Miami Dolphins: Quest for No. 1 pick, successful rebuild not over

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins are no longer winless in 2019 but their rebuilding plan and shot at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is far from ruined.

All hope is lost for the Miami Dolphins. They won a game on Sunday. A team that, at least for fans who had bought into the plan, was designed to have the inside track at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft put that quest into question with a victory over the hapless New York Jets, coincidentally coached by former Dolphins head man Adam Gase.

There are sure to be Dolphins fans that decry the team for winning a game. If this team was going to be bad, it only made sense to steer fully into it and make a try for 0-16. With a win, though, the Cincinnati Bengals have the winless grasp on the No. 1 pick while the Jets, Redskins and Falcons also sit around as one-loss teams.

Anyone thinking that the top draft pick — likely Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa — is the only way that the Dolphins can manage a successful rebuild should not despair. General manager Chris Grier, head coach Brian Flores and the franchise at large are still in a great position.

More from NFL Spin Zone

First, it should be mentioned that the schedule and tiebreakers remain in the Dolphins favor as they could still earn the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They’ve already lost to Washington, giving them the tiebreaker there. Meanwhile, they still face the Jets and Bengals in their slate of remaining games. Losses in both of those contests give the Dolphins the tiebreakers or worse record than both of those teams.

But even if the Dolphins were to beat Cincinnati and end up with something like the No. 4 or 5 selection, they could still land their franchise quarterback. Of the teams vying for the top pick, only Miami and Cincinnati need a quarterback. And there just so happens to be two elite quarterback prospects in this draft class, Tagovailoa and LSU’s Joe Burrow.

It goes beyond that, though. Through their roster-clearing moves this year, Miami has put themselves in position to make any move that they need to make.

Hypothetically, say the Dolphins own the fourth pick and the Redskins are at No. 2 with the Bengals at No. 1. Washington could then hold a bidding war for a trade up to the second selection. Because of the draft capital they’ve acquired, no team in the NFL — even the most quarterback-desperate — can match the package Miami could potentially send in such a deal.

Speaking on that draft capital, the Dolphins also still have that to fall back on at well. One draft pick does not make a franchise, even if it’s a potentially great quarterback. This roster is wholly depleted and they have the immense number of picks to start replenishing it early and later in the first round (and beyond).

Next. 20 Bold predictions for NFL Week 10. dark

Yes, the Dolphins winning feels odd given the narrative around them this season. However, saying that it ruins a perceived “tank” or anything of the sort would be overreacting. Miami remains in a fine position to either get the No. 1 pick or simply begin a successful rebuild otherwise.