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Dolphins Draft Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, As AFC East Gears Up For Post-Tom Brady Era

BOSTON (CBS) -- In the post-Tom Brady era, it's time for AFC East teams to make their move.

The Dolphins made that move on Thursday night, selecting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

Tagovailoa was the second quarterback selected in Thursday's first round, after LSU's Joe Burrow went No. 1 overall to the Bengals.

The Dolphins, who have not had reliable quarterback play since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season, are hoping that Tua is the long-term answer.

With Tagovailoa in Miami, all three of the Patriots' AFC East rivals seemingly have their franchise quarterbacks, with Sam Darnold in New York and Josh Allen in Buffalo.

In the middle of the first round, the Dolphins beefed up their offensive line, taking tackle AUstin Jackson at No. 18. Toward the end of the first round, Miami took cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.

Tagovailoa does carry some injury concerns, as his 2019 season ended in November when he had to undergo hip surgery. He also had a procedure on his left ankle in 2018 and his right ankle in 2019, so durability is a major concern for the 22-year-old.

Injuries aside, Tua showed that he can lead a team throughout his collegiate career -- in a big-time program at that. Under Nick Saban, Tagovailoa won a national title as a freshman in 2017, completing 63.6 percent of his passes while tossing 11 touchdowns to two interceptions playing in parts of eight games for the Crimson Tide.

He finished second in Heisman voting as a sophomore in 2018 when he threw 43 touchdown passes (to just six picks) and racked up nearly 4,000 passing yards, completing 69 percent of his passes. He was on his way to another standout season in 2019 before the hip injury, throwing for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdown passes and only three picks while completing 71.4 percent of his attempts over nine games.

The Dolphins entered Thursday night with an embarrassment of riches, owning three first-round picks (No. 5, No. 18, and No. 26 overall) and 14 picks in total. Last season, Miami was considered to potentially be one of the worst teams in NFL history, and they appeared well on their way to living up to expectations when they started the year with an 0-7 record.

But first-year head coach Brian Flores eventually got some major buy-in from the locker room, and they went 5-4 the rest of the way.

As a result, they lost their shot at the No. 1 pick. But after waiting for a franchise quarterback for 20 years, landing Tagovailoa gives Miami something to be excited about heading into 2020.

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