When the phrase “Organic tanking” entered the lexicon, my time line as a Dolphins fan was flooded with the hash tag #TankforTua. Now, I’ve yet to be convinced that Tua Tagovailova is the answer at QB, but that’s another story.
Whilst the Dolphins may yet end up with the number 1 pick of the 2020 draft, I take a look at the teams I think may be in contention for the coveted no. 1 slot, even at this early stage in preseason
The Dolphins ‘boast’ one of the worst overall rosters in the NFL. However, with a (Patriots aside) relatively weak division there is the potential they may win a few games and a couple of potentially winnable games against NFC East opposition in the Giants & Redskins, the bottom slot is not as inevitable as some seem
2. Arizona Cardinals
A barely 5’10 QB with one starting season at Oklahoma? A head coach with no NFL experience and a 35-40 record in NCAA football? I genuinely don’t know where the Cardinals will finish – they may be amazing but they may fall flat. They have a promising crop of young receivers but will failing to address their O-line struggles cost them? All this could leave the Cardinals with the converted number one pick again, and they could charge a kings ransom!
Even without their first round pick curse, the Bengals are a team that could struggle. Joe Mixon is a stud, AJ Green is still a quality WR but in the autumn of his career and Geno Atkins continues to produce. Outwith that, their roster feels very generic. A tough division doesn’t make their plight any easier
4. New York Giants
If Eli flames out, Daniel Jones comes in. However would the baptism of fire be too much for Jones? Only time will tell, but early reports, and draft reaction, are anything to go by, Jones would benefit from time redshirting and pitching him in too early could be disastrous
Wildcard – Detroit Lions
My reasons for this pick are slightly different to the rest of the teams on this list. On the face of it Matt Patricia is looking to build a Patriots lite outfit look promising. However, much rests on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford. If things with his wife’s health issues are behind her, fingers crossed they are, then they should be fine. However, if things change, a loved one being ill can be brutal on the mind and Staffords focus may lie elsewhere
Will the tank for Tua movement gain momentum as the season goes on? As always, its too early to predict these things in July, even before training camps.