Plain and simple, the Miami Dolphins reached for Austin Jackson with the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
I know that the Miami Dolphins needed to leave the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft with an offensive tackle. They did a great job early, getting the right quarterback, when they took Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. They now need to find a way to protect them. However, instead of getting aggressive and trading up for a falling Tristan Wirfs, the Dolphins stood pat and took Austin Jackson out of USC.
Jackson has some nice athletic upside at the left tackle position. He has quick feet, long arms and gets into his pass sets well. That being said, Jackson is an extremely raw player who lacked ideal functional strength up front.
Jackson has some nice long-term upside, but the Miami Dolphins aren’t really in a great position to wait on him to develop. They need a guy who can come in and help protect Tua right now and Jackson just is not that guy.
All of that being said, I can see the appeal here. Jackson has the long-term potential to be a true franchise left tackle. He will likely struggle as a rookie, but Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely be taking the snaps next season. If the Dolphins can get Jackson up to speed for 2021 when Tua takes over, this could work out well. However, I am not so sure it is going to be that simple.
This offensive line still needs a ton of work and I am not sure Jackson is a guy who gets them any closer to competence. The Miami Dolphins should have used some of their extra 2020 NFL Draft capital to get aggressive and trade up for a guy like Tristan Wirfs.