By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on May 8, 2014
Now that you've seen the Miami Dolphins' five best-case scenarios for the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft (if you haven't, check the team's page at Rant Sports), here are their five most likely scenarios. It should be noted, however, that in an incredibly unpredictable first round -- perhaps more so than any draft in recent memory -- it's difficult to deem any scenario "likely." Nevertheless, here goes.
It has been rumored that the Dolphins will trade up for Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews if he's still available after the first seven picks. Matthews would offer Miami a Week 1 starter at right tackle who could eventually kick over to left tackle. The Dolphins could also potentially trade up for Zack Martin if he drops within reasonable trade-up distance. Making either trade would be a questionable allocation of resources, though.
If the Dolphins stay put at pick No. 19 and deem their void at right tackle too pressing to put off, expect GM Dennis Hickey to snag the best available tackle on the club's board. That player could be Ja'Wuan James, Morgan Moses, Joel Bitonio or even Cyrus Kouandjio. Any tackle outside of the perceived top four -- Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan and Zack Martin -- would be considered a reach at that spot, though.
Several sources have reported that the Dolphins are shopping the No. 19 overall pick. If a team selecting later in the first round bites, look for the Dolphins to move back in order to find more value for an offensive lineman. Virginia's Morgan Moses would be an excellent fit in Miami. He's a quality pass protector who can play right or left tackle. New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor (former Virginia OC) is quite familiar with him.
When there is this much smoke, don't rule out there actually being fire. If you can trust pre-draft reporting, the Dolphins appear to be enamored with Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. He's from South Florida, his dad, Vernon, is the Dolphins' team chaplain and, most importantly, his speed is off the charts. If the Dolphins stay put at pick No. 19 overall, Shazier is arguably their most likely option.
If the Dolphins end up trading back in the first round, like many expect them to, chances are they'll do so with an eye on nabbing a right tackle. Hickey and company have reportedly given Tennessee tackle Ja'Wuan James a first-round grade. With 49 starts under his belt at right tackle for the Volunteers, James would project as the Week 1 starter the Dolphins are missing opposite Branden Albert.
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