Written by: Chad Hahn
Heading into the 2020 NFL off-season the biggest question for the Miami Dolphins is “Who is the future franchise QB for this team?” In this article I will take a deeper look into that answer. Let’s look at the QB options this off-season:
“Cool Joe” blew up college football this past year out of nowhere and had the most impressive year I’ve ever seen. He has all the tools to be the next big thing in the NFL. He transferred from Ohio St. to LSU after not earning the starting QB position. He is a 2 year starter in college. So what contributed to Joe’s epic rise? Could it be a new scheme, head coach, and surroundings? Could it be the light bulb just turned on? It could be all the above but one thing is for sure, before this year, scouts around the NFL had him labeled as a 4th-6th round player. Let’s take a look at his college numbers:
My assessment of Joe Burrow is that he is a special player given the right surroundings. This last year he won the Heisman Trophy and National Championship while dominating on a week to week basis and turned in the best season in college football history. If you only take this last year into account he possesses the accuracy of Drew Brees, a competitive fire similar to Tom Brady and the pocket awareness of Russell Wilson. If he gets drafted to a team where they fit that RPO type spread offense he will be one of the best QB’s in the NFL sooner rather than later.
How can Miami acquire Joe Burrow:
At this point, Burrow should be QB1 in this draft so Miami would more than likely have to trade up to the #1 pick with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami receives: #1 pick
Cincinnati receives: #5,18,26
Tagovailoa has had a stellar career at Alabama and was pegged before the year as the #1 pick in the draft. On the field he has all the tools to be an elite QB in the NFL. He has won a national title as well. He has a very accurate arm and is a leader of men. Concern from NFL execs are all about his health. He has had ankle surgery on both ankles leaving both ankles with metal screws in them, and of course the devastating hip injury he suffered a couple months ago which was originally deemed as a potential career threatening injury. He seems to be well above schedule on his recovery and plans to throw at Alabama’s pro day. Let’s look at his college numbers:
My assessment of Tua is that he is a strong armed, accurate QB with stellar leadership and is truly a franchise QB. Just like others, I'm concerned about his longevity at his position and the demands of an NFL QB. Any time a player has had 3 injuries like he has, durability is a serious question. If his medicals check out it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s selected in the Top 5 of the draft.
How can Miami acquire Tua Tagovailoa:
As a result of his durability questions he has a lot of opinions on what his draft position will be. If his medicals check out and he shows teams he can recover quickly by throwing at his pro day, I expect him to be drafted in the top 5 and to avoid a team possibly trading in front of Miami, if Miami deems that Tua is their QB of the future they should trade up to #3 with the Detroit Lions to ensure his acquisition.
Miami receives #3
Detroit receives #3,70
Herbert has all the physical traits to be a long-term above average starter in the NFL. A lot of scouts have said he would have been the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft if he declared. He’s a big, strong armed Mobile QB that can really throw the ball. Unlike Burrow and Tua he hasn’t won a title but he definitely has put together a big body of work in college and put up fantastic numbers. Let’s take a look at it:
My assessment of Herbert is that he is a four year starter and that translates to plenty of experience. He has shown improvement in his pocket awareness. He has a rocket arm and is very athletic. My questions on Justin are on his leadership and accuracy. He did show glimpses of both during the Senior Bowl. He does need to work on his touch passes as it seems like he throws almost all fastballs. He can definitely develop into an above average NFL starter and if you put the right system around him can be a franchise QB.
How can Miami acquire Justin Herbert:
Draft him at #5- He will be available and probably not too much longer.
Jordan Love- Utah St.
Love is an incredibly physically gifted player with an extremely smooth delivery and very strong arm. His playmaking ability is out of this world and he looks downfield for big plays when it’s a broken play. He does need time to sit and develop to reach his potential. He struggles with consistency. He does remind a lot of people of Patrick Mahomes because of his ability when he flashes it. Depending on how you assess his college career there is no doubt he’s electrifying and has the potential to be the best QB in this year’s draft class. His numbers were stellar as a sophomore when he had talent around him and had more of a spread offensive scheme. He struggled this last year as a junior. It could definitely have something to do with less talent around him and a change in offensive scheme. Miami will have to evaluate that. Let’s take a look at his college numbers:
My assessment of Love is a big risk/reward type prospect. His (potential) ceiling is incredible but his floor is a backup. His arm action reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers. He has all the tools to become one of the best QB’s in the league but he needs to sit for at least a year like Patrick Mahomes and to be successful he needs a creative offensive scheme like Kansas City’s. With Love, I feel his success will greatly depend on scheme and willingness to let him sit for awhile, no matter what. If he’s thrown out there too soon it could backfire greatly due to his gunslinger mentality.
How can Miami acquire Jordan Love:
Draft him at #5, or 18, or 26th
All it takes is one team to fall in love with him. He can get drafted anywhere in the first round. Now if I’m Miami there is a chance if the board allows me to of course, to trade back and pick up an extra 1st round pick, preferably to Jacksonville at #9 or #12 with Las Vegas.
Josh Rosen- Miami Dolphins
Coming out of college, “Chosen Rosen” had the golden arm a lot of teams wanted as their starting QB. Rosen has all the arm talent to call himself a future franchise QB but his leadership has been called into question. Before accessing his first 2 NFL years let’s look at him like a QB coming into this year's draft since he’s actually still younger than Joe Burrow at 22 years old. Here’s his college stats from UCLA:
In my assessment Josh Rosen can develop into an above average starter in the NFL. Josh needed some time to develop like most QB’s in the league. He isn’t an elite prospect but he is good enough with a good team around him to be a Super Bowl winning QB. I’d practically throw away his first 2 seasons in the NFL stat wise because he was part of 2 pretty bad teams and offensive line groups. He’s had 5 offensive coordinators in 4 years and never was taught simple things in an offense like reading who the “Mike” linebacker is. Miami is simply developing Rosen to see if the light bulb turns fully on with him like a Joe Burrow type light bulb. He was given a lot growing up because he had so much given talent. He’s been humblized in his short NFL career and if he’s going to turn it around he must show Miami’s coaching staff the fire and desire to become the future. Miami must think he could develop into their starter considering they sent a 2nd and a 5th round pick to Arizona. Don’t forget he was taken with the 10th overall pick just 2 years ago at 20 years old.
How to acquire Josh Rosen:
They already acquired him so this enables them to use all their draft picks on building the team either around him or a QB possibly taken in the 2021 NFL draft.
In summary, anyone of these QB’s could wind up being who Miami ultimately chooses to be “the man” going forward and there will be varying opinions on this subject. It’s just important that Miami chooses correctly. Keep in mind, one of the biggest steps to solidify thoughts and feelings about any one of these QB’s being the future is when Miami actually sits down and talks with these players and conducts all the medicals necessary to make an educated decision. That will happen during the NFL combine from February 23rd-March 2nd. After that is when plans begin to clarify and I do expect Miami to execute the plan they come up with after they decide which way they want to go.
As stated before, you can make a case for all the above, it’s all about scheme and letting them develop and learn Chan Gailey’s spread type offense. That move from a more complicated scheme from former offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea to Chan Gailey was made to simplify the offense and works in all of these QB’s favor. Miami could definitely select a QB in this draft from a 1st round QB to later round prospect, or they can stick with developing who’s in the building and not select one at all this year. Whatever that decision is, both General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Brian Flores will come to that decision over the next couple months and after what they did in year 1, they deserve support no matter what their decision is. As we all know, it is a franchise altering decision.