The Miami Dolphins sit at a somewhat peculiar spot in the first round of the NFL draft. They have the 12th overall selection, but they could be considered at a bit of a crossroads when looking at players from that slot in terms of value, need and availability.
Currently, they are in desperate need of an offensive tackle. Yet they are too far back in the draft to get a shot at one of the top two tackles, but are too high for the second-tier guys.
Same thing with the cornerback position. Dee Milliner is the best prospect in the class, but will be off the board by the time the Dolphins get their pick. After him, there are a ton of guys who could be considered, but many will be available later on in the round and even a round later.
Other positions, like tight end or pass-rusher, could be enticing, but taking a tight end at 12 would be considered a reach by many, especially when they could last another 10 picks or so, and it's impossible to predict where the top pass-rushers will be taken this year.
The Dolphins also have a unique advantage in that they possess five of the first 82 picks, and they have 11 total picks in every round except for the sixth.
Basically, they have a lot of ammunition if they want to trade up in the draft, but could also benefit from trading down from the 12 slot.
It's very difficult to predict draft pick trades, but there are a number of moves that would seem to make sense, and I'm going to outline them here.
Cleveland receives picks: 1 (12), 2 (54), 5 (146)
Miami receives pick: 1 (6)
Combine that with new Browns CEO Joe Banner, who oversaw more than a couple draft-day deals with Philadelphia, and a lack of a second-round pick, and you get a good candidate as a trading partner for Miami.
The Browns may be looking to add playmakers to their offense, and it's extremely likely that either Cordarrelle Patterson or Tavon Austin, if not both, would still be there at 12. Ditto goes for guards Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper, who would be solid additions to their offensive lines.
The Browns also could use some upgrades in their secondary, at both the safety and No. 2 corner positions, which they could address with the 12th pick or their newly acquired second-rounder.
Much like the previous trade with Oakland, Miami would likely only pursue this route if the Browns were on the clock with Eric Fisher still available. There's an outside chance that the Dolphins would do this to leapfrog the Chargers and take Lane Johnson if Fisher is off the board, but I think Fisher would be the only player worth trading here for.
And for those of you counting at home, the Trade Value Chart would render this an almost perfect switch: Miami receives 1,600 points, while Cleveland gets 1,593. That's about as close as it's gonna get for draft pick trading.
Minnesota receives picks: 1 (12), 2 (42)
Miami receives picks: 1 (23), 1 (25), 3 (83)
This seems like a bit of a stretch, but is actually only 25 points away from being dead equal on that value chart, and it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
Minnesota effectively swapped Percy Harvin for Greg Jennings, which is a pretty significant step down, in that Harvin brings a speed and explosiveness that Jennings just can't come close to matching at this stage in his career.
Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson are the two guys who Minnesota has to target this year. However, St. Louis has two picks before Minnesota, and it will almost assuredly target one of those two playmakers. That means the Vikings would have to count on nobody else taking the other before they select at 23.
For Miami, the Dolphins would create a lot of flexibility for themselves by gaining the 23rd and 25th picks. They could see if Trufant and Eifert are still available, and they would also be in position to grab anyone who unexpectedly slides into the 20s, which seems to happen every draft.
The Dolphins would also be gaining a third pick in the third round. They could always use those three picks, along with their remaining second-rounder, to move back up and get another target.
Oakland receives picks: 1 (12), 2 (42), 2 (54)
Miami receives pick: 1 (3)
This trade makes a lot of sense for both teams. The Raiders have undergone a huge salary dump, getting rid of Carson Palmer, Rolando McClain, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Dave Tollefsen and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but their roster is depleted as a result.
They traded for Matt Flynn, who figures to be the starter in Oakland for the foreseeable future, meaning that a selection of Geno Smith is unlikely.
The Raiders also don't have a second-round selection in this year's draft, so picking up two while only moving down nine spots would be a big first step for the rebuilding of their roster.
The Dolphins would only make this trade on draft day, however, once the Raiders were on the clock and Eric Fisher was still available. This would allow them to lock up a franchise left tackle and keep Jonathan Martin on the right side.
If Miami made this trade, I would fully expect it to package two more picks and move back into the second round to target a cornerback.
Dallas receives picks: 1 (12), 4 (74)
Miami receives picks: 1 (18), 2 (47)
Everyone knows Jerry Jones loves to make a splash, and the Cowboys are in dire need of secondary help. Kenny Vaccaro would make a lot of sense for them, but there's no guarantee he'll be around at 18.
For the Dolphins, this would be an ideal trade. They could still target Desmond Trufant or Tyler Eifert here, and pick up another second-rounder. The flexibility they could get from this trade would be incredible.
They would then have the 42nd, 47th and 54th picks, all in the second round, and could easily come up with a package to move up to the very beginning of the second or even the end of the first—if there's a player they have their eye on.