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Miami’s hopes all rest on Tagovailoa in 2021 and beyond

The Miami Dolphins recorded a solid season in the 2020 campaign, taking a significant stride forward in Brian Flores’ second year at the franchise.

In his first term, Flores overcame a difficult start to end the 2019 season with a 5-11 record. The Dolphins snapped up Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 Draft, with an eye to the future at the quarterback position, despite the presence of Ryan Fitzpatrick. After starting the 2020 season 0-2, Miami won 10 out of their remaining 14 games and narrowly missed out on a place in the playoffs. The franchise now has the opportunity to build behind Tua at quarterback.

And although the former Alabama Crimson Tide man endured struggles in his rookie term after overcoming a hip injury, Flores and company have staked their futures in the left hand of the quarterback to allow the franchise to become a competitive force in the AFC.

However, it will be far from straightforward, given the talent of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East and the potential return to prominence of the New England Patriots after a down year in 2020. The Dolphins are backed at +330 to win the AFC East in the Space Casino betting on football odds, with the Bills considered the leading contenders to retain the crown.

Miami has acquired further capital in the 2021 Draft that will allow them to bolster their roster after trading back from the third spot overall with the Houston Texans. The franchise has notched further first-round picks over the next two years, which will only stand them in good stead to add quality to a team that was stripped back to the screws in Flores’ first season.

The Dolphins are developing strength across their roster. The draft will demand an influx of talent at running back and wide receiver if the right player sits on the board. Will Fuller was signed during free agency to present Tagovailoa with a burner to stretch the field as he enjoyed during his college days. Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson should also return to the fold after missing the 2020 campaign. DeVante Parker is one of the best wideouts in the NFL when healthy, and an off-season of recovery may allow him to return to his peak form in the 2021 campaign.

The tight end room has promising talent led by Mike Gesicki, although a dream scenario could play out for the franchise to snag Florida Gators’ Kyle Pitts with the sixth-overall selection in the 2021 Draft. Pitts is widely regarded as the best player available in the selection process, and Miami could land a steal with a move for the tight end.

Surrounding Tagovailoa with talent has to be the key for the franchise. Miami were solid enough on their offensive line, while their defense under Flores has been stout. The NFL is trending towards powerhouses on the offensive side of the ball, with the Kansas City Chiefs and Bills highlighting the requirement to put 30 points on the board on a regular basis.

There will be a lot of pressure on Tagovailoa to live up to the billing at quarterback. The Dolphins have made sound moves around him and could bolster their roster still with exciting prospects, not only this season but in the years to come, too.

However, it all hinges on the play at the quarterback position. Flores and general manager Chris Grier made the bold move to trade away the third selection, which would have landed them one of the best quarterbacks in the 2021 Draft. They have put their faith in Tagovailoa, and he will need to deliver in the new campaign to drive the franchise into prominence in a tough AFC Conference.

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