Less than 24 hours until the 2013 NFL Draft and the Miami Dolphins have already thrown the first curve ball. With everyone focused on a possible deal that would send Branden Albert to Miami, news broke tonight that the Dolphins are openly shopping Davone Bess.
Bess has been a fan favorite in Miami ever since emerging as one of the better slot receivers in the league after going undrafted in 2008. But Joe Philbin prefers versatile receivers for his West Coast offense. Bess is limited to the slot due to his lack of size and speed.
His $2.6 million cap number might have something to do with the Dolphins’ desire to trade him as well, especially if the rumors are true that Jeff Ireland is willing to pay Branden Albert like an elite left tackle.
It’s unsure what the Dolphins expect to receive in return for Bess. Reports range from a mid-round pick to Bess being a part of a package deal that will allow the Dolphins to trade up into the top six or higher. Several teams are said to be exploring a possible trade for Bess, but the Cleveland Browns appear to be the frontrunner.
Trading Bess could also drastically influence the Dolphins’ plans in the draft. West Virginia’s Tavon Austin suddenly seems like a possibility with the 12th overall pick. More than likely, Miami will target a receiver, especially one accustomed to playing in the slot, in the middle rounds of the draft. Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope, West Virginia’s Steadman Bailey, and Duke’s Conner Vernon are a few potential options that come to mind.
Regardless of what happens, one thing is for sure: this is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory. That can be said for the entire NFL, but especially for the Dolphins.