Typically, NFL mock drafts stay away from predicting trades for their first-round projections, simply sticking with the assigned draft order, mostly because trying to predict when and where trades may happen is not possible. There are so many variables involved in a trade, with two teams deciding they want to work together, both teams deciding on the value of the picks being swapped, and the player the team moving into the position still being on the board when the pick happens.
It is hard to predict a trade in the NFL Draft, but it can be something to add discussion to a mock draft, and it can make people think of other things that could happen in the first-round as mock draft season continues. In his weekly 2016 NFL Mock Draft update, SB Nation's Dan Kadar tackled the idea of first-round trades, and could see the Miami Dolphins as one of the teams on the move.
Kadar starts his latest mock draft exactly where everyone seems to be looking at this point, with the Tennessee Titans working to protect Marcus Mariota by selecting Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. That is followed by the Cleveland Browns picking California quarterback Jared Goff, the San Diego Chargers selecting Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, the Dallas Cowboys picking UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, and the Jacksonville Jaguars adding Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa.
The first trade then comes with the sixth pick, where the Baltimore Ravens move back to the 15th position to allow the Los Angeles Rams to jump in front of the San Francisco 49ers and grab North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. The 49ers then use the seventh picjk to add Eastern Kentucky outside linebacler/defensive end Noah Spence.
The Dolphins then use their eighth pick overall to grab an additional fourth- or fifth-round pick, according to Kadar, and move to the 10th overall pick previously held by the New York Giants. The move allows the Giants to jump in front of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who could be looking for a pass rusher, with the Giants using the trade to grab Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner. The Buccaneers then use their ninth pick on Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander.
Finally, the Dolphins come back on the clock with the tenth pick, having many of the top targets being projected to the team in other mock drafts no longer on the board. That will work for the Dolphins, however, as the trade gives them an extra pick in a year in which they need to plug holes in their roster and find depth. It also moves the team into position to pick Alabama middle linebacker Reggie Ragland. The pick gives Miami a top prospect in the draft, while also filling a desperate need for the team.
Kadar explains his choice, writing, "With Kelvin Sheppard a free agent, one of Miami's biggest needs is a middle linebacker. Ragland may not be a ridiculous upside player, but there's a commodity in certainty and that's what he offers."
It is a move that would make a lot of sense for the Dolphins, both in adding the extra pick and in addressing the linebacker position. If Miami can find a way to move back in the Draft, they probably should. Of course, all fans everywhere want their team to move back in the Draft to get more picks. The Dolphins do appear to be in position to make it happen this year.