The Miami Dolphins ended up making three first-round selections in the 2020 NFL draft, though their last of those picks came after they traded down four spots.
It's the kind of scenario that easily could happen again in 2021, with the Dolphins scheduled to have the third and 18th overall selections after finishing with a 10-6 record this season.
We earlier examined previous trades around the NFL involving the third overall pick, so let's now look back specifically at the Dolphins' history of trading down in the first round to see how that has worked out in the past.
It has happened eight times, including twice in the same draft in Jimmy Johnson's final draft with the Dolphins.
Let's proceed in reverse chronological order:
2020 — The Dolphins traded the 26th overall selection to the Green Bay Packers for the 30th selection and a fourth-round pick
With that 30th selection, the Dolphins selected cornerback Noah Igbinoghene. They combined the fourth-round pick from Green Bay with a compensatory fourth-round pick they had received to move up in the fourth round and get back the pick they had traded to Houston as part of the Laremy Tunsil trade. With that pick, they selected guard Solomon Kindley. This is a complicated trade to evaluate because it involved one move up and one move down, but it ultimately will come down to how well Igbinoghene and Kindley develop as NFL players.
2016 — The Dolphins traded the eighth overall selection to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 13th selection, linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell
With the 13th selection, the Dolphins ended up taking the aforementioned Tunsil after he slid in the first round after the well-known draft-night video that surfaced. Alonso and Maxwell both had big impacts for the Dolphins in that 2016 season and helped the team reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Then the Dolphins were able to turn Tunsil into the bounty that has put the team into the good draft position it has enjoyed the past two years. The Eagles included Alonso and Maxwell in the trade to help their cap situation and used the eighth pick to move up again to end up with quarterback Carson Wentz. This trade most definitely worked out for the Dolphins.
2010 — The Dolphins traded the 12th overall selection along with picks in the fourth and sixth rounds to the San Chargers for the 28th pick, a second-round selection (40th overall) and linebacker Tim Dobbins
The Dolphins ended up using the two picks from San Diego on defensive lineman Jared Odrick and linebacker Koa Misi, who both became starters but with limited impact. The Dolphins made the deal in part because they didn't have their own second-round pick that year, but in retrospect they might have been better served to just keep the 12th overall pick and take any of the following players who went between 12 and 28: DE Brandon Graham, S Earl Thomas, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, G Mike Iupati, C Maurkice Pouncey, T Bryan Bulaga or DB Devin McCourty.
1999 — The Dolphins traded the 24th overall selection to the San Francisco 49ers for the 27th pick and a fifth-round pick; the Dolphins then traded the 27th selection to the Detroit Lions for picks in the second, third and fifth rounds
The Dolphins ended up making two other trades during the 1999 draft that involved moving up and down and wound up with second-round pick J.J. Johnson and Rob Konrad. The Dolphins didn't get impact players from that draft, but a look back also reveals they didn't miss out on any star players by moving down and eventually out of the first round.
1998 — The Dolphins traded the 19th overall selection to the Green Bay Packers for the 29th pick and a second-round pick
Yeah, this one didn't work out — and at all. And it's not just because it ended up costing the Dolphins a shot at Randy Moss at No. 21 because that Dolphins deal was made long before that became a strong possibility. But even then the Dolphins ended up taking future bust John Avery with that 29th pick, missing out on not only Moss, but also Hall of Fame finalist Alan Faneca, who went 26th overall. The Dolphins traded the second-round pick from selections in the third, fifth and sixth rounds but none of the three players they took with those picks made the 53-man roster as rookies. Not good.
1994 — The Dolphins traded the 16th overall selection to the Green Bay Packers for the 20th pick and a third-round selection
This one worked out great. The Dolphins used that 20th overall pick on defensive tackle Tim Bowens, who would become a major component of a very good defense. The Dolphins then used the third-round pick along with a fourth-round selection to get a second-round pick from Arizona to take center Tim Ruddy, who would become a longtime starter and one-time Pro Bowl selection.
1987 — The Dolphins traded the 14th overall selection to the Minnesota Vikings for the 16th pick and a fifth-round choice
This wasn't a very consequential trade. Moving down from 14th to 16th cost only the Dolphins the chance of taking either RB D.J. Dozier or T John Clay and they ended up selecting John Bosa, whose career was derailed by injuries. The Dolphins then parlayed the fifth-round pick into two later-round choices they used on offensive linemen Chris Conlin and Mark Dennis.