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Is Justin Herbert in Miami Dolphins’ plans? Here’s our take on the latest NFL draft rumors

Let’s look at some of the latest NFL news and notes as it relates to the Miami Dolphins and the 2020 NFL draft, which will begin on Thursday:
-- The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Miami is exploring the option of trading up in the first round. But not up from No. 5 into the top three.
The trade could be from No. 18 into the top 15, and perhaps even into the top 10.
The goal here for the Dolphins: Leave Thursday’s first round with a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert and one of the top available offensive tackles like Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr., Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton.

Such a draft scenario, leaving the first round with two top-15 players, would be a success for the Dolphins, who will enter the draft with 14 total selections and picks Nos. 5, 18 and 26 in the first round.
[Most Read Dolphins Coverage] Miami Dolphins trying to trade up in first round of NFL draft 
That’s unless the Dolphins run the risk of drafting an offensive tackle at No. 5, and hope to land the quarterback with the later pick. Miami should definitely avoid this option.
The possibility of Miami leaving the first round with two top-15 players would be a great start to the draft for Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores.

Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline reports Herbert may not be the Dolphins’ top pick.
The report says Dolphins owner Steve Ross “is talking as though quarterback Justin Herbert is not in the team’s plans with the fifth overall pick.”
This is perhaps the most direct report with regards to the Dolphins’ plan with the fifth pick.
If Herbert isn’t in the cards, the Dolphins are likely narrowing in on Tagovailoa.
[Most Read Dolphins Coverage] Miami Dolphins trying to trade up in first round of NFL draft 
The report states that Miami could draft Tagovailoa at No. 5, or draft Thomas with the fifth pick and Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with a later pick.
Again, why would the Dolphins run the risk of leaving the quarterback they want on the board for another team to poach ahead of them?

-- NFL.com reports the Giants, who have the No. 4 pick ahead of Miami, have spent a lot of time researching Herbert.
Look at the Lions and Giants trying to keep the lines open for business with the Nos. 3 and 4 picks, respectively.
If a team covets Herbert over Tagovailoa with an early pick, this is a report that could cause some angst.
Both Detroit and New York may be eager to trade their draft spots to acquire more draft capital but may not be hearing what they want from teams — perhaps, like the Dolphins — during preliminary trade calls before the draft begins.
[Most Read Dolphins Coverage] Staff predictions: Miami Dolphins’ first-round picks in 2020 NFL draft 
The Giants’ work on Herbert has spanned over the past two years, before Herbert decided to forgo the 2019 draft and returned to school. As a result, the Giants took quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth pick last year.
Also, Giants GM Dave Gettleman has never made a trade down in the first round in his eight years as a general manager for two different teams. Doing so this year would be a strong deviation from his norm.
If the Dolphins can fend off a team trading with Detroit for the No. 3 pick, they could have their pick of Tagovailoa or Herbert at No. 5.
-- NBC Sports’ Peter King has the Dolphins trading up to No. 3 for Herbert in his latest mock draft, while the New England Patriots trade up to 13 for Tagovailoa.
Now, this is just a mock draft.
And this scenario has the Dolphins trading away valuable draft assets to get the No. 3 pick and drafting Herbert, who will likely be available with the No. 5 pick.

But could you imagine a worst draft-day scenario for Dolphins fans than Bill Belichick and the Patriots swooping in to take Tagovailoa?
That’s an issue for another day — if it really does happen.
-- ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit may have silenced any such noise about Miami passing on Tagovailoa if he’s available with the No. 5 pick.
“That’s a franchise that seems like it’s needed a quarterback for a long time. If he falls in their laps and they pass on him, I don’t know how they do that,” Herbstreit said of Tagovailoa and the Dolphins during a pre-draft conference call Monday.
“Go back to when he burst on the scene. Sat there his entire freshman year behind a very talented QB who won a lot of games, and halftime of the national championship, they put him into the biggest stage that you can be in in the college game, and he’s never been in that situation. And to watch him play, and he made a mistake or two along the way, but to watch him pay with poise, his decision-making — the game moves pretty quickly when you play in that game — and eventually lead them back and make enough plays to win the national [title] in overtime , and to visit with him on the back end of that a few months later, I think it’s the culture, the way he was raised.
“From an intangible [standpoint], ... he’s a 12 out of 10. The linemen will love him, the receivers will love him, the defensive linemen will love him, the coaching staff will love him, the fan base will love him. I don’t know if I covered a guy who checked every box as far as intangibles are concerned. His ability to read coverages, come off a read and go to second or third option. The only thing I’d say, since he had so much success, he doesn’t give up on a play. When he got hurt, instead of giving up, he’s trying to keep a play alive. In the SEC, he got banged up. In the NFL, he’ll get destroyed. That’s an area he’ll really need to work on. But his accuracy, his touch, his command and then his intangibles, there’s a lot there to fall in love with.”

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