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#pounditFriday, September 29, 2023

Mel Kiper predicts Dolphins will draft Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa

Justin Herbert

The Miami Dolphins are expected to target a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft, and it seems likely that they will use the No. 5 overall pick on one. Tua Tagovailoa looks healthy and his stock is rising at the perfect time, but at least one top draft analyst believes the Dolphins prefer Justin Herbert over the former Alabama star.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper released his latest mock draft on Tuesday, and he has the Dolphins selecting Herbert at No. 5 and Tagovailoa going No. 6 to the Los Angeles Chargers. Kiper explained his rationale in an appearance on “Get Up!” and said he has heard from sources that Tagovailoa’s injury history is a still a big concern.

“Durability concern is why I dropped him. Some think he could drop a little farther than that,” Kiper said. “It’s not only just about the injuries he’s had, but protecting his body and not taking hits. Will he learn to do that once he’s in the NFL?”

As for Herbert, Kiper said he doesn’t understand why people are saying the former Oregon star has a low ceiling.

“He’s got a ton of talent. His upside is through the roof,” Kiper said. “He’s got as much physical athletic ability (as anyone). He’s super intelligent, rocket arm, he can run … he’s got awesome talent. Will it come together in terms of anticipation and all that in the NFL? We’ll see.”

Where Tagovailoa will be selected is probably the storyline people are watching the most heading into the draft, and Kiper’s biggest rival seems to think the talk of Herbert going over Tua is absurd. Tagovailoa likely impressed teams with the video footage from his private workout recently, and that could be enough to cement his place over Herbert. We’ll know in less than two weeks.


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