Well here we go! Fasten those seat belts. Be prepared for literally anything to go down tonight as the Miami Dolphins enter the 2013 NFL Draft with more potential possibilities in the first round than I have fingers.
Jeff Ireland has the ammunition to trade up into the top three in order to land the elite tackle prospect the Chiefs don’t make the first overall pick or into the top six to snag Lane Johnson or the draft’s top corner Dee Milliner.
Trading back is also an option, as Ireland could be looking to recoup a second-round pick most expect the Dolphins will lose if this Branden Albert trade ever goes down.
Or maybe Miami is content staying put at 12. And things don’t become any less complicated if there is no trade down or up. Many experts in the national media expect an offensive lineman like Alabama’s Chance Warmack or his college teammate D.J. Fluker to be the pick at 12.
Those who cover the team locally believe adding a pass catcher like Tyler Eifert or Tavon Austin could be Ireland’s objective. And I really don’t think a soul would be surprised if the Dolphins went ahead and addressed the cornerback position or pass rush. After all, we’re talking about a team that finished 27th against the pass a year ago and desperately must improve in order to seriously compete for a playoff spot in a passing league.
Couple all of the mystery surrounding what the Dolphins will do with their first-round pick with two potential trades – acquiring Branden Albert and shipping away Davone Bess- that are expected to go down sometime during draft weekend and Dolfans better not blink or they might miss something.
As I expected, or at least hoped, the Dolphins are reportedly unwilling to offer the Chiefs a second-round pick for Albert. Like I said yesterday, the Dolphins have the leverage here as the Chiefs must rid themselves of the $9 million Albert is owed this season, especially considering they are drafting his replacement tonight.
There is no need to give up a second when Miami will have to sign him to a pricey extension as well. If the Chiefs won’t accept a third for Albert than let them deal with paying a backup left tackle $9 million while the 1st overall pick takes his starting job. The Dolphins still have their draft picks or a band aid like Eric Winston in free agency to fall back on.
As for Bess, the Cleveland Browns are one of the teams rumored to be interested. It’s unclear what the Dolphins’ price tag is, although some have assumed Bess will be part of a package deal that allows Miami to move up into the top six. I believe compensation, more likely than not, centers around a mid-round pick. Best case scenario, maybe fourth-round pick. Most likely scenario? Probably a fifth.
So sit back and enjoy what could be a few of the most entertaining days possible for Dolphin fans without actually watching the Dolphins play football. Will Jeff Ireland complete the process that began in free agency and come away from this draft with a playoff-caliber team? That remains to be seen, but it promises to be a fun ride.