Joe Burrow often gets compared to Tom Brady. And how ironic would it be if the presumptive No. 1 overall pick ends up succeeding Brady as the king of the AFC East? That could very well happen if the Miami Dolphins get aggressive in the 2020 NFL draft.
Last season, the Dolphins sold off nearly all of their high-end assets in order to stockpile draft picks. Armed with an arsenal of premium picks, Miami has positioned itself to be in full control of the draft. Though the prospect of adding multiple starters in the first round makes sense, that pales in comparison to landing the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. The Cincinnati Bengals may hold the No. 1 pick for now, but the Dolphins have their sights set on adding the biggest catch of the draft: Joe Burrow.
Joe Burrow established himself as top NFL Draft prospect at LSU
Pick any Burrow stat from 2019 and you’re bound to be blown away. The former Ohio State transfer completed 76.3 percent of his passes playing in the most competitive conference in college football. His 5,671 passing yards rank third all-time behind two Texas Tech passers. Burrow threw a single-season record 60 touchdown passes. The next closest SEC quarterback is Drew Lock, who threw 44 in his junior season at Missouri.
Beyond his on-field production, Burrow separated himself from the pack with his incredible vision, toughness and leadership. Transferring from one star-studded program to another can be daunting. Yet, once Burrow and Joe Brady met, the two transformed LSU into the best offense in college football history.
Burrow’s incredible 2019 season included both the Heisman Trophy and the national championship. Aside from his arm strength (which is still more than good enough), there truly isn’t a discernable flaw in his game. Even NFL executives can’t hold back their glee over the can’t-miss quarterback prospect.
Dolphins stockpiled NFL draft capital
The Dolphins essentially punted on the 2019 season the moment they hired Brian Flores. And while the former New England Patriots assistant did a fantastic job competing in the second half, Miami definitely had a long-term plan to revamp its roster. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick became the first casualty, as the Dolphins shipped him to the Steelers for a 2020 first-round pick. The former Alabama standout made the Pro Bowl after recording five interceptions and nine passes defended for Pittsburgh.
Next, Miami managed to fleece Bill O’Brien and the Texans by trading Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills for two first-round picks and a second-round selection. The trade obviously opened up a huge hole at left tackle, but it also gave Miami ample draft capital and avoided any contractual issues with its former first-round pick. To top it off, the Dolphins already have an extra second-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft as a result of a 2019 draft-day trade with the New Orleans Saints.
Miami trying to trade up to select Joe Burrow with No. 1 pick
Armed with the fifth, 18th and 26th overall selections, the Dolphins have the requisite ammo required to pull off a stunning deal for the No. 1 pick. According to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald, Miami plans on trying to pry that pick away from the Bengals in order to draft Burrow. If needed, the Dolphins can sweeten the deal with multiple 2021 draft picks, too. Miami will receive Houston’s first- and second-round picks next year as a result of the Tunsil trade.
Of course, pulling off a major move for the top pick isn’t unprecedented. The Atlanta Falcons traded up from the fifth spot in 2000 to select Michael Vick. The cost certainly wasn’t cheap; the Falcons surrendered the fifth pick plus a third-rounder, a future second-rounder and receiver Tim Dwight. Ultimately, the Chargers did just fine landing Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and his staff face a tough decision ahead. Miami already spent significant money in free agency to upgrade its dismal defense. Do they give up multiple early-round picks to take Burrow No. 1 overall? Are the Bengals even willing to listen? And is one player truly worth mortgaging the future for? We’ll just have to see how aggressive Miami is in its pursuit of its first franchise quarterback since Dan Marino.