It was after two trades involving top 10 picks that the Miami Dolphins selected Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and they had the opportunity to make yet another trade had they chosen to go that route.
Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier acknowledged after Round 1 late Thursday night/early Friday morning that he had conversations with various teams about the sixth overall pick, though he declined to name which teams and said nothing got serious.
But, per SI Cowboy Maven Publisher Mike Fisher, we can tell you that Dallas was one of those teams.
Fisher indicated that Cowboys veterans were mentioned in the team's trade discussions as they looked to move up to select either of the top two cornerbacks in the draft — Patrick Surtain II of Alabama and Jaycee Horn of South Carolina.
After failing to move up from the 10th spot and watching Horn and Surtain get picked by Carolina and Denver at 8 and 9, respectively, the Cowboys then traded back two spots with the Philadelphia Eagles and took Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. The Eagles, meanwhile, gave up a third-round pick for the chance to take DeVonta Smith with the 10th overall selection.
"You can imagine,'' Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told Fisher, "(given) what we got to move two spots back (in the trade from 10 to 12), what it would have cost us to go from 10 to 6.''
As a point of reference, we can use what the Dolphins gave Philadelphia to move from 12 to 6, which is how the Eagles wound up with that pick in the first place. The cost to Miami for that move up was a 2022 first-round pick along with a swap of mid-round picks in 2021, with the Eagles getting a fourth from Miami for a fifth.
Given how the first round played out, it's a fair hypothetical that the Dolphins could have moved back from 6 to 10 and landed DeVonta Smith while picking up perhaps a future first-round pick in the process.
But, as Grier said after Round 1, the Dolphins had targeted Waddle for a while and weren't about to give up the chance to get him for anything other than an exorbitant return.
"At the end of the day, Waddle was the guy that we wanted," Grier said. "Brian (Flores) and I talked it over and at the end of the day we made the pick with the player that we wanted to be here and was the best fit for the Dolphins."