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3 trade options for the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft

Vincent Frank

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Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier has been about as proactive as any individual in his position when it comes to acquiring NFL Draft capital.

That did not change back in March when Miami pulled off what can be called a three-team trade with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles. In said deal, the Dolphins pretty much traded the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft in exchange for the sixth pick, a future first-round selection and a third-rounder in 2022.

After an offseason filled with rumors that Miami might look to move off 2020 top-five pick Tua Tagovailoa for Deshaun Watson, it’s now clear that the team is honed in on finding its young quarterback more weapons.

In an attempt to find a happy medium between continuing to add draft capital and building up a talented roster, there’s now a chance that Miami could move down from the sixth selection. In fact, Grier and Co. have received calls from interested teams leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL Draft next week.

It’s an interesting thing to look at. As of right now, these Miami Dolphins have a plethora of picks over the next few years. It’s going to give them a ton of flexibility moving forward.

Read More: Miami Dolphins mock draft: 7-round 2021 NFL Draft projections

Miami Dolphins draft picks

  • 2021: Two first-round picks (6th and 18th), two second-round picks, third-round pick
  • 2022: First-round pick, second-round pick, two third-round picks
  • 2023: Two first-round picks, second-round pick, third-round pick

That’s 13 picks in the first-three rounds over the next three years, including five first-round selections. Now, why would the Dolphins even consider moving down from six if they can land a top-end talent at a need position? It’s rather simple.

Should one of the top-five quarterbacks — all of whom are expected to go in the top 10 — become available, it makes no sense to ignore calls. Here’s a look at some trade scenarios for the Dolphins should they opt to move down.

Read More: Bold predictions for 2021 NFL Draft

Miami Dolphins trade down to nine with the Denver Broncos, still add top wide receiver

Miami Dolphins trade down for Devonta Smith?
Jan. 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) catches a 42-yard touchdown behind Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tuf Borland (32) during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports
  • By now, it’s known that new Broncos general manager George Paton is looking to move up from the ninth selection for a quarterback. If one of Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Mac Jones is available, trading up to six with Miami could make a ton of sense.
  • This hypothetical includes Denver yielding its third-round pick in 2021 (71st overall) and a second-round selection in 2022 — giving the Miami Dolphins even more draft capital.
  • In turn, the Fins look to add a top-end receiver for Tua. It’s an area Miami addressed with Will Fuller during NFL free agency. But it’s still a need. LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is unlikely to be available at nine. Even then, the Dolphins might be able to choose between former Alabama teammates Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle with the ninth selection. Both were pretty awesome with Tua Tagovailoa in Tuscaloosa, right?

Read More: 2021 NFL mock draft: QBs dominate top-10 picks, big trades

Miami Dolphins trade down with the New England Patriots, add a ton of draft capital

  • Would Miami even be willing to give New England an opportunity to land a franchise quarterback? That’s questionable right now. What we do know is that Bill Belichick and Co. are going against their MO this offseason. They could very well make a move for one of the top signal callers in a loaded class at that position.
  • In return, the Patriots would have to pay a premium to pry the sixth selection away from Miami. This would likely include the 15th selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Patriots’ second-round selection and a first-round selection in 2022. Again, it would be all about Miami building up as much draft capital as it can get.
  • Like most of these hypotheticals, this is a deal that likely wouldn’t happen until the first round of the NFL Draft a week from Thursday. Miami would want to see how the board plays out. So would the Patriots. If someone like the aforementioned Devonta Smith is seemingly set to drop, the Dolphins might think long and hard about it.

Read More: 2021 NFL Draft big board: Ranking top 100 prospects

Miami Dolphins trade down with Chicago Bears, take advantage of desperate team

Miami Dolphins trade for Khalil Mack?
Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) walks off the field after losing to the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
  • To say that Bears head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace are desperate to land a franchise quarterback would be an understatement. Both are clearly on the hot seat. They are also set to rely on Andy Dalton to save their jobs in the Windy City. Miami would be able to take advantage of this.
  • By moving down from the sixth selection to 20th overall, the Dolphins would more than likely pick up two future first-round picks and this year’s second-rounder from Chicago. It could even trade in one of those first-rounders for Khalil Mack. Did I mention the Bears are desperate?
  • What’s interesting here is the fact that the Miami Dolphins would also have the ability to move up from the second of their first-round selections (18th overall) to target a wide receiver on the cheap. This scenario almost makes too much sense.

Coming off a surprising 10-win season, the Dolphins are in a position to succeed long-term. How they handle the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft next week will be telling. The options are almost limitless.