The moment so many Dolphins fans have been waiting and hoping for finally arrived Thursday night.
The first round of the 2020 NFL “virtual” draft saw Miami go for former Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa in the fifth pick.
Here it is, Dolphins fans: the moment you’ve waited years for. pic.twitter.com/UBMLZitPlI
— Clay Ferraro (@ClayWPLG) April 24, 2020
Tua Tagovailoa said hearing his name called as a first-round pick in the NFL Draft was “a dream come true.”
Dolphins fans seem to agree.
Miami took Tagovailoa with the No. 5 selection Thursday night, betting that the former Alabama star is their quarterback of the future despite questions about his injury history.
Tagovailoa, 22, dislocated his hip in a November game, ending his final college season and hurting his chances of being the top overall pick. He also battled ankle issues before the hip injury.
But the left-handed passer was the target for many Dolphins fans for months, as the “Tank for Tua” mantra took life last season.
The Hawaiian phenom passed for 7,442 yards in his college career, with 87 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide to a championship title in 2017. He started 24 of his 25 games, and got Alabama back to the title game in 2018.
The ‘Fins are hoping he’ll stick around and follow in the successful footsteps of Dan Marino and Bob Griese, both of whom are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Dolphins used their second pick of the first round on someone to help keep Tagovailoa healthy, taking offensive tackle Austin Jackson at No. 18. Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 322-pound junior from Southern California.
Then the Dolphins traded back from No. 26 to No. 30 and selected Noah Igbinoghene (pronounced IG-bin-OG-gah-nee), an athletic cornerback from Auburn.
Green Bay swapped with Miami to move up and pick Utah State quarterback Jordan Love at No. 26. The Dolphins received an extra fourth-round pick (136th overall) in that exchange.
The Dolphins have 12 more picks when the draft resumes on Local 10 Friday night at 7 p.m. for Rounds 2-3, and Saturday at noon for Rounds 4-7.
Miami controls the draft this year, with 14 picks.
Aloha 🤩 pic.twitter.com/mS5lFH3nxN
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 24, 2020
The 2020 NFL Draft begins tonight. It will be a fully virtual draft amid the ongoing coronavirus from Roger Goodell’s basement.
The Dolphins control the 2020 NFL Draft. They have 14 picks, the most in the league, and could go in a number of different directions. The whole draft hinges on what the Dolphins do at No. 5.
Do they wait and see who falls to them at five or do they use their abundance of picks to move up and ensure they get their guy?
Rumors are swirling that Miami likes Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert more than Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, but should any rumor be believed with such little time before the draft?
It could easily be a ploy so they don’t have to give up additional assets in a trade up.
The Dolphins have needs all over the field, with the exception of outside cornerback.
Quarterback, running back and offensive linemen are all needed on offense. All three levels of the defense need improvement as well. Miami could use its 14 picks on an influx of 14 young players, or the Dolphins can pick their spots to move up for higher picks throughout the draft process. It’s anybody’s guess how it plays out.
The draft was originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas but since live events were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the teams will make their picks from home, with commissioner Roger Goodell announcing selections from his house.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to be selected first by the Bengals, while the Washington Redskins are expected to select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young second.
The Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins close out the top five picks of the draft.
Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski says he’s feeling good again after a year away from football. The new Buccaneers tight end was introduced Wednesday and said the fire within him as returned.
“Gronk” added the chance to reconnect with former Patriots teammate Tom Brady is something special.