Dolphins: NFL Draft primer as team builds around Tua Tagovailoa

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Dolphins HC Brian Flores. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In 2019, former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores was handed a monumental task: Be the guy to turn around the Miami Dolphins. A team steeped in tradition, the Dolphins had been floundering for decades. The previous helmsman, Adam Gase, failed in this task, and now it was Flores’ turn. Flores brought with him a championship pedigree from the Patriots. However, the team he inherited was about as divergent from that path as it gets.

Yet, with a stripped-down roster and little more than sheer moxy, Flores helped guide that 2019 team to a surprising five wins. Then, the NFL Draft gifted them what many believed to be the savior of the franchise; a legitimate starting quarterback in former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa. The results, however, left a lot to be desired.

Dolphins looking for continued improvement

The 2020 incarnation of the Dolphins improved upon the 5-11 showing of the prior season. However, it was not without its disappointments. For as much fanfare as there was surrounding the young quarterback, the results on the field were a bit of a roller-coaster. Tagovailoa was named the starter mid-season, but was relieved by backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on several occasions throughout the season.

Through all the ups-and-downs, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins finished with an 10-6 record. Thanks to their trade with the Houston Texans, they held both the third and 18th selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, and things were looking up. Now, after trades involving the 49ers and Eagles, Miami is sitting with the 6th and 18th picks in the first round, and has a golden opportunity to surround their young quarterback with some much-needed talent in year three of the team’s rebuild phase.

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