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Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

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ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 07: A detail of the jersey of Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers as he stands on the field after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 to win the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The NFL season is coming to a close. Some teams are making that playoff push, but most teams are starting to look ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft. The Miami Dolphins have not been the worst team in the NFL this season (shickingly). But they still have a path to the #1 overall pick, and Joe Burrow.

To most people’s surprise, head-to-head results are not the first tie-breaker when determining draft order. You can find the full list of tie-breakers here. But, the important line is “In situations where teams finished the previous season with identical records, the determination of draft position is decided by strength of schedule — the aggregate winning percentage of a team’s opponents.” So it’s not as simple as the Dolphins losing out, and the Bengals winning out.

Here is the formula that will give the dolphins the #1 overall pick:
1. Miami Dolphins lose out (would finish at 3-13)
2. Cincinnati Bengals win out (Miami and Cleveland left; would finish at 3-13)
3. Washington needs to beat the Giants, and lose to Dallas in week 17 (Washington finish at 3-13)

This would create a three team tie for the #1 overall draft pick. Even though Miami has lost to Washington, and in this scenario Cincinnati, the Dolphins would not get the #1 pick based off those events. Strength of Schedule would be the tie-breaker, and Miami (.500 SOS) would beat out Cincinnati (.599) and Washington (.513) for the #1 overall pick.

If any one of the 3 things do not happen above, the Dolphins could be selecting anywhere from 2 to 5. Then you start weighing best player (Chase Young) vs. the other QBs (Tua and Justin Herbert). My thought is at #2 you have to take Chase Young, but anywhere else in the top-5 the Dolphins should target Tua or Herbet, depending who their scouts think has the higher ceiling.