The NFL season is only two weeks old and for the Miami Dolphins it’s clear their year is over.
The Dolphins have been humiliated in losses of 59-10 and 43-0. It’s the worst start to a season by any team in the NFL’s 100 years.
Miami gained a haul of future draft picks in return for trading left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans.
Official terms of now completed trade:
T Laremy Tunsil
WR Kenny Stills
2020 4th round pick
2021 6th round pick
2020 1st round pick
2021 1st round pick
2021 2nd round pick
T Julien Davenport
CB Johnson Bademosi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2019
The Dolphins promoted second-string players to take over the starting roles and won’t see any return on this trade until 2020.
This off-season, Miami signed 36-year-old quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is yet to take the field in a play-off game after stints on seven teams.
Miami’s first round pick from 2018, Minkah Fitzpatrick, requested a trade just one week into the season. Fitzpatrick was frustrated with the direction of the franchise and Miami traded him to Pittsburgh for another first pick in 2020.
The Dolphins have traded valuable players now to improve future draft picks but that leaves the current side weakened to the point where they’re now outright favourites to finish last.
Dolphins’ draft picks in 2020:
1st round: Own, Texans, Steelers
2nd round: Own, Saints
3rd: Own, projected compensatory
5th: Projected compensatory
6th: Own, Cowboys
Miami also owns Houston’s 2021 1st and 2nd rounder.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 17, 2019
Not only have Miami got draft capital they are armed with the most salary cap space in the league, making them a landing spot for free agents this off-season.
The Dolphins now own three first round picks in 2020.
Due to Miami’s terrible play to start the year, they are likely to be selecting Tua Tagovailoa with the first overall pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Tagovailoa plays quarterback at Alabama, and was the hero of the National Championship triumph against Georgia in 2018. The twenty-one year old is almost certain to come out of college after his junior year.
Tagovailoa has drawn comparisons to Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. If he can live up to the expectations of a number one pick, he will be more then just a consolation prize for this embarrassing season in Miami.
First round draft picks are highly sought after commodities in the NFL. Unlike other sports such as the AFL, where players are drafted out of high school, or the NBA where a player must play a year of organised basketball before nominating for the draft, NFL hopefuls must ply their trade for three years in collegiate football.
This means when players are drafted, they’re older and ready to make a greater impact right away rather then needing major development.
Miami have positioned themselves to endure a painful 2019 season, but things are likely to pick up in 2020 and beyond. The franchise is poised to get access to elite level talent early in the draft as the rebuild continues.