AFC Notes: Dolphins, Patriots, Raiders


  • ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe examines some of the buzz linking the Dolphins to Oregon QB Justin Herbert, even ahead of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
  • Former Dolphins EVP Mike Tannenbaum began scouting Herbert for the team in 2018. Currently an ESPN analyst, Tannenbaum loves Herbert: “He has the requisite height, weight and speed. He’s tough. He’s smart. I like his size, athleticism. He has a really good arm.”
  • Tannenbaum did acknowledge Herbert isn’t the perfect prospect but still thinks he’s a safe pick: “He could throw a little bit more with anticipation. Sometimes he has to see it before he lets it go, but I think you could work on that and coach that. He’s dangerous outside the pocket. His running ability is underrated. If you look at the whole notion of the tape sets the floor and the character sets the ceiling, he has a high floor and a high ceiling.”
  • Herbert has drawn criticism for his leadership ability, as he’s been more of an introvert, but Tannenbaum disagreed: “When you’re high-character, you’re smart and you care, those are attributes about leadership. Is [Herbert] as demonstrative as Joe Burrow? No. But I don’t think that’s a fatal flaw for him to be successful.”
  • Wolfe says some NFL executives think the Dolphins would take Herbert even if Tagovailoa is available, as he’s a safer prospect because of Tagovailoa’s health concerns and many teams this year will focus on minimizing risk. 
  • Herbert also fulfills all of Bill Parcells‘ rules for a quarterback. Parcells was Dolphins GM Chris Grier‘s mentor. 
  • The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson lists Michigan G Ben Bredeson, Louisian-Lafayette OL Robert Hunt and G Kevin Dotson, LSU C Lloyd Cushenberry and G Damien Lewis, Oregon G Shane Lemieux, Kentucky G Logan Stenberg, Clemson G John Simpson, Temple C Matt Hennessy, Washington C Nick Harris, Ohio State G Jonah Jackson and Georgia G Solomon Kindley as notable interior offensive linemen Miami could have interest in. 
  • The Dolphins have shown interest in Kentucky WR Lynn Bowden, and have arranged a video conference with him according to sources. (Jackson)
  • The Dolphins have also expressed interest in signing veteran S Tavon Wilson to the veteran minimum deal, but it appears unlikely he’ll end up in Miami.
  • Rice OT Justin Gooseberry had a virtual meeting with the Dolphins. Gooseberry is seen as a late-round pick or priority undrafted free agent. (Aaron Wilson)


While the Patriots will go into a season without Tom Brady as the projected starting quarterback for the first time in two decades, New England has started other signal-callers for various reasons. Matt Cassel started the bulk of the 2008 season after Brady tore his ACL and New England still finished 11-5. Patriots HC Bill Belichick used that as an example of how the team would cater its offense toward whoever was at quarterback, in this case currently Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham going into 2020. 

“Cassel would be a good example,” Belichick said via the Boston Herald. “We geared everything toward what would be best for him, just like we always geared everything toward what was best for Tom to help our offense there. So I don’t really see that changing.”

  • A league source tells Ben Standig of The Athletic 
  • that they could see the Patriots getting aggressive and trading up for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa should he drop further out of the first 12 picks or so. However, Standig admits that this would be challenging for New England, considering that the Patriots are without a second-round pick this year. 
  • The Patriots have had video meetings with Purdue LB Markus Bailey. (Mike Reiss)


An NFL executive tells Ben Standig of The Athletic that the Raiders are worth keeping tabs on regarding Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa should he drop past the Dolphins at No. 5 overall.

Standig mentions that the Raiders could consider trading up from No. 12 overall for Tagovailoa.

  • Scott Bair believes that the Raiders will use the No. 12 pick on one of this year’s top three receivers. However, he could see them trading down from No. 19 in order to try and acquire more picks. If they traded down into the late first round, Bair thinks the team would take the best cornerback available.
  • Bair also notes that while the team signed DT Maliek Collins to a one-year deal and has other players on their roster at the position, it may be difficult for the team to pass on Auburn DT Derrick Brown at No. 12 or South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw at No. 19 depending on how much they like those two prospects.
  • According to Bair, the team could also re-sign DE Dion Jordan or LB Will Compton after the draft, but it would be in a limited role for a minimum deal.
  • Bair mentions that with four quarterback prospects on the roster, the Raiders could be hoping that QB DeShone Kizer could be worth a late-round pick.
  • According to the draft history of HC Jon Gruden, Bair seems to think he is unlikely to use a high draft pick on a quarterback.
  • Vic Tafur of The Athletic makes the case for the Raiders selecting Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy with the No. 12 pick in the draft.

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