After a shocking move by general manager Jeff Ireland to trade up and grab Dion Jordan with the third overall pick, the Miami Dolphins now have just one second-round pick to go along with their two third-rounders.
But they still have some positions that need to be filled, and this is a deep draft. With the Chiefs taking Eric Fisher first and the Dolphins passing on Lane Johnson, the balance of power in the Branden Albert negotations is clearly in Miami’s favor.
The Dolphins have alternate options to add a tackle, whether it be with one of their picks Friday night or by signing Eric Winston or Tyson Clabo.
But the Chiefs are now stuck with the first overall pick on their roster, who pretty much has to start at left tackle, and the incumbent left tackle who was just slapped with the franchise tag and has publicly voiced his opposition to moving over and playing right tackle in favor of a rookie.
So the Chiefs need to trade away Albert a lot more than the Dolphins need to trade for him. If Ireland uses his leverage well, he might be able to give up only the 82nd overall pick for him. If the Chiefs don’t accept that, well, things could get rocky in Kansas City.
But onto the picks Friday night, because Miami has a few different directions it can go.
First and foremost, it has to add a cornerback. It might not necessarily be with the 54th pick, because depending who gets taken, it may like the depth enough to wait until the 77th or 82nd selection, but you can be sure it’s at the top of its list.
Darius Slay, Jordan Poyer and Jamar Taylor are all in play for that second-round selection. I honestly think two of the three will be available, because I’m expecting a run on quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs to happen during the first 20 picks of the round.
In the third round, assuming none of the three aforementioned slide, Robert Alford would be a great fit in zone coverage. David Amerson is an intriguing ballhawk who could get some consideration, and Logan Ryan is a physical, hard-hitting corner that may be an option as well.
On the offensive side of the ball, a tackle is still clearly needed. With a surprising run on tackles in the first round—with Justin Pugh and Kyle Long getting taken way too early in my opinion—the pool is a bit thin.
Terron Armstead is a potential pick at No. 54, but I wouldn’t love that pick at all, especially if Miami could get Albert for a third rounder. Menelik Watson will probably be taken before No. 54, and I’m not a huge fan of his anyway.
One intriguing third-round possibility is David Bakhtiari from Colorado. He’s shorter but has long arms and is a very technical, fundamentally sound, quick-footed player who would be a possible fit as a right-tackle in Miami’s zone-blocking scheme.
Brennan Williams is another option in the third round, although his quickness and injury history concerns me.
Tight end also has to be on the Dolphins’ radar. Some people were warming up to Tyler Eifert at No. 12, but that obviously didn’t happen. There’s no way Miami can be happy going into next season with a trio of Dustin Keller, Charles Clay and Michael Egnew, so a third-round pick makes sense here.
Travis Kelce is arguably the best fit from a football standpoint with his combination of blocking and pass-catching ability, but his off-the-field issues may scare Joe Philbin away.
With the 82nd pick, there are two other distinct possibilities other than Kelce.
The first is Vance McDonald from Rice, a physically gifted player who turned some heads in the pre-draft process. Another is Gavin Escobar, who is more of a pure pass-catcher than McDonald but has the build to become a solid blocker.
Lastly, the Dolphins could potentially look at this talented safety class. There are a few players ripe for the picking and could become perfect matches of need and value, particularly in the third round. Chris Clemons is only on a one-year deal, and Miami may want to look for his replacement in this deep class.
Phillip Thomas, one of the most productive safeties in the nation in 2012, is one potential option. D.J. Swearinger, a hard-hitting beast who plays with a visible tenacity on the field, could make Miami’s secondary a legitimate threat. Tony Jefferson is a well-rounded, experienced prospect who would also be a solid pick.
For the record, Miami should wait on running backs and really don’t need to look at a receiver, unless they do end up trading Davone Bess. If Bess really does get moved, it will probably be for a fifth-rounder, which I would then use to grab a running back.
That trade would make Ryan Swope and Stedman Bailey two very likely options for Miami in the third round, so keep your eyes peeled for news with Bess.