The Finsiders
The Finsiders Blog
First Round Trade Possibilities
By on April 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

With so much conversation about what the Dolphins will do with the 15th pick in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft, I felt that I should point out the following three possibilities:

  • The Fins could trade down
  • The Fins could trade up
  • The Fins could trade out of the first round altogether

Let’s have some fun and discuss some of those possibilities as well as look back in history at some of the big draft-day trades in Dolphins History.

Trading Down

If the Fins trade down (meaning they move from #15 to somewhere between #16 and #32), it means that they will be adding another pick somewhere in the draft. This would clearly be the team’s best chance to recoup the second rounder that is currently missing from their allotment of picks. For instance, last year, the Fins traded the #12 overall pick to the Chargers for the 28th overall pick as well as a second rounder. Using those two picks, Miami picked up Jared Odrick and Koa Misi. Not bad.

In 1998, Miami swapped spots with the Packers, moving from 19th to 29th, where they selected John Avery. As part of the exchange, the Fins picked up a 2nd rounder from Green Bay, which they eventually traded away with minimal returns.

In 1994, the same two teams had a similar arrangement, as the Packers gave the Dolphins a 3rd round pick to move up and draft Aaron Taylor at #16 (oops). Meanwhile, the Dolphins got eventual Pro Bowler Tim Bowens at #20 and then traded the 3rd rounder plus a couple of 4th rounders to the Cardinals for a 2nd round pick, which they used to draft Tim Ruddy. I’d say that one worked out pretty well.

Trading Up

If the Dolphins trade up from #15 to somewhere in the top #14, it means that they really like someone. This is probably the least likely of the three trade scenarios and would require the Fins to give up an awful lot. That said, it wouldn’t be the first time that Miami tried to make a big move in the first round. In 2004, the Dolphins sent a 4th round pick to the Vikings in order to move up one spot (#20 to #19) and draft Vernon Carey. The Vikings took DE Kenechi Udeze at #20 and would eventually take RB Mewelde Moore with that 4th rounder.

In 1989, the Dolphins took Sammie Smith with the 9th overall pick in the draft and then gave the Bears both a 2nd and 3rd round pick in order to trade up to #25, where they drafted Louis Oliver.

Similarly, in 1984, Miami gave a 2nd and 3rd round pick to the Bills in order to trade up from #26 to #14 and take Jackie Shipp.

Trading out of the First Round

This won’t make the fans happy on draft night, but you have to think that it’s a distinct possibility. With the Fins missing a second round pick and with some of their biggest needs not making a ton of sense at #15, I could certainly see the team being in a position that they haven’t been in since 2003: not having a first round pick.

By my count, the Dolphins have been without a first rounder just nine times in their history. In 2002 and 2003, the picks went to New Orleans as part of the Ricky Williams deal. In 1999, they traded two #1 picks away and with the returns drafted guys like JJ Johnson, Rob Konrad, and Grey Ruegamer. In 1971, Miami’s first round pick (#22) was sent to the Colts as part of the settlement when Don Shula went from Baltimore to Miami. And in 1970, the Fins traded their first rounder to Cleveland for eventual Hall of Fame receiver Paul Warfield.┬áThe other years in which Miami was without a first rounder were 2000, 1986, 1978, and 1973.

So there are some new possibilities to ponder. With history as your guide, what do you think?

What do you think is most likely?

  • The Dolphins trade down in the first round (59%)
  • The Dolphins stay at #15 (21%)
  • The Dolphins trade out of the first round (13%)
  • The Dolphins trade up in the first round (7%)
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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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