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NFL Miami Dolphins

Why Miami Dolphins Must Not Trade Up In This Year’s Draft

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, I get it. Two awesome left tackles are in this years NFL draft. They will probably be selected within the top five selections. There’s little to no argument that Texas A&M‘s Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan‘s Eric Fisher are amazing talents at their positions.

There’s even less of an argument that the Miami Dolphins would be instantly better with either one of them. Especially Joeckel, who has experience quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the team’s offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. At A&M, Sherman was Joeckel’s head coach.

As the draft approaches, rumors are being circulated that have the Dolphins  are in discussions with teams like the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders about a possible trade that would allow the Dolphins to draft higher.

The Browns have the six overall selection and the Raiders have the third in this year’s draft. The thing is that those picks have a specific point value. The Dolphins would have to match, or come within 15 points of matching that value in the draft picks they return.

Let’s start with the Raiders. Their first round third-overall selection is valued at 2,200 points. The Dolphins’ 12th selection in that round is valued at 1,200 points. In a potential trade, the two teams would end up swapping those selections and the Dolphins would still owe the raiders 1,000 points.

They would have to make up the difference by giving the Raiders picks in latter rounds that are more valuable to the Dolphins than the Raiders. So to add to their first the Dolphins would have to throw in their second rounders valued at 480 points for the 42nd pick and their 54th pick, valued at 360. That’s still 160 points short. So that will probably mean giving up their latter 3rd rounder, the 82nd pick which is valued at 180.

Should a team with as many holes and needs on the roster as the Dolphins be giving up four picks in the first three rounds to draft any one player ? Trading with the Browns, whose pick is valued at 1600 points, might be better. After a swap of first round picks, the Dolphins would only owe the Browns 400 points. The Dolphins second third-rounder (360 pts.) and a 5th ( 33 pts.) would cover it. But that’s still a first, third and fifth for one player by a team with several needs.

And there is another way to look at this. Take a look at the other players at the position. Take a look at the system the Dolphins run. Meld those two aspects and you can properly determine a level of need and the best way to meet it.

The Dolphins run a system that requires a specific skill set from their linemen. They do not have to be elite. They need athleticism, lateral quickness, strength and vision.

The draft has other players that possess that skill set and are more than capable of playing the position at a high level. They can be selected in later rounds. Look at Terron Armstead of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, Menelik Watson of Florida StateKyle Long of the Oregon Ducks and Emmett Cleary of Boston College, to name a few.

Those players will be on NFL rosters and have the potential to start and contribute to the success of their teams. To bottom line is that trading up in the draft is for teams on the verge of greatness who might be one player away.

That is definitely not the Dolphins. Teams with holes need to trade down if anything, and the Dolphins are a team with many holes.