The Miami Dolphins again find themselves in a great position in the 2021 NFL draft as the result of the Laremy Tunsil trade, and they'll be looking at several interesting scenarios when it comes to the third overall pick.
The Dolphins certainly could try to find a trading partner to move down in the first round, preferably still early enough in the first round to be able to land a top prospect.
Although this scenario is extraordinarily unlikely because no one expects the Jacksonville Jaguars to pass up the chance to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Dolphins could use that third overall pick as part of a package to move up to No. 1 (we're not even mentioning moving up to number 2 because it's almost impossible to envision the New York Jets making that kind of trade with a division opponent).
The other option, of course, is for the Dolphins to merely stay put at number 3 and take the prospect of their choice. Our recent mock draft roundup indicated that analysts predict that that selection will be either tackle Penei Sewell of Oregon or one of the top two wide receivers in the draft, LSU's Ja'Marr Chase or Alabama's DeVonta Smith.
But there was another scenario suggested Wednesday by Sports Illustrated Senior NFL Reporter Albert Breer, one that likely won't go over well with a segment of Dolphins fans — more specifically Tua Tagovailoa supporters.
In his Wednesday mailbag on SI.com, Breer suggested in response to a question about the Dolphins quarterback situation that the team would be smart to evaluate the top quarterbacks in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence and taking one of those players if any are deemed an upgrade over Tagovailoa.
"I think the Dolphins would be foolish not to investigate the QBs available there," is how Breer put it.
The top quarterback prospects in the 2021 draft after Lawrence are — and the order isn't necessarily unanimous — Justin Fields from Ohio State, Zach Wilson from BYU and Trey Lance from North Dakota State.
"Chris Grier and Brian Flores have the Dolphins in a spot now where it could be a very long time before they’re drafting that high again," Breer wrote. "So I view this as an opportunity for the team — and very rare sort of opportunity — to get a final crosscheck on Tagovailoa, and a shot at upgrading on the fly with a new rookie if the crosscheck (which basically becomes Tua vs. Lance/Wilson/Fields) pushes them that way."
Breer added that the only veteran quarterback who would make him deviate from that plan is Deshaun Watson, the disgruntled three-time Pro Bowl selection currently employed by the Houston Texans.
For anybody wondering about taking a quarterback in the top 10 in consecutive years, it has happened before.
And Dolphins fans should know very well about the most recent occurrence, which came when the Arizona Cardinals took Josh Rosen with the 10th overall selection in 2018 before taking Kyler Murray at number 1 the next year and shipping Rosen to the Dolphins for second- and fifth-round picks.
Furthermore, it has previously happened with back-to-back top FIVE selections, with the Baltimore Colts taking Art Schlichter fourth overall in 1982 before picking John Elway with the No. 1 pick the next year — though Elway never played for them, instead forcing a trade to the Denver Broncos.
While taking a quarterback in the top five in consecutive years might be a bad look for the Dolphins, what ultimately matters is finding a long-term answer at a position that's been problematic for the franchise for more than 20 years.
There is merit to the idea of giving Tagovailoa more time to develop, but the worst thing that could happen for the Dolphins is to stay with him for many years waiting in vain for him to become elite — sort of like what happened with Ryan Tannehill.
That said, the most likely scenario from this vantage point will have the Dolphins making a deal with one of the many teams looking for a quarterback, with three logical candidates being the Philadelphia Eagles at number 6, the Carolina Panthers at number 7 and the Detroit Lions at number 8.
Moving down between three or five spots in the first round very well might give the Dolphins the chance to still get one of the three aforementioned non-quarterback prospects while picking up additional draft capital in the process.
But the notion of taking a quarterback at number 3 certainly is food for thought.