Where there’s smoke there often is fire, and right now there is a considerable amount of smoke surrounding the Miami Dolphins and Justin Herbert.
As the 2020 NFL Draft nears, multiple reports have indicated the Dolphins might pass on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovaiola, regardless of whether they keep the No. 5 pick. Instead, Miami — which has three first-round picks and two second-round picks — reportedly could target Oregon signal-caller Justin Herbert, who also has been linked to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 1.
Mel Kiper JR., one of ESPN’s draft experts, continued to fuel the Herbert-Dolphins fire Tuesday morning in his latest mailbag column.
What’s going against Tagovailoa right now is that the Dolphins can’t do an in-person checkup with their team doctor (the latest reports are that Tagovailoa has recovered from his hip and ankle injuries) because of the travel restrictions as part of the coronavirus pandemic. Prospects can only do virtual visits with teams, and that could have an effect on guys who are rehabbing injuries.
There has been some buzz around Herbert to Miami, but it’s still early. He is likely to be on the board at No. 5, whereas the Dolphins might have to trade up for Tagovailoa. Do they like Tagovailoa enough to use some of that capital to trade up? What happens if both quarterbacks are on the board at No. 5? That’s what makes Miami the most interesting team in this draft.
As this rumor mill continues to turn, many around the NFL are starting to envision a scenario in which the New England Patriots wind up with Tagovailoa.
More buzz today, this time from ESPN?s Mel Kiper, that the Dolphins May choose Herbert over Tua. I?m telling you, the opportunity for the Patriots to get Tua (and not have to give up the farm) is there
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) April 7, 2020
Of course, all NFL draft speculation should be taken with massive chunks of salt.