Herbert. They chose Tagovailoa -- the most efficient QB in college football history, who can rise to become the face of Miami's rebuild and the franchise QB that this team desperately needs. This move isn't without risk, but general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores clearly were willing to take the bet to achieve greatness. Dolphins fans rejoice: For a franchise that has been stuck in mediocrity for two decades, this feels like a large step toward being a contender.

Star power: The Dolphins' last star quarterback was Dan Marino. The Dolphins' last Pro Bowl quarterback was Marino. But Marino retired 20 years ago, and Tagovailoa has the ability and personality to follow him up in both of those categories. Grier and Flores were looking for a quarterback with strong leadership skills, charisma and the "it factor" to lead this team. Tagovailoa has all of that, plus the marketability to become South Florida's next star.

Medical room: Tagovailoa is coming off a serious dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture in November, though his doctors told ESPN's Stephania Bell that Tagovailoa should be ready by the start of training camp. Whether he is, the Dolphins have veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who can start for the Dolphins in 2020 while Tagovailoa learns and gets fully healthy. Given his propensity for injuries in college, the bigger question for Tagovailoa is whether he can stay healthy. But the Dolphins clearly felt comfortable with what they saw in his medical reports, and his talent was worth the risk.


Round 1, No. 18 overall: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

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Noah Igbinoghene's NFL draft profile

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My take: It's a projection pick at their biggest position of need. The Dolphins need offensive line help badly, and they clearly see something in Jackson that makes them believe he can be a longtime starter. This isn't a "safe" pick by any means, but Jackson has the athleticism, upside and nimble feet that teams value at the position. He can fill the very important left tackle role that was vacated by Laremy Tunsil or switch over to right tackle and protect Tagovailoa's blindside.

Life saver: The Dolphins love players who are selfless and overcome adversity, and Jackson is the perfect example of that. He saved his sister Autumn's life last summer by donating bone marrow. He missed most of the offseason recovering from the surgery, and it likely impacted his play. But by the second half of the season, he started to get back to his normal production and was eventually named to the All-Pac-12 first team.

Help wanted: In 2019, the Dolphins gave up a 16% pressure rate with 2 seconds or less to throw. Only the Jets (20%) had a higher pressure rate allowed. The Dolphins also ranked last in pass block win rate, sustaining their blocks for 2.5 seconds on just 41% of pass blocks (ESPN pass block metrics powered by NFL Next Gen Stats). Their tackle play was especially disastrous -- among 65 qualifying offensive lineman, the bottom three in OT win rate were all Dolphins players. The hope is that Jackson can help fix that.


Round 1, No. 30 overall: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

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My take: This was the most surprising pick of the night for Miami. Cornerback is the Dolphins' strongest position group and yet they used a first-round pick on a developing player. On the surface, it seems like a puzzling use of resources. Flores sees cornerback as an extremely important position, and he values corners who are uber-competitive and have strong man-to-man skills the way Igbinoghene does.

Family of athletes: Igbinoghene grew up in a self-described strict Nigerian household. His upbringing shaped him into the disciplined athlete that he is now -- for better or worse. Both of his parents were Olympic track athletes, and Igbinoghene ran track in high school and college as well.

Crowded room: Flores says he believes you can't have too many good cornerbacks. The Dolphins already have the league's second-highest paid cornerback in Byron Jones ($16.5 million a year) and the third highest in Xavien Howard ($15.1 million). And Nik Needham is coming off a promising rookie season. Igbinoghene appears set to compete for a nickel cornerback role as a rookie. Igbinoghene allowed a 33% completion rate in press coverage last season, sixth best in the FBS, and he joins a Dolphins' defense that plays man defense on 61% of its snaps last season -- fourth most in the NFL.


Round 2, No. 39 overall: Robert Hunt, G, Louisiana

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My take: It's clear the Dolphins have a plan to protect Tagovailoa. Hunt is the second offensive lineman (Jackson the other) the Dolphins have drafted among the draft's top 40 picks. Hunt has the versatility to play guard or right tackle. He should help open up massive lanes in the running game while protecting Tagovailoa (or Ryan Fitzpatrick). Miami clearly felt OK with Hunt's situation coming off a groin injury. Hunt still needs some development and help with his transition to the NFL game coming from a small school, but he looks like a long-term starter for Miami on the right side of its offensive line.


Round 2, No. 56 overall: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

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My take: This is the third draft pick to come from the trenches out of the Dolphins' five selections thus far. Davis seems to be a good fit as a 3-4 defensive end in Flores' defense, and he should be able to make an immediate impact as a run-stopper. The Dolphins passed on taking a running back here, instead focusing on what could be perceived as a more valuable position of need. Thus far this offseason, Miami has valued defenders who stop the run first and play the pass second. This is the second Alabama player Miami has drafted, displaying close ties to coach Nick Saban.


Round 3, No. 70 overall: Brandon Jones, S, Texas

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My take: The Dolphins added another defensive back on Day 2, maybe a bit earlier than some people thought for Jones. But he might become a Dolphins favorite because of his intelligence, versatility and team-first mentality. Physicality -- a staple of Flores' defenders -- is the story here for Jones. He is likely a box safety on defense or a sub-package defense, but he's speedy. More immediately, he will play an important role on special teams for Miami. It is clear the Dolphins are prioritizing the trenches and secondary this offseason.

What's next: It's a bit disappointing Miami did not strike on a top running back through two rounds, but the Dolphins have added several long-term contributors and have a lot of draft capital to make more splashes on Day 3. The Dolphins have nine picks left -- yes, nine -- including five total in the fourth and fifth rounds: Nos. 136, 141, 153, 154, 173, 185, 227, 246 and 251. The Dolphins could use a running back to pair with Jordan Howard, along with a slot receiver, a center and more help along the front seven. More importantly than any specific position, Miami could just use more good players.


Round 4, No. 111 overall: Solomon Kindley, OG, Georgia

My take: The Dolphins traded up 25 picks to get Kindley showing just how much they wanted him. Kindley falls in the line with the Dolphins plans to be a power running team with bullies up front. It's a smart move to continue to add offensive linemen who can protect Tagovailoa. Kindley is all power and not much movement, but that seems to fit what Miami wants to do with its new-look offensive line. They still need a running back, but now have plenty of offensive linemen.


Round 5, No. 154 overall: Jason Strowbridge, DE, North Carolina

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My take: Miami's mission to draft all the offensive and defensive linemen continues. Strowbridge should be able to play 3-4 defensive end -- a position that Miami's multiple defense was sorely lacking before this draft -- and contribute on special teams and as a run defender in Year 1. Trenches and quarterback were Miami's biggest issues in 2019, and they are attacking both in this draft. No problem with that.


Round 5, No. 164 overall: Curtis Weaver, OLB, Boise State

My take: This could end up being Miami's best value pick. Weaver was projected by many to go anywhere between the first and third round, but he fell to the fifth likely because of his lack of athletic traits and uncertain transition to the NFL. But 'tweeners have a home in Miami. Weaver is the definition of production: No player in the FBS has recorded more sacks than Weaver (34) over the last three seasons. Chase Young was second with 30 1/2. He should find a home as a 3-4 outside linebacker and designated pass rusher.


Round 6, No. 185 overall: Blake Ferguson, LS, LSU

My take: The Dolphins took a long-snapper, yes, a long-snapper. First, this is definitely a surprise but maybe when you have as many picks as Miami does you can use one in this route. It's worth wondering whether the Dolphins could have gotten better use out of an early sixth-round pick than a long-snapper, but it's clear that this was a coaching favorite. Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman coached his brother Reid in Buffalo. Speaking of brothers, Blake and Reid will now have an in-division long-snapper rivalry. Ferguson will compete with incumbent Taybor Pepper but you don't draft long-snappers early in the sixth rounds to cut them.


Round 7, No. 246 overall: Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy

My take: The Patriots have always valued service academy players, and Brian Flores appears to following suit here landing Perry -- an undersized do-it-all weapon. Perry was the AAC offensive player of the year in 2019 rushing for 2,017 yards. He played quarterback and running back in college, but he find a role as a slot receiver or gadget player for Miami. Perry is the first Navy player to be selected since 2016 (Keenan Reynolds) and eighth in the common draft era. He can play immediately as long as he fulfills his service time later thanks to a recent change in DOD policy.