Trading down is best-case scenario for Dolphins


There’s a lot of hope that the Dolphins will take either Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen if either are still available by the time Miami picks at 11. It’s unlikely they will be, however, and it’s probably best if Miami can find a trade partner to move down.

The Miami Dolphins haven’t had a great history when moving up in the draft, particularly the last decade, in any round. Set to select at #11 overall, Miami is sitting in a wait-and-see position. Simply put, they’ll need to wait and see how the first ten picks pan out before making a decision.

There’s been talks of the Dolphins attempting to move up in the draft in hopes to take a quarterback. Miami has only shown interest in Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen when talking about the top four in this class. Some think Miami might attempt to trade up in order to get one of the top defenders in this class, but I consider that unlikely. The Dolphins tried that once back in 2013, and although Miami nailed the trade by getting all the way up to #3 overall by only giving up the #11 and #42 overall picks, the selection of Dion Jordan was one of the biggest busts in Dolphins history.

Miami will have to fork over much more this time around if they want to move within the top six. While this may not be the best class in recent history, there’s still a ton of talent to be found, and letting go of additional assets to move up a few spots is not a wise move. They’re better off hoping that either Mayfield or Rosen falls to them, even if the odds are slim. Even if they don’t, Miami would still be guaranteed a great player if they stay put at 11.

What I would really like to see though is for Miami to find a trade partner to move down, and pick up some additional picks. The Dolphins certainly need to draft a quarterback later this month. Ryan Tannehill is coming off of an ACL injury, and hasn’t played a game since 2016. There’s no guarantee he’s going to be the player he was, and it’s still a question as to how good he was then. Regardless, Miami cannot put themselves in a similar position as they did last year that made them desperate enough to give Jay Cutler $10 million. They must go into 2018 with some sort of backup plan.

But just because the Dolphins must take a quarterback in this class, it doesn’t mean it has to be in the first round. While they should take one early, a trade down can help Miami pickup some additional picks along the way. Coming off a 6-10 season, and nearly two decades of mediocrity, Miami still has a ton of needs that should be addressed with higher priority. Credit to the Dolphins management for filling some of those needs in free agency, but there is still work to be done.

A trade down could net result that quarterback backup plan, and land them some potential starters at tight end, linebacker, and defensive line along the way. I don’t think they should trade completely out of the first round as there are some players that Miami doesn’t want to miss out on. A trade down wouldn’t necessarily rule out the idea of Miami taking a quarterback with their first selection either.

Related Story: Tuesday's Daily Mock Draft

While all the talk surrounding the Dolphins has been about Rosen and Mayfield, it’s very possible that Miami has another quarterback in mind. On the latest DolphinsTalk podcast, in which the guys broke down the quarterbacks of this class, they made mention that a handful of teams have Lamar Jackson ranked as #2 quarterback in this class. It’s possible that the Dolphins could be one of those teams.

Hypothetically, if Miami does in fact really like Jackson, it could look like a bit of a reach to take him at 11. However, he’s not expected to be there at 42 when the Dolphins select again. If Miami can manage a trade down it could put themselves in a position to take the quarterback of their future in Jackson. It would look like a win-win situation for Miami if it came to fruition.

There are various routes the Dolphins could go if they can find a trade partner to move down from 11. It’s easier said than done, obviously, and Miami is not exactly in the most prime position for other teams. Almost every season my hope is that the Dolphins trade out of their respective position to pick up additional picks, but typically, it doesn’t happen. That’s one of the downfalls of finishing mediocre every season.

That’s not to say that 11 is a bad spot to be in, but Miami is better off standing pat if they can’t trade down where they are guaranteed a great player. Whether that player be a quarterback of their liking or a top defender, the Dolphins will have options by standing still for sure. A trade up will get them the player they want, but at what cost? Miami still has a ways to go before becoming contenders, and they’ll need a strong draft class this year to help make that happen.