Are Dolphins Running Out of Potential Trade Partners?

If the Miami Dolphins decide they want to move down a few spots in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, they'll have to find a willing trade partner to make it happen
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Among the many options the Miami Dolphins possibly have been debating with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft is the possibility of moving down a few spots to pick up additional draft capital and still land a high-end prospect.

That kind of move, however, can't happen without the Dolphins finding a trade partner willing to give up assets to land a specific prospect, and those prospects near the top of the first round usually are quarterbacks.

In that vein, maybe it wasn't good news for the Dolphins to see the Denver Broncos trade for former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday.

Denver is scheduled to select ninth in the first round, and it's been reported throughout the offseason the Broncos aren't entirely comfortable with Drew Lock as their unquestioned starter moving forward, which made them a candidate to perhaps want to trade up to number 6.

Bridgewater, acquired for a sixth-round pick per multiple reports, isn't quite a long-term franchise quarterback and NFL Network reporters Michael Silver and James Palmer both suggested this does not preclude Denver from taking a quarterback in the first round.

But Palmer was clear in saying the Broncos wouldn't dismiss the possibility of taking a quarterback at number 9 — not suggesting they might look to trade up.

Indeed, it's just really difficult to see a team give up more draft capital to move up in the first round after acquiring a veteran quarterback.

It's the same theory that applies to the Carolina Panthers after their acquisition of Sam Darnold from the New York Jets — regardless of what anybody thinks of the 2018 third overall pick. In fact, all the scuttlebutt now is about the Panthers looking to trade down in the first round, not up.

Fact is, if we're looking at the top half of the first round, it's hard to find a QB-needy team that would be willing to give up assets to move up to 6.

Pick 7 — Detroit acquired Jared Goff in the offseason, so it's hard to see the Lions giving up even more assets, particularly if they can just sit back at 7 if they really want a quarterback.

Pick 8 — Carolina

Pick 9 — Denver

Pick 10 — Dallas just signed Dak Prescott to a massive extension.

Pick 11 — Giants aren't ready to give up on Daniel Jones just yet.

Pick 12 — Eagles traded down from 6 to 12 with the Dolphins; are they really going to trade back up to that same spot? If they did, no doubt the Dolphins would want their picks back, plus David Putney (movie reference).

Pick 13 — Chargers have Justin Herbert.

Pick 14 — Minnesota still has a LOT invested in Kirk Cousins.

Pick 15 — New England absolutely could be looking to trade up for a QB, but do the Dolphins really want to trade back that far? And help a division rival get a potential franchise quarterback in the process?

No, it says here the idea of trading back a few spots with the hope of still landing an elite playmaker like DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle is pretty much off the table. At this point, it looks like the Dolphins either need to make the pick at 6 and if they decide they want to trade down to a QB-needy team, it would be a much bigger drop that would cost them a shot at a Smith or Waddle — though it would provide a bigger return.

But let's just say it's looking like the Dolphins indeed will be picking at number 6 on Thursday night.