The Miami Dolphins are So Bad… That It’s a Good Thing?

Jack Meyer, News Editor

NFL fans constantly debate which team is the best. Some fans pick the New England Patriots, some go with the Kansas City Chiefs and some choose an entirely different team. But at least NFL fans can unanimously agree on one thing: the Miami Dolphins are the worst team in the NFL. It may just sound like something a disgruntled Dolphins’ fan  would say, but there are actual statistics that back this claim up. 

As a matter of fact, the Dolphins have statistically gotten off to the worst start in NFL history. The Dolphins have been outscored by 137 points this season, the worst point differential ever four games into a season. The Dolphins are also the only team to ever give up over 40 points per game a full month into the season. Due to their poor play this season, the chances of the Dolphins going 0-16 have dramatically risen in the past few weeks. 

But as crazy as it sounds, this may be the best thing to happen to the Dolphins since their 2016 playoff appearance, their only one in the past decade. With their season basically having ended before it really started, the Dolphins traded away several key players prior to their first game, including star offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills. Two games into the season, star defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick grew frustrated and requested a trade from Miami, and his request was granted in less than a week. 

 This may seem like an additional source of misery for Dolphins fans, especially when analyzing the trades through a short-term lens. However, the Dolphins received two future first round in the trade involving Tunsil and Stills from the Houston Texans one for the 2020 NFL draft and one for the 2021 draft. Additionally, they received a 2021 second round pick while giving up a 2020 fourth round pick. In the Fitzpatrick trade, the Dolphins received a 2020 first round pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers, while also exchanging later round picks in future drafts. 

In the trade with the Texans, the Dolphins received a haul of draft picks similar to the load the Raiders got when they traded All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack. Meanwhile, despite trading for Fitzpatrick, the Steelers have struggled this season, getting off to a 1-4 start, their only victory against the 0-5 Cincinnati Bengals. If the Steelers continue to struggle, their pick may end up rising into the top 10, making it a realistic possibility that the Dolphins end up with two top 10 picks in the 2020 draft in addition to a third first rounder from the trade with the Texans. 

With five first round picks in the next two years, the Dolphins clearly have several options for who they want to choose help take them back to the playoffs. While the main tagline of the Dolphins’ rebuild this season has been “Tank for Tua” referring to Alabama’s star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa they have several options for who they want as their next franchise quarterback. While there have been plenty of rumored links between the Dolphins and Tagovailoa, other quarterbacks have been mentioned as a possible match for the Dolphins, including Georgia junior Jake Fromm and Oregon senior Justin Herbert. 

The Dolphins may also elect to stay with 2018 first round pick Josh Rosen, whom they acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason. While Rosen’s stats have not been ideal this season, he has shown flashes of brilliance in his play and played exceptionally well considering his circumstances since the Dolphins have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. 

If the Dolphins choose to stay with Rosen at quarterback next season but decide to move on in 2021, the Dolphins can use one of their two 2021 first rounders to select another quarterback, such as Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, or Ohio State’s Justin Fields. 

While quarterback appears to be the current number one concern for the Dolphins, the Dolphins are also looking at drafting other talented young players later in the draft. Some 2020 mock drafts even see the Dolphins using their first pick on Ohio State defensive end Chase Young instead of a quarterback. Other mock drafts have the Dolphins selecting a variety of players later on, most commonly wide receivers and offensive linemen. However, a lot can change with more than half of the college football season remaining, and these mock drafts are likely to drastically change by next April. 

Although the Dolphins have several holes in their roster to fill them right now, they have enough  picks to do just that as long as the Dolphins make wise selections. While the Dolphins have undoubtedly the worst team in the NFL this season, the Dolphins’ new front office has given the team hope for the future with plenty of draft picks to accelerate Miami’s rebuild and get the team back into the playoffs as soon as possible. While this goal may seem out of reach right now, the Dolphins have finally committed to a plan for their franchise. 

In past years, the Dolphins always looked poised to make a playoff run, but never delivered, with two playoff appearances and zero playoff wins since the 2002 season. Rather than continuing this tradition of mediocrity, new head coach Brian Flores and fourth-year general manager Chris Grier have finally committed to a direction for the Dolphins. While it may hurt to watch now, it will likely be worth it with the amount of young talent expected to join the Dolphins in the future. As long as the Dolphins select the right players in the next few drafts, they might finally make some noise in a few years, and possibly even secure their first playoff win since the 2000 season. For now, all Dolphins fans can do is stay patient and hope for the best. 

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