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Analyzing the PFF Dolphins Re-Drafts for 2019 and 2020

Revisiting two recent drafts and, with the benefit of hindsight, how the Miami Dolphins might have done things differently

How different would the Miami Dolphins first-round picks of the 2019 and 2020 NFL drafts look if there happened to be a do-over?

Pro Football Focus recently undertook the exercise for both drafts and it produced some interesting results.

For the Dolphins, they involved a different first-round pick in 2019 and two different selections in 2020.

The one first-round pick from 2020 who didn't change was quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but the PFF re-draft had the Dolphins taking him 18th overall instead of fifth.

In the real 2020 draft, the Dolphins selected tackle Austin Jackson with the 18th pick.

"It’s safe to say that the Dolphins wouldn’t be spending this pick on Jackson in a re-draft," PFF wrote. "The question is whether they would target Tagovailoa again 13 picks after they took him originally in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"Tagovailoa has been far from impressive across his first two NFL seasons. His 68.2 PFF grade ranks 25th among 32 qualifying quarterbacks, and he’s recorded just 17 big-time throws (32nd in NFL) since 2020. However, he’s also been in one of the worst offensive environments in the league, stemming largely from Miami’s ineptitude on the offensive line. The 2022 season will be a test that Tagovailoa has to pass to remain in place as the starter following the moves that the Dolphins made this offseason to surround him with more talent."

In the 2020 re-draft, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Justin Jefferson and Tristan Wirfs were the first four picks, with the Dolphins selecting Chase Young with the No. 5 pick.

After taking Tagovailoa at 18, PFF had the Dolphins taking guard Jonah Jackson at number 30 instead of their actual selection of cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.

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Interestingly, the 25th pick in the 2020 PFF re-draft was guard Robert Hunt, who the Dolphins selected with their first of two second-round picks.

Jackson, who eventually was a third-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2020, started all 16 games each of the past two seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl last year.

Austin Jackson and Igbinoghene were not selected in the first round of the 2020 PFF re-draft.

ASSESSING THE DOLPHINS' 2020 RE-DRAFT

Based on the contributions the Dolphins got from Tagovailoa, Jackson and Igbinoghene the past two years, it's hard to argue that Young, Tagovailoa and Jackson would have represented a better haul.

Things weren't as clear cut with the 2019 draft or the PFF re-draft.

The Dolphins selected Christian Wilkins with the 13th overall pick that year and he's turned into a productive player for the Miami defense.

In the PFF re-draft, the Dolphins passed up the opportunity to select Wilkins and instead took edge defender Josh Allen with Wilkins going 19th to the Tennessee Titans.

"Wilkins has turned into a great pro for the Dolphins, so the switch at this pick from interior defensive line to edge is more for the fun of it," PFF wrote. "Allen recorded 10 sacks as a rookie but has 10 sacks combined over the past two seasons. A fully healthy Allen should certainly yield more double-digit sacks seasons."

ASSESSING THE DOLPHINS' 2019 DRAFT

This is where we'll disagree with PFF and suggest that Wilkins has been a better pick than Allen would have been — and by a pretty clear margin.

Now, Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who was selected third overall in the real 2019 draft, was available at 13 in the PFF re-draft, so maybe he would have been the best choice there ahead of Wilkins.

But Josh Allen — the Jacksonville edge defender, not the Bills quarterback — over Wilkins? No thanks.