By Smart Guy (@SmartJames1981)
Since the season has ended, we tackle the important questions as free agency, and the draft is approaching. While many are still holding on to the trading or signing of another quarterback (that shall remain nameless), we look at why they should build around Tua.
I recently pulled data on Tua’s performance. The data shows Tua’s performance per quarter, under center vs shotgun, and blitzed vs. un-blitzed.
When looking at the current set of weapons Tua has to utilize, the question remains; how good is the Dolphins’ current stable of receivers?
Many will point to the fact that Hurns and Wilson opted out due to CO. However, Hurns hasn’t had over 500 yards receiving since his 2015 season. Albert Wilson has had a whopping 742 receiving yards in his last two previous seasons. PFF ranked the unit 27th best in the NFL prior to their opting out. When looking at the elephant in the room (separation), it shows that Miami as a whole was the worst team in the NFL. This is not what any QB (much less rookie QB) wants to see.
The Dolphins should take a long look at this year’s list of FA wide receivers and wide receivers in the draft. Regardless of the QB, they are going to need more open targets to hit. When we look at the successful QB’s they all have wide receivers gaining 3+ yards on a defender. According to NextGenStats, there were 132 players with a minimum of 43 targets. Of those players, 56.8% gained 3+ yards of separation, so we aren’t talking unicorns.
Many QB’s including Watson and Luck, saw a 6 to 7 point increase in completion percentage from year 1 to year 2. If Tua were to develop at that rate, he would finish next season with a 70% completion percentage and certainly lead the league or be top 3 at worst in that category.
This team currently has two players who played a position outside of WR in college (Lynn Bowden QB/WR & Malcolm Perry QB) on their roster. Devante Parker had his best season in 2019. However, this year he saw much of the same results as his previous 5 seasons. Parker has only produced above 1,000 yards receiving in 1 of 6 total seasons. The question remains: was 2019 the anomaly? Preston Williams was showing promise in 2020. However, his season was cut short due to injury. The troubling thing is Preston has seen both of his seasons in the NFL cut short with injuries.
Outside of these players, the only weapon left is Jakeem Grant. Grant has played 5 seasons and has a career total of 919 yards receiving. He has never produced more than 330 yards in a single season. The entire organization currently has only 2 seasons over 1,000 yards (Parker 2019 & Hurns 2015).
This group is not exactly striking fear into the likes of Jalen Ramsey, etc.
Please, I’m begging you! Get Tua Tagovailoa some weapons!