How the Miami Dolphins could end up with a first round pick in the draft

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

The NFL Draft is 10 days away and social media is full of mock drafts. Whether you’re on Twitter, watching ESPN, or perusing your favorite FanSided sites, you’ll see a full first round mock draft. But none of them have the Dolphins – and that’s because Miami does not hold a first round pick this year.

But what if they did?

There is some serious talent in the first round as this draft class is one of the strongest in recent memory. With the Dolphins is what appears to be ‘win-now’ mode, it is not totally out of the realm of possibilities to see Miami wager on sending some future assets to a team to take a first-round caliber player in the upcoming draft.

So, let’s see what we can come up with to land a first round pick for the Miami Dolphins in the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27th. Things will get (hypothetically) wild.

Dolphins trade a 2024 first and a third to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 30th overall selection

Seeing as how the reigning NFC champions already hold the 10th overall pick, as ridiculous as that sounds, I feel like the Eagles would be willing to give up their 30th overall pick for what will likely be a higher pick in 2024, as well as an additional third-rounder. The Eagles also just locked up Jalen Hurts to a 5-year, $255 million deal with $179 million guaranteed, so their money will be tied up for a long time.

It makes sense for Philadelphia for obvious reasons, but what do the Dolphins get out of it?

Miami would likely spend that pick on an offensive lineman. All signs point towards the major offensive skill guys and defensive phenoms eating up most of the first round selections, with the unheralded interior offensive linemen — who are just as good — starting to fall towards the end of the first round and into the second round.

With Miami holding the 51st selection as their first pick, they may not want to wait on the off chance of a blue chip offensive lineman falling into their lap in the fifties. Trading into the first round could help solidify their offensive line for years to come, including this season as their sights are set on their first Lombardi trophy since 1974.

Dolphins give up a ransom to hop into the top 15 for a quarterback

Back in January, the Miami Dolphins sent a team of scouts to Gainesville, Florida to watch an exciting, little-known quarterback who was starting to make a name for himself. Now, back in January, this quarterback was just starting to garner some traction as a high second round pick, but it’s now post-combine in mid-April and this guy is likely going top ten.

Quarterback Anthony Richardson from the University of Florida is the hottest topic in draft talks right now, after a stellar NFL Combine, and we genuinely have no idea where he’ll go. But if Richardson starts to slide past the first ten picks, teams are going to pick up the phone and aggressively attempt to trade up to draft him. The Dolphins may be one of those teams.

Say it’s pick 12 and Anthony Richardson is still on the board. I think there’s a slim chance the Dolphins look at Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history, the fact he’s on the last year of his rookie deal and decide they need to draft his replacement for the long haul. All the supporting pieces are there, they just need their franchise quarterback.

It’ll probably cost multiple future firsts, but the Dolphins could get their guy.

Miami gets their starting running back after trading into the twenties

Running backs are people too.

Far too often, their values are overshadowed by every other position besides special teams. Taking a running back with a first round pick is, for some reason, considered risky and even a waste of a pick. When you look at the best running back in this class, there’s an argument to be made that he is the best player at their position in the entire draft.

The University of Texas’s Bijan Robinson is the perfect NFL running back. An every-down back whose speed, size, strength and evasiveness is all but guaranteed to translate to serious production on Sundays, Robinson looks every bit of the part of a Pro Bowl running back.

But as we know, teams don’t love spending first round picks on running backs, so we may see Bijan fall into the twenties of the first round and that is when GM Chris Grier should pick up the phone and work their way into the first round. Again, this ties into the notion the Dolphins want to win now. Bijan is a plug-and-play prospect who looks to be a monster on the ground, giving the Dolphins more of a two-dimensional offense to complement their air attack.

Like most of these hypothetical trades, it won’t be cheap and will likely cost a few future high picks, but the logic is that hopefully the Dolphins will win and the picks won’t be as valuable.

Dolphins trade future first and star player to land a sliding Jalen Carter

One of the most polarizing prospects in this class is defensive tackle Jalen Carter from the University of Georgia.

Purely talent wise, it is my opinion, shared by many others, that Jalen Carter is the best overall football player in the draft. A rare blend of size and athleticism, Carter will surely be a staple on a defensive line for years to come for an NFL franchise.

However, his draft value is a giant question mark with the looming off-the-field issues stemming from two misdemeanors after two classmates lost their lives in a car accident. Showing up out of shape to his pro day didn’t help matters either as Carter, once a lock to be a top-three pick, could drop entirely out of the top five altogether.

As it stands, Jalen Carter is still a generational talent as a defensive lineman, but every single team is aware of his character questions, which just might be enough to start a slide similar to Laremy Tunsil’s.

If Carter does fall out of the top five, then out of the top seven, the Atlanta Falcons would be on the clock ahead of the Chicago Bears, who have shown a lot of interest in Carter. This spot would be Miami’s only chance to leapfrog Chicago and select the best prospect in the entire draft. Atlanta would want compensation — a lot of it.

Miami would send multiple future picks, likely at least a first and a second, as well as an established player. The Dolphins may have to send over a proven, solidified defender like Christian Wilkins, whose contract expires after the 2023 season, to Atlanta to land Jalen Carter.

It’s a hefty price to pay, but when you want to win, you take high-risk, high-reward chances and let the future fall into place.