MIAMI (AP) — Anxious to keep quarterback Tua Tagovailoa healthy, the Miami Dolphins invested in more protection for him Friday.
Miami used a second-round pick to select offensive lineman Robert Hunt, a four-year starter for Louisiana-Lafayette at left guard, left tackle and right tackle.READ MORE: Five Puppies Rescued From Hialeah House Fire
The 6-foot-5, 323-pound Hunt and Southern Cal tackle Austin Jackson, acquired with Miami’s second first-round pick Thursday, will shore up an offensive line that could have four new starters in 2020.
The Dolphins also took Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis in the second round. Their third-round pick — and their sixth among the NFL’s first 70 selections — was safety Brandon Jones, a three-year starter at Texas.
Miami has nine more picks on the final day of the draft Saturday.
The Dolphins’ first pick was Tagovailoa, considered a potential franchise quarterback if he can stay healthy. He set an FBS record for career passing efficiency at Alabama but underwent surgery four times, and his college career was ended by a hip injury in mid-November.
“I’m super excited to get on the field with Tua and all the other guys we already have,” Hunt said. “It’s my job to protect him, and that’s what I’m going to do every day.”READ MORE: Cast Iron Tub Falls Through Ceiling, Hits Three Firefighters Battling House Fire
Hunt started all 13 games at left guard as a freshman, and played left guard and left tackle as a sophomore. He switched to right tackle for his final two seasons, but was limited to seven games in 2019 because of a groin injury.
Hunt missed the NFL combine in February but said he’s 100% healthy now. He laughed when asked about his reputation for flattening defenders at Louisiana-Lafayette.
“It’s fun doing that, and it looks really good,” he said. “You don’t get in trouble for destroying people on the football field, so why not do it, you know? I came into any game with a bully mentality.”
Davis was a three-year starter at Alabama and had a stellar sophomore season with 8 1/2 sacks. He slipped to a total of two sacks in his final two seasons, but was stout against the run and projected as a potential first-round pick.
The 6-foot-6, 311-pound Davis was the 56th player taken, and the seventh from Alabama. He said his goal in 2020 is to be the rookie of the year.MORE NEWS: Miami-Dade Police Officer Not Injured After Coming Under Fire
The Dolphins, who stockpiled picks after they embarked on a rebuilding project more than a year ago, still need a running back and a tight end. Miami went 5-11 last year under first-year coach Brian Flores, and began an attempted turnaround last month by spending $235 million to sign 10 free agents.