The 2014 NFL draft is upon us, and it comes with bountiful supplies of excitement and speculation. The Miami Dolphins and their new general manager, Dennis Hickey, are seeking a group of impact rookies that can help end the team's six-year playoff drought. Miami holds the 19th selection of the first round, and in a deep draft, trading down is a real possibility.
TRADE WITH THE CLEVELAND BROWNS (Drop to No. 26)
The Cleveland Browns' last franchise quarterback was Bernie Kosar, and Cleveland has not been able to find an adequate replacement for 20 years. The quarterbacks currently on the Browns roster are Brian Hoyer, Vince Young, Tyler Thigpen and Alex Tanney. While there might be a short-term solution in the uninspiring group, there is no franchise quarterback.
If Cleveland decides to pass on a quarterback with their fourth overall selection, then trading up directly in front of the Arizona Cardinals (No. 20) is a plausible move. Arizona has Carson Palmer, but the 34-year-old may have one more good season left in him. The Cardinals will certainly be in play for a signal-caller if any in the group of Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr or even the fast-sinking Teddy Bridgewater are available to be selected with the 20th pick.
If the Browns decide to leap up to the 19th slot, the value they have to make up is worth 175 points (875-700). Coincidentally, one of Cleveland's third-round selections (No. 83) is worth exactly 175 points. Hickey may even receive the Browns' earlier third-round choice (No. 71) if the right quarterback falls to the 19th slot. The Dolphins may not mind dropping seven slots because, of the teams drafting between the 19th and 26th spots, only the Cincinnati Bengals (No. 24) are expected to consider an offensive tackle.
If Miami and Cleveland trade first-round selections, the Dolphins will add a third-rounder and feel more comfortable with drafting offensive tackles such as Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, Virginia's Morgan Moses or Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James with the 26th overall pick.
TRADE WITH THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Drop to No. 22)
The Philadelphia Eagles' first priority is a safety, and they would love to land Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Louisville's Calvin Pryor. One of the two, most likely Pryor, may be available for Miami's 19th selection. If available, Miami will be tempted to take Pryor or Clinton-Dix, but if they decide to move in a different direction, the Eagles will be waiting.
While Arizona (No. 20) has a need for a safety, they will likely choose a quarterback unless the top four (Manziel, Bortles, Carr and Bridgewater) have already been drafted. On the other hand, the Green Bay Packers (No. 21) would quickly pounce on Clinton-Dix or Pryor.
If Miami and Philadelphia were to swap first-rounders, the Eagles would have to make up 95 points (875-780). Philadelphia's fourth-rounder (No. 122) is not worth enough, so the Eagles would have to swap their third-round pick (No. 86) for Miami's fourth-rounder (No. 116). With a player like Pryor dangling on a string, the Dolphins may receive the Eagles third-rounder outright.
In this scenario, Miami could lose out on C.J. Mosley, if he was available for the 19th selection, because the Packers would strongly consider him as a consolation prize after losing out on the top two safeties.
TRADE WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Drop to No. 30)
According to Taylor Price of 49ers.com, San Francisco's general manager, Trent Baalke, has a history of trading up in the draft. Couple that with the 49ers' 11 draft picks and it is almost certain that San Francisco will pull the trigger on a draft-day trade.
It is no secret that the 49ers are looking for a wide receiver, and at No. 19, you may have LSU's Odell Beckham, USC's Marqise Lee and Oregon's Brandin Cooks. Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M's Mike Evans are projected to land within the first 10 selections of the draft.
If Beckham, Lee and Cooks are available for the Dolphins, then the 49ers may be able to stand pat a little longer, but they have to be careful because Green Bay (No. 21), the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 23), the San Diego Chargers (No. 25), the Carolina Panthers (No. 28) and the New England Patriots (No. 29) will all consider taking a receiver. Realistically, there will be at least three drafted receivers by the time the Dolphins select and depending on who San Francisco covets, it may be time for Baalke to make his move.
If Miami and San Francisco swap first-round picks, the 49ers would have to make up 255 points (875-620). The Dolphins' asking price would likely be San Francisco's late second-round selection (No. 61).
If this trade comes to fruition, Miami would draft their future right tackle in the first round and be able to take Auburn running back Tre Mason and a receiver, either Ole Miss' Sidney Moncrief or Clemson's Martavis Bryant, in the second round.
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