Building an NFL Trade Deadline Wish List for the Miami Dolphins

Scott AltmanCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2012

Oct 16, 2011; Foxborough, MA, USA; Dallas Cowboys punt returner Dwayne Harris (17) fields a punt by the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the cowboys 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

With the NFL trade deadline approaching on October 30, it's time to start evaluating which players the Miami Dolphins can target within this next week. 

Although trades are rare in today's NFL landscape, the Dolphins are an exception. Jeff Ireland never hesitates to make a deal, having acquired players such as Brandon Marshall, Reggie Bush, Tim Dobbins, Pat McQuistan and Benny Sapp via trade since he took over as GM in 2008. And, don't forget, he traded Vontae Davis in August. 

At 3-3, Miami is also in position to make a playoff push, and this is the last chance it has to plug some of the holes that currently inhibit the roster. 

So while most NFL teams will remain mum this week, the Dolphins could be wheeling and dealing. If this is indeed the case, then the 'Phins should have these four players on their wish list. 


Chris Ivory, Running Back, New Orleans Saints

Running back doesn't jump off the page as a pressing need for the Miami Dolphins. However, Daniel Thomas has already suffered two concussions this season (and is averaging only 3.1 yards per carry), and Lamar Miller didn't play a single snap in last Sunday's win. 

Thomas is one hit away from losing his season and the Dolphins clearly don't trust Miller, so the 'Phins should consider adding another running back. One enticing and realistic option is Chris Ivory, who has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks.  

Ivory has shown flashes of tremendous talent but opportunity is sparse playing behind Darren Sproles, PIerre Thomas and Mark Ingram in a pass-happy offense. In fact, he hasn't even been active for a game this season. 

If the Dolphins swap, say, a seventh-round draft pick in exchange for Ivory, then Jeff Ireland should pull the trigger.


Clay Harbor, Tight End, Philadelphia Eagles

Third-round pick Michael Egnew still hasn't cracked the active roster, and Charles Clay has caught just five of his 12 targets. The Dolphins have virtually no depth behind Anthony Fasano right now, and if he went down with an injury, things could get ugly quickly. 

Ireland should buy his team some insurance by pursuing another athletic, well-rounded tight end.

One of his most realistic options is Clay Harbor.

The 6'3", 252-pound Missouri State grad is only 25 years old, so he meshes with the Dolphins' youth movement. Harbor's numbers are modest—30 career receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns—but he's rarely targeted with LeSean McCoy, Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek around.

He also ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in 2010 and has played in a West Coast offense for his entire career.


Dwayne Harris, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys

Even with Jabar Gaffney entering the mix, the Dolphins need help at wide receiver. Brian Hartline and Davone Bess have played exceptionally well, and Marlon Moore stepped up last week, but there's still way too much uncertainty and inconsistency to feel entirely confident in this stable. 

In order to get Ryan Tannehill some more help, Ireland can channel the Cowboys pipeline once again—this time for wide receiver Dwayne Harris. Dallas has relegated the second-year wideout exclusively to special teams, but he has the tools to become a valuable offensive asset. 

Harris caught 101 passes during his senior season at ECU, and the scouting community saw him as a skilled wide receiver. Now, however, he has no role in the Cowboys' offense. Maybe Harris doesn't have the talent to contribute on offense, or maybe he just hasn't gotten sufficient opportunity. 


Dominique Franks, Cornerback, Atlanta Falcons

Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson have both stepped up in Richard Marshall's absence, but this is another positional unit that can still use help. Pro Football Focus ranks Marshall 133rd amongst NFL cornerbacks, while Carroll comes in at No. 143 and Wilson at No. 112. 

Adding more consistency, talent and depth to this secondary is a must if the Dolphins want to make a serious playoff push. 

One option worth investigating is Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks, who, like all of the players on this list, is buried on his depth chart behind some extremely talented players. Franks has the misfortune of playing behind Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel, so opportunity isn't abundant for this third-year cornerback. 

However, his athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect that might just need some development under a secondary specialist like Kevin Coyle.