2020 NFL Draft | Mock Draft Roundup 4.0

It's now 10 days before the start of the 2020 NFL draft, and the idea of the Dolphins taking a quarterback with their first of three first-round picks is even more widespread than before.

In fact, a survey of 29 recent national mock drafts produced a unanimous result. All 29 mock drafts had the Dolphins taking a quarterback with their first pick.

The only variable is that six of them had the Dolphins trading up to get a quarterback, while one had them moving from five to 10 and selecting Justin Herbert of Oregon at that spot.

The most eye-opening scenario was offered by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, who had the Dolphins moving up to No. 1 with a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals and taking Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow of LSU.

The most popular position for the Dolphins' second first-round pick was offensive tackle, with 15 of 28 mentions (one mock had the Dolphins giving up the 18th overall pick in a trade-up).

At No. 26, the most popular position was running back with 10 mentions, followed by tackle with nine.

In terms of players, Tua Tagovailoa remains the most popular projection with 15 mentions, including one at No. 2 and three at No. 3 after projected trades to move up. Herbert was mentioned 12 times and Burrow twice — with the trade up and once at the No. 5 spot.

Behind Tagovailoa, the most popular projection for the Dolphins is tackle Josh Jones, who was mentioned 14 times (seven at No. 18 and seven at No. 26). He was followed by running back D'Andre Swift (nine times) and safety Xavier McKinney (8).

The other players projected multiple times as Dolphins first-round picks in those recent national mock drafts were LSU edge player K'Lavon Chaisson, USC tackle Austin Jackson, Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, Boise State tackle Ezra Cleveland and Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton.

One mock had the Dolphins moving up from 18 to 7 with their second pick to get Becton after first landing Tagovailoa at No. 5.

Here's the rundown of those 30 national mock drafts, along with comments that accompanied their Dolphins picks.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"We are all guessing when it comes to the Dolphins and which player they will draft here. Many around the league feel strongly that this will be a quarterback, but there is no consensus on which one. Since the Combine, I have leaned towards Herbert."

18. Austin Jackson, T, USC

"Regardless of which quarterback the Dolphins draft, Miami needs to add reinforcements at tackle to help protect him. Jackson will make youthful mistakes as a rookie, but he might also outplay his draft spot if he lives up to his immense potential."

26. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

"It is tough to find landing spots for running backs in this year's first round, but the Dolphins could be one of the destinations. Brian Flores is looking for a tone-setting back who can help create an offensive identity and Dobbins fits that mold."

Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"This is the draft pick whom Dolphins fans should start getting accustomed to seeing. We said as much back in January, and many Miami faithful yelled at us for it. And that's fine! But it's only become a more likely scenario since then if a trade up for Burrow or Tagovailoa doesn't happen. Herbert might not be special, but he's a better prospect than many have made him out to be."

18. Ezra Cleveland, T, Boise State

"Assuming they don't trade this pick to move up, this could be a spot for an offensive lineman — still a glaring need. Could this be high for Cleveland? Maybe, and perhaps the Dolphins think they could grab him with their next first-rounder. But Cleveland's stock is on fire after the combine, and he has left and right tackle potential."

26. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"Miami has a fascinating pair of corners now with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Now what they need is a young difference maker to bring the secondary together. McKinney would be a fascinating addition because there's a Minkah Fitzpatrick element to his game — they played pretty much the same position at Bama — and his smart, rugged style appears to fit what Brian Flores seeks in his defenders."

Todd McShay, ESPN

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"I'm sticking with Tagovailoa here, but where he goes really comes down to the medical evaluation and how comfortable Miami — or any other team — is with it. When he is healthy, he's special. In a best-case scenario, the Dolphins get their franchise quarterback without having to move up and then build out the rest of their roster with a boatload of picks. But that added layer of risk with Tagovailoa and all that draft capital also could lead to some creativity and maybe a trade up to get Burrow, if Cincinnati happens to be open to it."

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"The Dolphins opened their checkbook in free agency on defense, but safety wasn't part of the spending spree. McKinney's versatility, instincts and burst would be great over the top behind Byron Jones and Xavien Howard."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"If you are drafting a quarterback with the injury history of Tagovailoa, and your offensive line tied for the league's high mark in sacks allowed last season (58), you better direct some attention toward protection. Tackle, in particular, is a big hole. Jones has versatility, shows an ability to drive defenders off the ball and flashes as a nasty finisher."

Mel Kiper, ESPN

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"The Dolphins have three first-round picks and two second-round picks, but their best-case scenario is to stay put, get their quarterback of the future and pick up starters on Day 1 and Day 2 of the draft."

18. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"Let's give Tagovailoa and the offense some help with Swift, a threat as a runner and receiver and the clear top back in this class. I expect Miami to address offensive tackle with one of its three first-round picks, and that could come at No. 26."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"With Jones on the board, this is a no-brainer for me. He made 45 career starts at left tackle for the Cougars, and he dominated during practices at the Senior Bowl."

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

4. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (projected trade with Giants)

"Herbert has the arm, athleticism and even-keel attitude to succeed in the NFL. The Dolphins stockpiled picks in order to make this sort of trade, preventing the Chargers, Jaguars or others from moving ahead of them by offering the No. 5 overall pick, an early second-round pick this year and a second-rounder next year."

18. Austin Jackson, T, USC

"Jackson should continue to grow into a very good pass protector early in his NFL career."

26. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

"Taylor had a great NFL Scouting Combine, proving his first-round value with a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at 226 pounds and showing his ability as a receiver."

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU (projected trade with Bengals)

"If there is any sense in Cincinnati that Burrow doesn't want to be a Bengal long-term, then the team should listen to offers. An NFL executive I consulted with felt that including all three of Miami's first-round picks in this deal would be too much, so I'm sending Cincy Pick Nos. 5 and 18, as well as second-round selections."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"Jones didn't display the kind of athleticism I expected to see from him at the NFL Scouting Combine (he may have carried too much weight). He has legitimate left tackle upside but a lower floor."

Peter Schrager, NFL.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"Tua's a rare deal. He's maybe as unique a draft prospect as there's been in recent years, and that was before the current state of the country, in which team doctors won't get another chance to see him up close and personal before Round 1 kicks off. I'd think the Dolphins would be elated to see him sitting there at No. 5 overall, texting/Slacking/emailing that pick to the league office ASAP."

18. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

"Miami has done an outstanding job adding talent on the defensive side of the ball in free agency. If the Dolphins could snag Tua and his teammate Ruggs with their first two selections of the 2020 NFL Draft, their fans would be very pleased. Ruggs is one of the true X-factors in this year's class, a game-breaker with all-world speed and very good hands. He and DeVante Parker would form a very nice 1-2 combo at receiver."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"Miami goes offensive skill position (Tua), offensive skill position (Ruggs III) and offensive skill position (Swift) with its three first-round picks, snagging the top running back on most teams' boards with their final selection. Swift can run both inside and outside, block in the passing game and catch out of the backfield. Josh Jacobs had an outstanding rookie season and made an impact right away. Swift could do the same."

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"I have Tua Tagovailoa rated higher than Herbert, but I think there's a legitimate chance the Oregon QB goes ahead of Tua."

18. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

"Gross-Matos would give the Dolphins some much-needed edge rush. The more I studied him, the more I liked him."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"The Dolphins must address the offensive line in this draft. I could see them doubling up in the next round."

Charles Davis, NFL.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"Tagovailoa is the most discussed player in this year's class, thanks to his tremendous talent and his recovery from a severe, season-ending hip injury from which he only recently was fully cleared."

18. Austin Jackson, T, USC

"Struggled to play at his best in 2019 after donating bone marrow to his sister, but the Dolphins are betting on his athleticism and upside."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"The Dolphins MUST add a big-time runner to help their offense. Fortunately, they land the best back in the draft with their final first-round pick of the night."

Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com

5. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

"Burrow fits perfectly into what the Dolphins want to do offensively with a quick release and untapped potential."

18. Austin Jackson, T, USC

"The Dolphins continue to upgrade their O-line with an athletic left tackle who can be groomed."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"He's an explosive runner with cat-like quickness and has hardly any miles on his tires. Look for him to pair well in the backfield with Jordan Howard."

Charley Casserly, NFL.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"With a clean bill of health, Tua would be a top-five pick in any draft. That said, he continues to clear medical hurdles on that hip, so it's no guarantee he even makes it to this slot. Do the Fins have to trade up to make sure they get him, or would they also be content with Justin Herbert?"

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"The Dolphins have filled most of their biggest defensive holes in recent days, but safety remains a glaring need. And McKinney is the best safety in this draft class."

26. Austin Jackson, T, USC

"The O-line rebuild continues in Miami."

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports.com

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

"Let's see how the first round shakes out if the Chargers are the team that makes the move to get Tua."

13. Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville (projected trade with 49ers)

"With most of the top offensive tackles unavailable at this juncture, the Dolphins use an extra fourth-round selection to move up with the 49ers to pick who they hope will be their franchise left tackle for a long time."

26. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"The Dolphins get a field general for the back seven of their defense with the ultra-versatile McKinney."

R.J. White, CBS Sports.com

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

"If the Dolphins are sold on Tua's health, they should get aggressive to make sure they land him. According to my draft value chart, paying No. 5, 26 and 39 would be an overpay, but one in line with teams moving up for QBs in 2018."

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"The Dolphins added their QB of the future earlier, and after landing an extra fourth-rounder to add more young talent to the roster, they get a potential left tackle of the future to block for Tua if Jones reaches his massive ceiling."

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports.com

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"I just think there are too many injury concerns about Tua Tagovailoa for the Dolphins. They take Herbert, a big power passer who is raw."

18. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

"This might not seem like a need, but why not take a speed receiver to grow with your young quarterback?"

26. Ezra Cleveland, T, Boise State

"They need to get a left tackle. So after taking a quarterback and a speed receiver, Cleveland is the pick. The offense is on its way to being better."

Will Brinson, CBS Sports.com

5. QB Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"Miami might want to trade up unless it really does love Herbert. Because otherwise the options are to play chicken at 18 or draft Herbert/Jordan Love here."

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"First you get the quarterback, then you get the guy in charge of protecting the quarterback."

26. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"Miami could triple down on the offense here, but why not add a young stud on the back end of your secondary, which already features a hefty investment?"

Tyler Roman, NBCsports.com

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"The Dolphins have had one of the strongest offseasons so far, but they still badly need a QB. If you add a productive quarterback to a team that already added CB Byron Jones and RB Jordan Howard, among others, they can be back in contention as early as next season. Tagovailoa, if healthy, is one the best QB prospects in recent memory due to his anticipation, deep ball, and pocket movement ability."

18. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

"Miami signed Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah this offseason but you can never have enough pass rushers. The Dolphins get an impactful player with an impressive first step off the line with their second pick of the round."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"The Dolphins get their new QB a new weapon in this Georgia running back. D'Andre Swift is a dynamic player who could be Miami's most talented rusher since Ricky Williams He's a gifted one-cut runner who is also a real threat as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Swift will be a nice piece added to an already up-and-coming young offense."

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. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"Sources say Miami is high on Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, but the team will have to move up from this pick to get him. If the Dolphins miss out on Wills, I could see them looking to Austin Jackson as their long-term tackle to protect their new quarterback. But I've heard they might prefer Josh Jones. Regardless, they definitely need tackle help to replace Laremy Tunsil."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"The Dolphins grab a feature back for their offense. Swift has a good build to him with a surprising burst to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. He has a lot of upside and enters the NFL without much wear-and-tear due to the Georgia backfield platoon."

Walter Cherepinsky, Walterfootball.com

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"It seems as though the Dolphins legitimately love both quarterback prospects, so they're in a nice position to remain at No. 5 and select one of the signal-callers. He was considered the top quarterback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft before making the mistake of returning to school, where he risked injury and regression. We saw that regression from Herbert late in the 2019 campaign, but he rebounded by doing very well at the Senior Bowl and the combine."

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"The (Dolphins) must protect whichever quarterback they select at No. 5 overall. Josh Jones needs to get stronger for the NFL, but his length and athleticism will interest some teams."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"The Dolphins need to add tons of talent around their new quarterback to give him a fighting chance. D'Andre Swift lives up to his name concerning that attribute, but vision is his best strength."

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"While the Dolphins might be tempted to move up for Tagovailoa, there could be some strategy to holding at No. 5. Herbert got better as last season progressed and did well for himself at the Senior Bowl."

18. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

"If five offensive tackles fly off the board before the Dolphins pick, they could fall back on a defender at No. 18 and go after a blocker with their third first-round pick. Although the Dolphins have loaded up on defenders this offseason, Chaisson could be brought in purely as a speed rusher off the edge."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"For as much love as this year's wide receiver class gets, the offensive tackle class should get just as much. This OT crop is extremely top heavy, but there are six or seven who could be selected in the first round. That's good news for the Dolphins, who could potentially land a starter with their third first-round pick."

Nate Davis, USA Today

10. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (projected trade with Browns)

"After missing out on (Tua) Tagovailoa, Miami would probably still be able to both deal down and get Herbert, who provided a great account of himself at the Senior Bowl and combine after capably leading the Ducks for four years. Ryan Fitzpatrick remains on this roster if Herbert is slow to make the NFL transition, though intelligence is one of his many great attributes."

18. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

"Gotta start getting Herbert weapons, and Jefferson could be a capable complement to DeVante Parker."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"Miami obtained this pick a year ago in the Laremy Tunsil deal. Time to replace him, especially with a young quarterback likely bound for this roster."

Luke Easterling, touchdown Wire

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"I've resisted the urge to jump on this bandwagon, but I think there might be some fire to this smoke. There's no denying Tua Tagovailoa's incredible upside, but there's also no arguing the long-term durability concerns, considering his injury history. If the Dolphins want a safer bet, don't be surprised if they prefer Herbert here."

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"After getting their franchise quarterback earlier, the Dolphins now turn their attention to protecting their investment. There are already four offensive tackles off the board, but while this may seem like a reach, Jones has loads of potential. His impressive week at the Senior Bowl against top competition is proof of his limitless upside."

26. Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan

"Let's keep with the 'protect our rookie QB at all costs' mentality here. Yes, it would be tempting to take a running back off the board here, but the depth of this year's class should give Miami better value on Day 2. Instead, they grab this year's best interior blocker in Ruiz, who is just 20 years old and already as athletic and physical as they come."

Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"The Dolphins have resisted another veteran option with current bridge QB Ryan Fitzpatrick under contract for one more year. That provides the green light for Tagovailoa, who has been cleared for football contact after the hip injury that cut short his final college season. When healthy, Tagovailoa is an accurate, mobile, deep-ball throwing QB with the upside of Russell Wilson, only throwing with his left arm."

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"The Dolphins are set at corner with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, but they have a major secondary void at free safety after cutting Reshad Jones. McKinney is a complete safety who can get physical in run support and also drop back and handle intermediate coverage."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"The Dolphins can finish their first-round haul by adding a running back, as Jordan Howard is more of a power complement than a feature option. Swift is capable of both getting the tough yards inside and breaking free for big plays in the open field. He also flashed as a receiver for the Bulldogs and can excel in the screen game."

Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"While Herbert needs to improve his consistency, he has across-the-board plus traits — size, arm strength, mobility and intelligence. Meanwhile, the Senior Bowl's Jim Nagy called concerns about Herbert's quiet leadership style a 'false narrative' and said he has 'far more charisma than many NFL starters we've been around.' "

18. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

"The Dolphins have signed several new starters — Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson and Byron Jones — on the defensive side of the ball via free agency. They add another projected starter here with McKinney, a versatile defender with experience at both safety spots. The junior tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) last season at Alabama."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"Most of Miami's free agent spending was focused on the defensive side of the ball. While Chris Grier has added Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras on the interior, the team still has one of the worst offensive lines in football and could still use upgrades at both tackle spots. A four-year starter at Houston, Jones has the length, quick feet and movement skills coveted in a left tackle."

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"In a draft season that doesn't feature pro days or private workouts, will the Dolphins be scared off by an injury they can't evaluate in person? I know of multiple teams that believe that could be the case, which opens the door to Oregon's Justin Herbert. For now, the prediction is still Tua based on how superior he is to Herbert as a quarterback, but it's worth mentioning there is belief around the league that this selection could surprise fans."  

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"Knocked for not playing against great competition in college, Jones stood out throughout the week of Senior Bowl practices while facing the best senior pass rushers in the nation. Proving himself on that stage shot Jones' stock into the first round and right into the orbit of the Dolphins at No. 18 overall."

26. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

"Quarterback? Check. Left tackle? Check. Now it's time to give the Dolphins a go-to running back who can dominate on all three downs as a runner and receiver. Swift is the 2020 draft's version of Alvin Kamara with his outside running quickness, inside vision and excellent hands."

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus

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

"The Lions are in the driver's seat with the No. 3 pick. It looks like it will be an all-out bidding war between the Dolphins and Chargers at this point, with Miami able to outbid any offer made by Los Angeles. That means it's Tua Tagovailoa and his back-to-back 90.0-plus overall grades heading to Miami."

18. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"The Dolphins need pass protection help right away, and if Jones' four pressures allowed all last season is any indication, he's their best bet at pick No. 18."

Joe Marino, The Draft Network

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"The Miami Dolphins land the new face of their franchise to pair with a suddenly talented roster and an exciting coaching staff. The future is suddenly brighter than the sun in South Beach."

18. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

"Miami lands a younger, cheaper, less injured version of what it hoped to get in Jadeveon Clowney last offseason. He'll make life hell for Darnold and Josh Allen in the AFC East."

26. Josh Jones, T, Houston

"Miami gets a much-needed piece for its offensive line that is a wonderful fit for Chan Gailey's offense."

Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

"How close is the race for QB2? Flip a coin between Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. I did."

7. Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville (projected trade with Panthers)

"The Miami Dolphins make a splash to ensure they're not missing out on a top offensive tackle."

Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

"Count me among those who believe, for better or worse, the Miami Dolphins prefer Justin Herbert to Tua Tagovailoa. Miami's pick and potential trade up will go far in dictating the rest of the selections."

21. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama (projected trade with Eagles)

"Miami would love to pair Minkah Fitzpatrick with their elite corner duo, but he's off to Pittsburgh. Instead, the Dolphins take Xavier 'Baby Minkah' McKinney and start the next generation fresh."

26. Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

"Miami has had good results from linebackers of this mold, and while it did just shell out some cash for Kyle Van Noy, it still needs an outside rusher with some actual juice."

Jordan Reid, The Draft Network

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

"This player-team fit is one of the worst-kept secrets. The Dolphins trade a first-rounder (26), fourth-, and sixth-round pick in order to move up to draft their guy who will be the face of the teams rebuilt."

22. Josh Jones, T, Houston (projected trade with Vikings)

"The Dolphins slide back four spots and still get their left tackle. While he remains a bit raw, Jones is an intriguing mixture of athleticism, consistency and upside. A great candidate to grow during the second year of the rebuild in Miami."

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