Usually when a team trades up more than once in a draft, that team has a lot of talent and feels that it only needs a player or two to take them to the next level, clearly this does not apply to the Dolphins. We also hear every year that there are more teams trying to trade down, than there are teams trying to trade up.
Draft picks are so valuable because they are cheap labor while on their rookie contracts. Of course Miami’s draft history has many more misses than hits, so the important distinction is that the picks are valuable only if you hit on them. For some recent examples of our poor picks see – Dion Jordan #1 pick, Jamar Taylor #2, Daniel Thomas #2, Michael Egnew #3. And to add insult to injury, the Dolphins traded up for Dion Jordan and Daniel Thomas, so we actually wasted even more picks by trading up to acquire them.
I actually commend the Dolphins approach to this draft for trading up a remarkable four times. Instead of just settling and waiting to see who fell to them, they went after players they wanted. I realize that Tunsil did fall to them and they got their #2 rated player on their board by staying put. But lightning does not strike twice. It has been reported that Miami tried to trade up for Myles Jack in the second round, but could not strike a deal. Do you know what home run hitters lead the league in besides home runs? the answer is strikeouts. Using another baseball analogy, if you want to be great, you need to swing for the fences.
To recap the four times we traded up in this years draft:
Xavien Howard C.B.
We gave up a 4th round pick to move up from 4 spots in the second round.
Leonte Carroo W.R.
We gave up three picks to move from the 4th round to the third.
Jakeem Grant W.R.
Swapped 6th rounds picks and gave up a 7th.
Brandon Doughty Q.B
Swapped 7th round picks and gave up Jamar Taylor to move up 23 spots
The Carroo trade is the most surprising, as the wide receiver position seemed to be one of the team’s few areas of strength. If Carroo turns out to be another Jarvis Landry though, no one will think that this was a poor decision. By aggressively pursuing difference makers, I applaud this approach. If a player stands out on their board, I want the phins to go after that player- regardless of position.
Conventional wisdom says that a team like Miami that needs a major infusion of talent would be better off having more draft picks. More picks also means more chances to hit on talent, your odds simply increase. I am tired of playing it safe and conservative-see Joe Philbin. Give me the gunslinger mentality.