While it’s one of the most unpopular strategies a team can utilize – in regards to how the team’s fans perceive it, anyways – trading the No. 22 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft would be a strategy that could greatly benefit the future of the Miami Dolphins.
For this to work there obviously needs to be a partner with whom to trade, but the Dolphins first-round selection could be a hot commodity as teams may look to land a cornerback or defensive end that has fallen since both positions are relatively deep this year.
The first thing to consider is what the Dolphins could obtain in regards to additional draft picks if they decide to deal their first pick. For comparison sake, in 2016 the Kansas City Chiefs dealt the 28th pick in the first round and their seventh-round pick (249) to the San Francisco 49ers for their second (37), fourth (105) and sixth-round (178) selections.
Currently sitting with six picks in the first five rounds, if Miami could land a similar deal that the Chiefs did last year, the team would increase this number to seven including an additional second rounder and a selection in the fourth round which it doesn’t currently have.
The idea of stockpiling picks would not only allow the team to address several positions of need, but also offers a little more room for error as you’re not going to hit on every selection.
As Benjamin Allbright of 104.7 FM Denver/Boulder said on Twitter earlier this month, “Draft picks are like bullets. More you have, the more likely you are to hit a target... that said, the shooter’s aim (eye) more important.”
Since the Dolphins’ eye for talent hasn’t been very consistent lately, more ammunition definitely isn’t a bad thing when it comes to NFL Draft weekend.
When you consider the amount of positions Miami can and should address in the NFL Draft – defensive end and tackle, linebacker, guard, safety and cornerback – having several middle-round picks in what’s considered a relatively deep draft would be a great way to build upon the success of the 2016 team.
No one wants to consistently be building for the future, but this is Miami’s time to do so as the team’s current roster doesn’t possess the ability to hang with New England who continues to surround quarterback Tom Brady with an array of talent for yet another Super Bowl run in the twilight of his career.
After what looks to be a quality 2016 NFL Draft, the Dolphins need to capitalize again in 2017 so that the team is in the best position possible to compete once their window opens – presumably once Brady retires. This can be done by gathering multiple picks in this year’s draft and hitting on a high percentage of those selections.
The one starting-quality player Miami may miss out on by trading the 22nd overall pick would be Western Kentucky offensive lineman, Forrest Lamp. Lamp would immediately step into a position battle that he could likely win during training camp and preseason.
Any other position Miami selects in the first round would likely begin as a backup and compete for spot duty during the 2017 season. While a linebacker that plays in certain packages or a defensive end that can spell Cameron Wake, Andre Branch or William Hayes isn’t a bad thing, you don’t necessarily need to spend a first-round pick on this player in 2017 as there will be opportunities to select players in the second or third round who aren’t a drastic drop off from those who would be considered at No. 22.