When Miami held the third overall pick in next week’s draft, there was some speculation that the club could take a quarterback for the second consecutive year within the top five.
But when the pair of trades with the 49ers and Eagles set them up at No. 6, the Dolphins clearly indicated they’re riding with Tua Tagovailoa at QB.
Tagovailoa showed flashes in his nine starts, finishing the season with 1,814 yards passing, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also rushed for 109 yards and three TDs.
But there were instances where head coach Brian Flores replaced him mid-game with Ryan Fitzpatrick. The veteran QB, now with Washington, beat the Raiders after relieving Tagovailoa in Week 16.
In his pre-draft press conference on Wednesday, General Manager Chris Grier noted some of the challenges Tagovailoa faced as a rookie during a pandemic and how that’s different in 2021.
“He’s been working with the receivers. He’s a very competitive kid. Coming off the injury last year, no OTAs, no minicamp, and thrown in right away, that’s a hard transition,” Grier said, via Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “He has been great with the players and receives.”
Grier is anticipating that work is going to pay off for the club in the upcoming season.
“He’s healthy now. He’s going to take the next step,” Grier said, via Josh Tolentino of TheAthletic.com. “The kid has been a winner everywhere he’s been. I’m really excited for him.”
Tagovailoa was even a winner last season, with the club going 6-3 in his nine starts — though that “QB win” over the Raiders should arguably go to Fitzpatrick. Still, if the Dolphins can pick up another explosive offensive weapon at No. 6 overall, there’s plenty of reason to think Tagovailoa and Miami’s offense can have more success in 2021.