Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Miami Dolphins trade down opportunities

Entering the draft, the Miami Dolphins find themselves in the somewhat precarious position with the third overall pick. Under normal circumstances, this would be an excellent position to be in, however, with several players opting out of the 2020 season and a multitude of Quarterback hungry teams, it’s not quite as simple as sticking at 3.

It’s highly plausible that three Quarterbacks will be selected with the first 3 picks. Jacksonville would be absolutely insane not to go with one of the best Quarterbacks coming out of college in decades in Trevor Lawrence. The Jets have stated openly that they are willing to entertain calls to offload Sam Darnold, suggesting they favour taking the franchise in a different direction and starting again. The other option would be to trade out of the number two spot for a haul that would enable them to rebuild in many positions. In both scenarios’, a Quarterback would be picked at one and two.

Progressing down the board we come to the Miami Dolphins pick at number three, acquired in the savvy trade with Houston for Laramy Tunsil. There are several players that could potentially be picked so high, but another option could be to try and move down the board, increasing their number picks in 2020 and beyond. It’s all about maximising the value and the quality of picks.

For example, they may feel Pennei Sewell or Micah Parson are outstanding talents, but neither have played for a year and may see this as a risk. Equally, there’s been a lot of talk around the top three Wide Receivers in the class, but this is a year loaded with talent. Might they acquire a suitable player deeper in the draft?

Before we discuss trading down there is the other trade elephant in the room, DeShawn Watson. Before the Tua fans (of which I’m one) pile in, you have to remember that this is nothing personal, it’s just business. Watson is the quarterback you hope Tua will become, and whilst the current staff seem to have total faith in him, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. Watson, as it stands is one of the best Quarterbacks in the league, and when a player of that calibre become available, it just simply isn’t prudent to not entertain the idea.

The only issue I have with trading for Watson is what impact it might have on the plan and future shape of the team. The Miami Dolphins are currently in the process of rebuilding and after the 2020 season, are clearly ahead of schedule. Trading for Watson would require sacrificing a multitude of picks, and what impact will this have on the team’s ability to address other areas of weakness on the squad. 

So, what could be some trade down options?

Miami Dolphins trade Down to 4 – Atlanta

Moving just one space back you might think the offer on the table might not be that appealing, however, when a Quarterback is on offer you go and get your man. Matt Ryan will clearly be the starter come September for the Falcons, but what an opportunity to have a potential future franchise Quarterback learning behind him.

The benefit the Dolphins have going for them are the other teams further down in the draft that are desperate for a quarterback. Whilst you might not get a plethora of picks, if you could get the player your after whilst adding to your haul of picks its win win. If the Dolphins are hight on Pennei Sewell for example, they could play the Falcons off against the likes of Carolina, and push them hard.

If you want to draft Pennei Sewell, you don’t let him get as far as the Bengals at 5 as it’s highly likely you’ll lose your man.

Down to 5 – Cincinnati

This is possibly the least likely of these scenarios and one that would probably only be considered if Miami weren’t all in on Pennei Sewell. Cincinnati is in dire need of reinforcements on their offensive line and with Joe Burrow suffering a season ending injury, they need all the protection they can get.

This trade wouldn’t involve a quarterback and there probably wouldn’t be quite as much compensation. You could argue there might be more on offer from the Falcons moving back just one space. Moving down to 5 would probably mean you still had the Wide Receiver of your choice, and the likelihood is that Micah Parsons would still be available.

At pick 6 and 7, it’s highly likely that Eagles and Lions will be in for a Wide Receiver, with some potential for the Eagles looking at the Offensive Line.

Down to 8 – Carolina

It seems inevitable that the Panthers will be moving on from Teddy Bridgewater and are in the market for a new Quarterback. There have been some rumours that they are interested in DeShawn Watson, but unlike the Dolphins (and even the Jets), they simply don’t have the draft capital available to put an offer on the table that would benefit the Texans immediately, unless they load any offer with current players.

This could be the most attractive position to move down to as it would allow the Dolphins a high pick, whilst also accumulating multiple picks, and it would be fair to say any deal would also include the Panthers 2021 2nd round pick and 2022 1st round pick. At 8 you would still potentially have the ability to pick Micah Parsons, one of the top 3 Wide Receivers or even Tight End Kyle Pitts.

The Panthers were a fellow coaching team at the Pro Bowl with along with the Miami Dolphins, so it wouldn’t be surprising if conversations may have already taken place. 

Down to 9 – Denver

Whilst they haven’t explicitly said it, should an opportunity arise for the Broncos to move on from Drew Lock they are likely to seriously consider it. Although we’ve only seen about a season’s worth of snaps across the two seasons, he’s been a pro he has constantly graded below average. There was a lot of hype when Lock was drafted and it will all depend on if Elway feels there is a better option out there.

The draft haul would be similar to that of Carolina and it would be a perfect opportunity to play one franchise off against the other and try and up the ante as much as possible. Having said that, the Broncos are in need of a lot of help at Cornerback, they should be in prime position at 9 to pick up Caleb Farley or Patrick Sustain.

There are other potential trade partners further down the draft, San Francisco, Chicago or Washington could all use upgrades at Quarterback. You would indeed get a massive haul of picks over multiple years moving down so far in the draft but you run the risk of losing out of the marquee players at the top end of the draft. For me, best case is to trade down with the Panthers and pick high whilst at the same time adding draft capital.

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