The 2013 NFL Draft is just a few short weeks away and the brain-trust of every NFL team is going through their notes, stat sheets and tape on every possible prospect. They review what they learned from the NFL Combine and team pro days. They look at their picks and try to plot a course of action, developing their draft philosophy and strategy. Among the options laid out before them is the possibility of shifting positions, a move the Miami Dolphins may find intriguing.
Many people would look at the title of this article and think the writer has no clue. Jeff Ireland is the type of general manager who would rather trade down in the draft and gain a pick, instead of paying the price to move up. The talent in the draft even plays to this theory. There is plenty of depth this year, but very few NFL ready, high impact prospects.
The disparity would seem to make it more appealing to trade back and stock up on draft picks. No one can argue the validity of this strategy, yet it might not be the best move for the Dolphins.
Ireland and his staff have been very busy this offseason, filling needs and setting themselves up to be able to draft for talent, rather than need. It is an ideal position for them to be in and it promises to give them an opportunity to create the strongest roster they have had in South Florida in nearly 10 years.
The question is, will Ireland feel like he can get the type of talent he wants with the 12th pick?
The Dolphins own 11 picks in this year’s draft, giving them the freedom to follow whichever course of action they believe will benefit the team the most. If Ireland feels the talent he could get at 12 is not so far off from the talent he can get with his second pick, the usually conservative GM might find that moving up makes a lot of sense.
Miami has made several significant moves, each in the hopes of building a team capable of competing for a title. Ireland may want to honor those moves by working out a deal to climb the board in order to select a top talent, rather than the second or third best they would get at 12.
The number of picks the Dolphins possess would assure them the ability to draft for talent and depth with their remaining picks. If they traded off the 12th overall and a 3rd rounder, or some other combination of picks, they would still have eight or nine picks in their arsenal, as well as securing a shot at one of the “sure thing” talents available early.
It may go against everything we know about Ireland and his draft strategies, but in order to accelerate the “win now” atmosphere, he will certainly do whatever he thinks is necessary. This is a guy who has been smashed and bashed by the fans for the last several years, and he is now on the verge of building the winning team everyone has been begging for. He knows how close he is to becoming the hero, and if he feels like a move up the board will help him along, then expect him to pull the trigger.