Miami Dolphins: Trading Up for Luke Joeckel in the 2013 NFL Draft

Richard SantamariaCorrespondent IIFebruary 7, 2013

Miami Dolphins: Trading Up for Luke Joeckel in the 2013 NFL Draft

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    Let's say the Miami Dolphins cannot agree to terms with left tackle Jake Long or they simply do not feel comfortable with him protecting Ryan Tannehill's blind side. There are options in free agency.

    There is also the Luke Joeckel plan.

    Joeckel, a Texas A&M product, has already protected Tannehill and even as the fourth overall selection, will come at a discounted price. Miami would not have to give up money for Joeckelinstead they would need to part with draft picks.

    Is this plan plausible? Is it wise for Miami? 

    Let's find out.

Luke Joeckel

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    Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M

    6'6", 310 lbs, 5.16 sec (40-yard dash)

    Joeckel is a beast that has started at left tackle since he was a true freshman.  He possesses the size and athleticism to succeed as the anchor of an offensive line.

    Joeckel is expected to be a pro bowl tackle at the next level and has the talent to replace a player such as Jake Long.

    If Miami is going to trade up in the 2013 NFL Draft, Joeckel is a worthy target.

Trade with Philadelphia Eagles

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    The Joeckel plan will require that he be available when the Philadelphia Eagles make their selection, the fourth of the draft. 

    A trade for the first overall pick will require too much compensation. If the Kansas City Chiefs do not select Joeckel, he is expected to be available for Philadelphia. If the Chiefs trade their pick, the team moving up will likely draft a quarterback.

    According to the NFL Draft Value Chart, the fourth overall selection is worth 1800 points, while Miami's pick (No.12) is worth 1200.  Miami's second round pick (No.42) and their fourth round selection can make up the difference.

    Why would the Eagles want to trade down?

    Philadelphia could use an offensive tackle, but they have greater needs at cornerback and guard. In the 12th slot, they can draft Dee Milliner or Chance Warmack while picking up additional draft picks.

    This will allow the new Eagles head coach, Chip Kelly, more flexibility in building his team.

The Price for Miami

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    The fourth overall selection of the 2012 draft, Matt Kalil, who also happens to be an offensive tackle, received a four year contract valued at almost $20 million, including his signing bonus. 

    This amounts to $5 million a year, which is much less than the $8-10 million that the Dolphins are expected to shell out for Jake Long or his replacement.

    Miami will lose a second and fourth round selection, but they will have $3-5 million more to spend on a free agent.

    Even giving up the draft picks, they will still have a second and two third round selections.  More importantly, they will potentially have their left tackle for the next decade.

    Yes, Luke Joeckel is worth it.