There are rumors that the Miami Dolphins are considering trading up in this May's NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings' eighth slot, a move that would likely cost a second round pick or multiple late round selections. Keep in mind, trading up is easier and cheaper in this draft because everyone wants to trade down and acquire extra picks.
Even so, this seems like a lot to sacrifice in one of the deepest draft's in decades, a draft which happens to hold most of it's weight in the middle rounds. What would be the yield in a trade which would leave the Dolphins with less picks in the talent-stacked second and third days of the draft?
There are several options for the Dolphins at eight, a spot that leaves them one selection ahead of their division rival the Buffalo Bills. The immediate name that comes to mind is Eric Ebron.
Ebron, the athletic TE out of North Carolina, reminds some of Vernon Davis, and rumor has it that the Bills are infatuated with Ebron and ready make him the first TE selected in the top 10 since the aforementioned Davis. Ebron isn't quite as fast as Davis, but they both have an uncanny ability to seperate from defenders using their athleticism.
The Dolphins could swoop in and steal Ebron right from underneath the Bills' noses. Ebron would provide an excellent complement to Charles Clay and the Dolphins would rule the middle of the field.
There's also CJ Mosley. Mosley is a top 10 prospect who draws mixed opinions. Many love his instincts and ability to cover sideline-to-sideline, but some fear his injury history and the recent track record of Alabama LBs in the NFL.
Mosley might fall to the Dolphins 19, but with a slew of LB-starved teams selecting in the teens the Dolphins might want to move up to be sure they can land Mosley.
Mike Evans is also a possibility if he falls to the eighth spot. The Dolphins could move up to select this Texas A&M WR, who made Johnny Manziel look so good at times, in an effort to improve upon the 19.8 points per game the offense put up last season.
The Dolphins' WR corps is rich with talent, but a lot of it is injured and none of the WRs on the roster lend the catch radius that Evans provides.
Then there is the most likely possibility, Jake Matthews. Matthews' potential fall in the draft (it's been reported that Taylor Lewan is higher on some teams' draft boards) is what is most likely to trigger this trade. Matthews, once the top rated LT in this class, has fallen under the radar a bit after Greg Robinson's emergence.
With the recent speculation that Lewan could too be selected before Matthews, Matthews could be sitting pretty at eight waiting for his name to be called.
RT in the first round (especially top 10) isn't great value, as I've said before, but Matthews would instantly bolster the Dolphins offensive line from one of the worst in the league to having three potential perennial Pro Bowlers.
Matthews also provides a continuity plan at the LT position. Newly signed LT Branden Albert has had injury issues in the past and is 29 years old. If anything were to happen with Albert, injury, deteriorating play or just eventually leaving the team, Matthews could step in effectively and eventually own the position of LT.
The Dolphins could also take Lewan or Zach Martin, depending on who is available, but either of these two wouldn't be worth the trade up to eight in my opinion.
Moving up would cost the Dolphins in quantity of players in this draft (who also have quality), but the trade would yield them a top-tier prospect who will effect the outcomes of games next season, a huge year for this Dolphins team, and in many seasons yet to come. The decision must be made, is it worth it?