Why the Dolphins Would Trade Down Again

The Miami Dolphins already have made two moves within the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, and they very well might not be done
Publish date:

When the Miami Dolphins made their two big trades within the top 12 picks of the first round of the NFL draft last month, it never should have been assumed that was the end of it for them.

Among other things, the Dolphins have shown the past couple of years a willingness to be bold with their moves, and this would be no different.

So it is that now we've gotten the report from Ian Rapoport from NFL Network indicating the Dolphins are willing to listen to offers for the sixth overall selection.

But why would they do that after going through the trouble of giving back some of the draft capital they acquired from San Francisco to move down from 3 to 12 in the deal with Philadelphia to get back up to 6?

RELATED: Dolphins History of Trading Down in the First Round

Well, it just maybe that the Dolphins had two primary targets in mind at number 6 along with two secondary targets that they think they might be able to get a tad later in the first round.


The two best prospects in the passing game in the 2021 draft have clearly been identified as tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase.

Now, if quarterbacks go in the first four picks, that ensures the Dolphins of having their pick of either of Pitts or Chase at 6, and possibly both if the Cincinnati Bengals decide they need to take tackle Penei Sewell with the fifth pick to make sure they do a better job of protecting Joe Burrow.

Under that scenario, we would envision the Dolphins taking Pitts, though Chase also would make a fine choice.


But what if the Atlanta Falcons decide to use the fourth pick on Pitts and Cincinnati follows up by taking Chase to reunite him with his former LSU quarterback?

That leaves the Dolphins without the top two receivers in the draft, but it also leaves two of the five blue-chip quarterback prospects — Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones — still on the board.

This is where the wheeling and dealing could come into play.

Under that particular scenario, it certainly would make sense to expect a team like the Denver Broncos calling the Dolphins to see about moving up to 6 from 9. Carolina was considered another strong possibility as a team looking to move up for a quarterback, though that's not very likely anymore after they traded for Sam Darnold.

So the Dolphins, under this scenario, no longer having a shot at either Pitts or Chase, then would focus their attention on the two Alabama wide receivers, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

And there's a very good chance they'd get a shot at one of them at number 9.

If Denver makes the move to 6, it likely would be for a quarterback.

Detroit is picking seventh and has a screaming need for a wide receiver after losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. in free agency, so that could be the way the Lions go here.

The key then becomes Carolina at number 8, but the Panthers' biggest need is along the offensive line and it would be very difficult under this scenario to see them pass up the chance to pick up Sewell or even Rashawn Slater from Northwestern if they decided he was the better offensive line prospect.

There's also the possibility that either Detroit or Carolina would trade down with a team (New England maybe?) looking to get the fifth quarterback in the first round, which potentially could leave the Dolphins with the choice of EITHER Alabama wide receivers.

So under this scenario the Dolphins would pick up additional draft capital (a second-round pick perhaps) from Denver to move down from 6 to 9 and end up with one of the impact receivers in the draft.

That's, of course, assuming they trade down. 

But it is an interesting possibility and one on which they certainly wouldn't close the door.


Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL.