Miami Dolphins should trade for a known commodity with 2021 draft uncertainty

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Joe Thuney #62 of the New England Patriots in action against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Joe Thuney #62 of the New England Patriots in action against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Should the Miami Dolphins make a big trade with so much uncertainty around the 2021 NFL Draft?

The 2020 college football season has been up in the air for months. Now, the Power Five conferences are undecided on whether or not to play football this season. The uncertainty of collegiate sports will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the 2021 NFL draft. As a domino effect, the Miami Dolphins, who have four picks in the first two rounds, will be eyeing the situation closely.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the 2021 NFL draft, the Dolphins should be assessing all of their options. The best option might be to lessen the risk of having this draft blow up in their face. The Dolphins should trade one (or more) of those four top 64 picks and get a known commodity. The preference would obviously be to trade one of the Houston Texans’ picks since they will most likely be lower and less valuable picks.

COVID-19 will have a disastrous effect on the NFL salary cap. The Dolphins will still have cap room, given that most of the roster is playing on rookie contracts. Other teams, like the Philadelphia Eagles, will be in a place that is worse than salary cap hell. As of now, the Eagles are projected to have as low as -$71 Million in salary cap room. Wow. That is the reality we live in right now. Aggressive teams like the Eagles will pay the price for something that was completely out of their control. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald suggested that Miami should make a play for Eagles, star tight end Zach Ertz.

There are numerous options all over the league. There are expensive players that teams need to make a difficult decision with and unload their contracts. Also, there are players who have big extensions coming up that they cannot afford to give. The Dolphins are in a spot to spend. They have traded away the players that they selected in the first rounds of 2016, 2017, and 2018. There are no big extensions coming up for Miami. They can trade a pick that is an absolute unknown commodity considering that all the tape on most players will be at least a year old. In return, they can acquire a big impact player and expedite the rebuild. These options are mainly players that would require a first or second-rounder. There are plenty of players that Miami can get with mid-round picks such as O.J. Howard, a tight end from Tampa Bay, or even Gabe Jackson, a talented guard from the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Joe Thuney, G, New England Patriots for Texans second-round pick

Joe Thuney was high on the Dolphins’ radar prior to the 2020 free-agent period. However, the Patriots used the franchise tag on him. The Patriots are unlikely to give another big extension to an interior offensive lineman after extending Shaq Mason. With Bill Belichick getting older every year, and the team in transition, New England would rather take a mid to late second-round pick (Houston Texans) than a compensatory third or fourth the following year. Ereck Flowers’ contract is essentially a two-year deal, and the plan is to have Robert Hunt play tackle. Joe Thuney would be a game-changer for this offensive line

Fletcher Cox, IDL, Philadelphia Eagles for Texans first-round pick

Should the Eagles trade Fletcher Cox? No, but they have to make some very tough decisions. Cox is one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL and has been unbelievable for the franchise. He’s also the second-highest-paid player on the roster. Carson Wentz is first and he isn’t going anywhere. For Miami, three to four more years of Fletcher Cox is better than anything they are going to get from whoever they draft with Houston’s first-rounder.

Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars for Dolphins second-round pick

A few months ago, Yannick Ngakoue was worth a first-round pick. Right now, a second-round pick will get him out of Jacksonville. He’s been bashing his team on Twitter and has been a malcontent in Jacksonville since he was slapped with the franchise tag. He’s not a great scheme fit, given that he’s a pure speed rusher. However, no team will pass up an edge rusher of this caliber, especially at 25 years old.


Any of these players, as well as some of the middle round options presented earlier, would be great additions to the Dolphins roster. Whether it be now for Thuney or Ngakoue, or after the 2020 season for Cox, the Dolphins should absolutely be trying to mitigate the risk that is the 2021 NFL draft. For the crowd that believes trading Houston’s picks is dangerous because Houston may have a less than stellar season, don’t get your hopes up. A team with stars at quarterback (Deshaun Watson), offensive tackle (Laremy Tunsil), and edge rusher ( J.J. Watt) is winning enough games to be picking outside of the top 15. They also have two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Miami should be looking to capitalize on the misfortune of teams who are being hammered by revenue loss leading to a lower salary cap.