The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos aren't scheduled to play against each other during the 2021 season, but they kind of went head-to-head in the draft.
This includes running back Javonte Williams, who Silver says the Dolphins had targeted with the 36th overall pick near the top of the second round until the Broncos moved up to take him.
Denver gave the Atlanta Falcons a fourth-round pick to move up from 40th to 35th overall while also getting a sixth-round selection in the process.
"After getting some intel from an unnamed source that the Dolphins, who were four spots in front of Denver, were planning to select Williams, (Broncos GM George) Paton hastily negotiated a trade with the Atlanta Falcons to jump one pick ahead of Miami," Silver said. "Another rookie GM, Atlanta's Terry Fontenot, asked Paton for a fourth-round pick; Paton agreed but successfully pushed for Atlanta's pick near the end of the sixth round in return, telling Fontenot, "Come on, Terry — this is a great deal.
"Shortly after swooping in and taking Williams 35th overall, Paton got a text from a person in the draft room of one of the Dolphins' AFC East rivals congratulating him for thwarting Miami's plans."
With Williams off the board, the Dolphins selected Oregon safety Jevon Holland.
After the second night of the draft, GM Chris Grier denied any disappointment that Williams was gone before the Dolphins picked.
“No. As we work through it, we’re very cognizant of what’s going on and around and for us," Grier said. "We have good players at the running back position. We’re looking to upgrade the roster at every position. For us, the players that we liked there were there. Javonte is a good player. There were a lot of good players; but for us, the guys we picked we’re very happy to get.”
Not that it's the reason the Broncos made the move, but it was the Dolphins who seemingly thwarted Denver's plans in the first round.
Paton, per Silver, was looking to trade back into the 20s in the first round after taking Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II ninth overall and the object of his affection was defensive end Jaelan Phillips.
Paton's hopes ended when the Dolphins took Phillips at number 18.
And this is the part where we should mention that Paton, who's in his first year as Broncos GM, was director of pro personnel for the Dolphins from 2001-06.
These types of moves, non-moves, potential moves that don't materialize happen every year. It's all part of the draft process.
While it doesn't mean anything in the aftermath, it does make for an interesting game of "what if."