AFC East Draft Roundup: How Patriots’ Rival Dolphins Were Graded By NFL Analysts


April 29, 2020

The gap among teams in the AFC East could be tighter than usual during the 2020 season.

While the New England Patriots have dominated the division for much of the last two decades, the departure of quarterback Tom Brady (among others) have called the division into question. And that makes the 2020 NFL Draft all the more important.

So here’s how one of the Patriots’ AFC East rivals — the Miami Dolphins — graded in the draft, according to five NFL analysts.

More NFL: How Did Patriots’ AFC East Rivals Fare In 2020 Draft?

Here are Miami’s selections:

Round 1: QB Tua Tagovailoa, OT Austin Jackson, CB Noah Ighbinoghene

Round 2: G Robert Hunt, DT Raekwon Davis

Round 3: S Brandon Jones

Round 4: G Solomon Kindley

Round 5: DE Jason Strowbridge, DE Curtis Weaver

ROnd 6: LS Blake Ferguson

Round 7: WR Malcolm Perry’s Chad Reuter

Draft Grade: A-minus

Miami needed a franchise quarterback and offensive line help coming into the draft — and they got both within the first 18 picks on Day 1. Add in a starting safety and run-stopper, and the Dolphins acquitted themselves well over the first three rounds.

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit

Draft Grade: B-minus

With four of this draft?s first 39 picks, this was a productive Step 2 in Miami?s multi-year rebuilding process. Step 1 was cleaning house and introducing a new coaching staff in 2019. Step 3 will be repeating Step 2, as the Dolphins have two first-rounders and two second-rounders in 2021.

Pro Football Focus

Draft Grade: A-minus

The fact that Miami didn?t have to move up from its fifth overall pick to secure Tua Tagovailoa is a huge win. Even with the injury, Tagovailoa was the second-best prospect on the PFF Big Board and QB2 over Justin Herbert by a mile.

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer

Draft Grade: B

The Dolphins get high marks for volume and sticking with Tagovailoa as their future franchise passer. After early stumbling reaches with Jackson, Igbinoghene and Hunt, Davis was their next best pick. Weaver can be a steal as he should have gone in the second round. Ferguson is a big boost to their special teams. But it?s strange how they addressed running back by trading for Breida to pair with Jordan Howard and not getting any wide receivers.

SB Nation’s Dan Kadar

Draft Grade: B-minus

Even before the Dolphins took (Tua) Tagovailoa, they had to improve their offensive line. That?s what they did by grabbing Austin Jackson in the first round and Robert Hunt in the second. Jackson needs some developmental work, but he has the potential to be a good starting left tackle. Hunt is likely to move from right tackle to guard in the NFL. Solomon Kindley, a fourth-round pick, provides good depth at guard as well.

We’ll have to wait and see how Miami’s 2020 class works out, but they’ll certainly need to exceed expectations to take the AFC East away from the Patriots.

More NFL: What Eight Experts Graded Patriots NFL Draft Picks

Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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