Miami Dolphins 2012 Mock Draft: Trade-Up/Down Scenarios for Every Round
During the 2010 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins had their eyes set on a University of Miami prospect. Rather than draft him when they had the chance, the Dolphins decided to roll the dice and wait for the fourth round.
Now, the Dolphins won't be willing to wait. Last year, for example, they traded up to secure the services of running back Daniel Thomas.
However, the team has also had success trading down.
The Dolphins are clearly willing to move around in the draft, so what trades can we expect them to make in the 2012 NFL Draft? Here are some predictions.
The only player I can envision the Dolphins trading up for is Robert Griffin III. He is an electrifying prospect who could be the face of a franchise for the next 10 to 15 years, but Miami would have to pay a king's ransom to get him. If, however, the 'Fins lose out on Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, then trading up for RG3 becomes a very likely scenario.
Is there a significant gap in talent between Quinton Coples, Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram? How about Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin? The Dolphins could definitely trade down a few spots and still get their hands on a blue-chip prospect. Miami's roster is littered with holes, so trading down and acquiring more picks would be a very sound move.
So much of Miami's draft plan will hinge upon what happens in free agency. If the Dolphins manage to sign Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn, then they must focus on shoring up the offensive line and adding another weapon or two on offense. The 'Fins could try to swing a trade for late-first-round prospects like Ohio State tackle Mike Adams or Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Dolphins have a long list of needs. So, if Miami can trade down here and pick up another, say, third- and fifth-round pick, then they might do it.
It is pivotal for the Dolphins to draft some immediate contributors during the 2012 NFL Draft, and the third round might be their last chance to find starting-caliber prospects. If a player like Orson Charles or Brandon Boykin falls into the third round, don't be surprised to see Miami trade up.
There are a host of quality prospects that could be available at the end of the third round and beginning of the fourth. Miami could trade down, acquire an extra pick and target players like Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin or Boise State offensive guard Nate Potter.
Regardless of what transpires in free agency, the Dolphins will be enticed to draft a developmental quarterback in the latter rounds of the 2012 draft. Once the fourth round rolls around, Miami could trade up to grab somebody like Russell Wilson or Kirk Cousins.
As I've explained in my mock drafts, bolstering the pass-rush will be Miami's top priority. Fortunately, there could be a slew of raw-but-talented pass-rushers available in the fourth round. The Dolphins may be able to trade down and still grab Pitt's Brandon Lindsey or North Carolina's Donte Paige-Moss.
Last offseason, the Dolphins made acquiring explosive playmakers their primary priority. The team added Reggie Bush and Clyde Gates, but there's still room for more dynamic weapons. University of Florida's Chris Rainey is one of the fastest prospects in the 2012 draft class, and Joe Philbin could view him as a Randall Cobb-type asset.
If the Dolphins trade down at this point in the draft, it'll be for future or late-round picks. Either way, it won't have much impact on this incoming class.
Neither Marlon Moore nor Roberto Wallace showed much progress in 2011, so it might be time for the Dolphins to draft another developmental wide receiver. Arkansas' Greg Childs has been slowed by a knee injury for two years, but he has the talent of a high-round draft pick. Miami could try to trade up for a project player like this at the tail end of the draft.
(See: Round 5)
It's impossible to predict what the Dolphins will do in the seventh round, but if they choose to trade up, it could be to ensure they can acquire a big name like Mississippi's Brandon Bolden. But again, the seventh round is a total crapshoot.