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2020 NFL Draft | Mock Draft Roundup 2.0

Two weeks before the start of the 2020 scouting combine in Indianapolis, national draft analysts continue to adjust their projections as to which teams will select which players on those three April nights in Las Vegas.

The Dolphins will be key players in that 2020 draft, as they currently hold three first-round and two second-round selections.

Based on a survey of post-Senior Bowl mock drafts, the unanimous projection is that the Dolphins will be taking a quarterback with their first of those three first-round selections. Furthermore, there again is a strong consensus that quarterback will be Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa. And yet even furthermore, there is a school of thought the Dolphins will trade up to make sure they get Tagovailoa.

Of the 21 recent national mock drafts surveyed, Tagovailoa was the choice for the Dolphins' first pick 18 times, including seven instances where the Dolphins traded up to get him. Six of those seven had Miami trading with the Detroit Lions to move up to 3, while another had Miami moving up to No. 2 with a trade with Washington. It should be noted that in five of the projected trade scenarios, the Dolphins kept all of their 2020 first-round picks.

The three mocks that did not match the Dolphins with Tagovailoa had them staying at No. 5 to take either Justin Herbert from Oregon or Jordan Love from Utah State, both of them quarterbacks.

Between the Dolphins' other two first-round picks, currently slated from 18th and 26th, the name that came up most often was University of Houston tackle Josh Jones. He was projected seven times, five at 26 and twice at 18.

Georgia running backs D'Andre Swift was mentioned five times and USC tackle Austin Jackson and Alabama safety Xavier McKinney four times each.

Other prospects who got multiple mentions were Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas, Wisconsin linebacker Zach Baun and LSU edge player K'Lavon Chaisson.

Here's the rundown of those 21 national mock drafts, along with comments that accompanied their Dolphins picks.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic

3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Detroit)

The first trade scenario in this mock is an obvious one with the Dolphins jumping to the third pick to secure Tagovailoa. Miami has more than enough ammo to go get their "franchise" quarterback and would only have to give up one first-rounder in his trade scenario. The wild card will be Tagovailoa's medicals, but we will assume for this mock that he received two thumbs up from the doctors.

21. Austin Jackson, T, USC (projected trade-down with Philadelphia)

With three first-round picks, it would be a surprise if the Dolphins don't select an offensive lineman during the first day of draft weekend. Jackson is still rough around the edges with his mechanics and consistency, but he is a smooth mover with all the physical traits to be a long-time NFL starter.

26. Zach Baun, OLB, Wisconsin

The Dolphins track record of drafting Big Ten linebackers aside, Baun is the type of versatile prospect who will appeal to Miami and Brian Flores. A former high school quarterback, he has the athletic traits to be a stack linebacker with plus blitzing ability.

Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Last mock, I gave the Dolphins a different QB and heard about it from the angry south Florida militia. Just here to make you guys happy Actually, those folks do have a point: If Tagovailoa tests out well medically in Indy, he's a prime target of the Dolphins — and no team is in better position to go up and get him. But there persists talk of the Dolphins exploring veteran QB possibilities, including some big names, and owner Stephen Ross even admitted that Tua's health is a worry in his mind. That matters.

18. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

A big need for Miami, which had Pro Football Focus' lowest-rated pass rush of any team in 2019. Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belichick system that favors this type of springy, juicy pass rusher with a frame to grow and get stronger for a "30" front — think Jamie Collins Drafting Chaisson a few slots ahead of the Patriots (who are said to be fans) is an added bonus. Some think he'll go even higher than this, perhaps to the Jets at 11.

26. Austin Jackson, T, USC

From a traits perspective, it's easy to see why Jackson might go this high. He evokes shades of Greg Little, the Panthers' high second-rounder a year ago (37th overall). But Jackson also is going to earn a second-round grade from me because, like Little, he needs polish and refinement. Still, the Dolphins have a ton of early draft capital, and they need to use some to upgrade an unsatisfactory offensive line.

Todd McShay, ESPN

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Assuming another QB-needy team doesn't trade up with Detroit or New York to cut in line, Tagovailoa is a really good start for a Miami team looking to aggressively kick-start its rebuild through the draft. Teams are approaching the lefty's hip injury with different levels of cautiousness, but if he's medically cleared, the Dolphins would be getting an exceptional signal-caller. Tagovailoa has elite accuracy and anticipation, but will he recover some of that twitch that made him truly special? A little extra good news in South Beach: Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who just led the hapless Dolphins past the big, bad Patriots in Week 17 on the road, is in town for another year and would allow the team to ease Tagovailoa into action.

18. Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia

Step 1: Draft a quarterback with sky-high potential but plenty of injury worries (see: Tagovailoa, No. 5 overall). Step 2? Maybe get someone to protect him. Thomas is raw, and this qualifies as a little high for him, but he has some power to his game. And after surrendering 58 sacks, tied for the most in the NFL, the Dolphins can't really afford to ignore the line any longer. Miami has one more first-rounder (and two second-rounders) to dive in on other needs, including edge rusher, cornerback and the interior offensive line.

26. Zach Baun, OLB, Wisconsin

Miami is back for a third turn, and as promised, it checks another box here with a quick, versatile edge rusher in Baun. His game jumps off the tape, and his 12.5 sacks show what he can do when he's turned loose on the quarterback. But Baun is no one-trick pony, displaying the ability to play in coverage, too. Find the ball and you'll find Baun. The Dolphins sacked the quarterback a league-low 23 times in 2019, and Taco Charlton led the team with five. By taking Baun, they continue what they started in 2018 in rebuilding that defensive line (first-round pick of Christian Wilkins) while also taking one of the best players available.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Herbert is a strong pocket passer with mobility that he had not really unleashed until the Rose Bowl. His Senior Bowl performance secured a landing spot in the top five.

18. Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia

Rebuilding the offensive line must be a priority for the Dolphins in this draft, as they tied for the league lead with 58 sacks allowed in 2019. Thomas' thick frame and length give him a chance to succeed at LT or RT.

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

A difference-maker in the backfield brings versatility to the Dolphins' offensive attack.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tua does come with durability concerns, but it's a risk worth taking for the QB-starved Dolphins. He can sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for a season while he recovers from hip surgery.

18. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Swift is a special player and would team with Tua to create some excitement in Miami.

26. Austin Jackson, T, USC

The Dolphins' offensive overhaul continues with a very athletic offensive tackle. Jackson is only 20 years old, and he has tremendous upside.

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The Dolphins need a young QB1 to build around. Despite Tagovailoa's injury history, he is the most talented quarterback prospect in the class.

18. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

Underrated corner with the ideal game to boost Miami's secondary.

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Swift would add some pop to the Dolphins' RB room. He's a true three-down back, possessing explosive skills as both a runner and receiver.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Obviously the medicals need to check out, but if they do — race the card up to the podium.

18. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Tagovailoa might need a redshirt in Year 1, but Swift could give the Dolphins' offense an instant boost similar to what we saw with Josh Jacobs and the Raiders.

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

How's this for a twist? The Dolphins draft a tackle from the University of Houston using the first-round pick they received from the Houston Texans for Laremy Tunsil.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Detroit)

It took 23 mock drafts (seriously!), but we have our first trade of the 2020 draft season. This is all contingent on Tagovailoa's health, and plenty of questions remain even after the quarterback made the rounds during Super Bowl week making it clear he plans to throw for teams before the draft. If he's healthy, he's a top-5 pick; if he's not ... then the Dolphins will need a Plan B for their tenuous QB situation.

18. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Raekwon McMillan and Sam Eguavoen both have one year left on their current deals and Jerome Baker's contract expires in two years. None rated better than average, according to Pro Football Focus' grades and Queen, who flashed early and often during the national title game (those 60 minutes of football served as a microcosm of his 2019 season), would give the Dolphins a much needed playmaker on defense.

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

Jones had an outstanding season for the Cougars and that carried over to the Senior Bowl too. He has the type of strength and athleticism that translates well to the NFL. In Miami, he'd be part of a rebuilding effort that would begin with protecting the new face of the franchise, Tua Tagovailoa.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

5. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

HELLO. How about Jordan Love, who's a little more athletic and has a stronger arm than Tua Tagovailoa but isn't nearly as polished, landing in Miami? Chan Gailey very well could love the quarterback's experience in a spread offense, his potential and lack of an injury history.

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

With Love in the mix, the Dolphins want a left tackle to protect his blindside, and Jones has an awesome blend of nastiness, power, and athleticism.

26. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

With this pick, the Dolphins get Love his wideout of the future — who can really stretch the field — in Aiyuk, after already grabbing the QB and his blindside protector, all in the first round.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

18. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

R.J. White, CBS Sports

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tagovailoa is the hardest player in the draft to peg. If his medicals check out across the board, you could see teams jockeying to trade ahead of the Dolphins to draft him. Or if the relevant teams are afraid of his medicals, he could fall later than he should.

18. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

The Dolphins need help everywhere, and the best player available here is Gross-Matos, who brings a needed boost to the pass rush but is even better against the run. He can play immediately and should eventually develop into a three-down player.

26. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

The Dolphins had to trade Minkah Fitzpatrick away when he didn't want to be moved around like a chess piece, but McKinney has plenty of experience in that role. He brings much-needed talent to the back end of the defense.

Tyler Roman, NBCsports.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

I know this is a controversial pick right now considering his recent serious hip injury, but if all his medicals check out, he's a top 5 pick. This selection also has to do with the fact that Joe Burrow and Tua are way above the next batch of QBs in this draft. Tagovailoa is one of the best QB prospects in recent memory due to his anticipation, deep ball, and pocket movement skills.

18. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Dolphins try to make their new franchise QB comfortable by taking his speedy college teammate. Ruggs III will be the fastest WR at the combine with the ability to run a full route tree. He can score from anywhere on the field at any time.

26. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

The Dolphins get a pass rusher with an impressive first step off the line with their third pick of the round Chaisson can be a double-digit sack type of player from year one for the rebuilding club. He impressed in the College Football Playoff vs. Oklahoma with constant pressure and two-sack performance.

Charlie Campbell, Walterfootball.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The Dolphins take their future franchise quarterback. If the medical reports come back with positive news on Tagovailoa, I could see Miami taking him over Justin Herbert. If it weren't for his dislocated hip and durability concerns, Tagovailoa would be a lock as a high first-round pick.

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Sources say Miami is high on Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, but they will have to move up from this pick to get him. If they miss out on the tackles, they could grab an upgrade at safety because they traded away Minkah Fitzpatrick and Reshad Jones could be a cap casualty.

26. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

The Dolphins grab a feature back for their offense. Miami really struggled to run in 2019 and needs more talent in the backfield along with a better offensive line. Taylor has a nice combination of size, quickness, and natural running skills. He is power runner to go through contact with good balance and a burst to the second level. In the open field, he is tough to get down given his tremendous stiff arm. The junior also has some receiving skills.

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football

2. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Washington)

From talking to people in Miami, I've come to the conclusion that it makes far more sense for the Redskins to trade down than the Lions. Sure, they lose out on Chase Young, but picking Young was problematic anyway because that means they'll have four first-round picks on the defensive line, which would make re-signing everyone impossible. We saw this a couple of years ago when the Browns passed on Bradley Chubb in favor of Denzel Ward for the same reason. Young is a better prospect, but if the Redskins can trade down, I think they'd do it. Also, the Dolphins moving up to No. 3 would be nonsensical because another team can just leap over them up to No. 2.

18. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

The Dolphins need to add tons of talent around their new quarterback to give him a fighting chance. They have so many holes on offense that almost every position makes sense. D'Andre Swift might be the best offensive player on the board. Swift lives up to his name concerning that attribute, but vision is his best strength.

26. Austin Jackson, T, USC

The Dolphins addressed their offense with their first two selections. Here's a third pick for the offense, as the blocking desperately needs to be upgraded. Austin Jackson is a terrific athlete with quick feet and superb agility.

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Detroit)

The Dolphins have plenty of draft ammunition to move up to get Tagovailoa. While the teams directly in front of them don't need a quarterback, the teams behind them do. Instead of chancing things, they can shift some excess draft capital.

24. Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia (projected trade-up from 26 with New Orleans)

The Dolphins really have the ammunition to do what they want in this draft. If they see a player they covet, they'd be smart to get him. Thomas has experience at both tackle spots and acquainted himself well on the left side the last two seasons.

Nate Davis, USA Today

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Might have been the top pick if not for his surgically repaired hip, which was dislocated and fractured in November. Tagovailoa has talked of winning the scouting combine from a medical recovery standpoint. But he might also win by going to Miami, where Ryan Fitzpatrick will return in 2020 and might prove the better choice to start even if Tagovailoa was fully healthy.

18. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

No team finished with fewer sacks in 2019 than the Dolphins' 23. Epenesa notched 22 over his last two seasons with the Hawkeyes.

26. Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Whether it's Fitzpatrick or Tagovailoa or someone else slinging it in 2020, Miami needs to start rebuilding its front five. This pick was acquired for former LT Laremy Tunsil.

Luke Easterling, Draft Wire

3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Detroit)

This move just makes too much sense. Tagovailoa seems destined for Miami, as long as his recovery is in a good place. If the medicals are in order, though, the Dolphins will likely have to make a small jump up the board to make sure another team doesn't leapfrog them. The position is too important, and Tua is too good a player, to risk losing out.

18. Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville

If you're going to hand your franchise to a young quarterback with injury concerns, you'd better do everything in your power to protect him. To that end, the Dolphins spend their second first-round pick on this massive mauler. Becton is a rare athlete for his size, and will likely end up coming off the board much earlier once draft weekend rolls around.

Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tagovailoa should make a full recovery from his scary hip injury, so the Dolphins might as well land him with the first of their three first-round picks. Miami can keep Ryan Fitzpatrick to serve as the bridge QB should Tagovailoa need extra time to get to full strength. When healthy, Tagovailoa is an accurate, mobile, deep-ball throwing QB with the upside of Russell Wilson, only throwing with his left arm.

18. Tristan Wirfs, T, Iowa

The Dolphins might think about a running back with one of their three first-rounders, but they can address that later with good value. In between a new QB and a big-play No. 2 wide receiver in this mock, they grab someone to replace Laremy Tunsil. Wirfs has the athleticism at 6-5, 322 pounds to hold down the left side for a long time. He combines his pass-blocking skills with power and physicality in the running game.

26. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

The Dolphins know DeVante Parker will be around for a while. Now they can get someone to complement him as a big-play threat outside. Jefferson emerged in LSU's passing game as a quick, efficient route-runner with good hands whose speed remains underrated. He posted 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 TDs in 15 games.

Brad Weiss, FanSided.com

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The Miami Dolphins will enter the draft with three first-round picks, and with that kind of draft capital, you can really turn a franchise around. The Most Valuable Player of the Senior Bowl, Herbert capped off an outstanding college career by turning heads among the best in college football, this after leading Oregon to a Rose Bowl victory weeks earlier. This is a kid who has a strong arm, good feet, and an incredibly high football IQ, and this Miami franchise can build themselves around him. Of course, if Herbert is not the guy, they can always couple up some picks to move up and get Tua, or even Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall, but Herbert makes a lot of sense for them here.

18. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

When it comes to the cornerbacks in this draft class, there are few that hold a candle to Kristian Fulton from LSU, who is likely slated for the first round. He proved to be a key cog on an LSU Tigers defense that was downright dominant in 2019, and was a big reason why they went undefeated and won the national title. Head coach Brian Flores is a defensive genius, and he is likely going to want to use at least one of his three first-round picks on that side of the ball.

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

With their third and final first-round pick in the draft, the Miami Dolphins select a player who is really turning heads during the draft process. That player is Josh Jones from Houston, who has garnered as much draft buzz as any other offensive lineman in the process so far.

Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated

3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Detroit)

As long as Miami's doctors feel comfortable about the progress of Tagovailoa’s hip injury, the Dolphins may feel inclined to move up to secure their future franchise quarterback. Although owner Stephen Ross has expressed some concerns about Tua's health, several teams in the top half of the draft—Chargers at 6, Panthers at 7, Colts at 13 and Bucs at 14—will contemplate using their first-rounder on a quarterback. When healthy, Tua has elite anticipation, accuracy and touch to all levels of the field; he's expected to throw for teams prior to the draft.

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

With so many team needs, the Dolphins can go in a number of different directions. Acquiring this pick in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade, they use it to draft a replacement from his alma mater. A versatile defender capable of playing either safety spot as well as nickel corner, McKinney had three interceptions for the Crimson Tide in 2019.

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

Not only do the Dolphins need to fill the void left behind when traded away Laremy Tunsil, but the team could use multiple upgrades on their offensive line, which finished last in Football Outsiders' offensive line rankings in 2019. Jones was a four-year starter at Houston and has the quick feet and movement skills coveted in a left tackle.

Joe Tansey, Bleacher Report

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

26. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus

3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (projected trade with Detroit)

We'll obviously have more clarity on Tagovailoa's injury come draft time, but assuming he's healthy, Tagovailoa is the type of prospect you trade up for. No one has more ammunition to get a deal done than the Dolphins, who cough up a late first-rounder to secure their quarterback.

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

Coming from a Group of 5 school like Houston doesn't exactly scream "NFL-ready" at offensive tackle, but after seeing Jones dominate with the highest win rate at the Senior Bowl, he qualifies as that. The Dolphins get Tua some much-needed pass protection.

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