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2023 NFL Draft: Could Dolphins make a move back into the first round?

NFL: AUG 14 Preseason - Dolphins at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins head into the 2023 NFL Draft with no picks in the top 50 and only four selections overall. After the past several seasons when the Dolphins were making multiple picks in the first round and were among the teams with the most selections each season, this year feels extremely light for Miami in terms of picks. With just four picks, are they in a position to make a move on draft day? Will they trade back to add more selections? Could they even look to move up into the first round to grab a player they really like?

According to general manager Chris Grier, it might not be out of the realm of possibility for Miami to still land a first-round pick this year. “We’ve had a couple of teams in the bottom half of the first round reach out, saying they would be interested in coming down possibly if their guys aren’t there, and if we’d be interested in moving. So for us, again, any opportunities we can to get a player, we’ll look at it. So no serious conversations but we’ve had those and we’ll keep those options open.”

What would Miami have to do to move up into the first round? If a team is reaching out to trade down, could the Dolphins find a way to pay less for the first round pick than if it was Miami hungry to move up?

According to the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, the Dolphins’ first pick, 51 overall, is worth 390 points, their third-round pick is worth 170 points. Their sixth-round selection is number 197, worth 13 points, while their final selection, a seventh-round pick and the 238th pick overall does not appear on the chart so it has a value of one point.

That gives Miami an overall value of 574 points for this year’s draft. That total value would position them at about the 33-34th overall pick, moving them up in the second round, but not quite getting into the first day of picks. A player or a future pick would likely have to be involved to boost the Dolphins’ picks. In the 2024 NFL Draft, Miami has their first, second, fifth, sixth, and seventh round selections. The third round pick is a forfeited pick as part of the penalty the team received for tampering with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton; Miami’s first round pick this year was also part of that penalty. The Dolphins’ fourth-round pick this year was sent to the Denver Broncos during the 2022 season as Miami acquired linebacker Bradley Chubb.

The Dolphins could look to trade a player, with someone like wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, Jr., as a possibility. Grier mentioned Wilson as he spoke to the media, saying, “We’ve had teams call and ask about him. We’re not shopping him but teams have called. And especially when we just added [wide receiver] Chosen [Anderson], we’ve had a couple of teams reach out. He’s a really good guy and I’m trying to do right by him because of how he’s handled himself on and off the field.”

Miami might not be shopping Wilson, but he could be an asset if a trade were to materialize.

It feels like Grier moving up is not a likely move, with Miami preferring to add extra picks this year or next year over giving up picks and players. However, it sounds like the Dolphins will not rule out the possibility of a trade up into the first round.