The Miami Dolphins find themselves in an interesting place entering the 2019 NFL Draft. After trading away quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the organization has gone into rebuild mode. The team currently holds the 13th pick in the draft and some are speculating that Miami should move up or stay where they are. However, the Dolphins would be better suited to move down in the draft and add more draft picks.
Miami Dolphins Should Trade Down in 2019 NFL Draft
Smart teams in the NFL know that the best way to build a competitive roster is to accumulate strong depth rather than build a top-heavy team with flaws scattered throughout the depth chart. Football is the ultimate team sport, so having one or two elite players doesn’t mean much if the rest of the roster can’t hold up their end.
Trading up could make sense if the Dolphins were one piece away from being a legitimate playoff contender. However, Miami is a long ways away from competing. The Dolphins don’t have many defensive pieces or offensive weapons, and the offensive line is one of the worst in the league. Minkah Fitzpatrick showed promise as a rookie, but nobody else on the roster has superstar potential.
There isn’t one single player in the draft capable of making Miami a contender, so staying in place or trading up doesn’t make sense for the current roster. The 13th overall pick has immense value for a certain type of team, so Miami should be able to trade the pick for immense value. Falling back five to 10 spots while adding another second- or third-round pick would help set Miami up for the future.
There Are No Worthy Quarterbacks
The Miami Dolphins need a quarterback, as Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long-term answer under center. If Miami had a chance to secure the long-awaited heir to Dan Marino, then they should absolutely go out and get him. The quarterback position is the most important position in sports and securing a franchise passer is key to any rebuild. Unfortunately for Miami, there doesn’t appear to be an answer in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Arizona Cardinals hold the top pick and are all-but guaranteed to select Kyler Murray. Murray doesn’t have prototypical NFL build, but players like Baker Mayfield and Russell Wilson are proving that size doesn’t matter. What does matter is having a prototypical arm to go with the mental capacity, accuracy, and overall athleticism required to carry an offense. Murray has all of those traits, but the Dolphins have no realistic way to acquire him.
That leaves Miami with the underwhelming trio of Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, and Daniel Jones. Of these three, Haskins are Lock are likely to be top-10 selections. Miami could theoretically trade to get one of these guys, but they probably shouldn’t. Haskins has a fairly low ceiling and was protected by a star-studded Ohio State roster. He was one of the worst quarterbacks against pressure and has no mobility. Sending him out behind the current offensive line would be a disaster. Drew Lock, meanwhile, is Jay Cutler. You could theoretically win with either quarterback, but you’d need a perfect roster surrounding either passer. Quite frankly, Miami would be better off waiting for the stacked 2020 quarterback draft class.
This leaves Daniel Jones as the lone “top-tier” quarterback likely to be available at pick 13. Jones has the prototypical height and trained under the same coach who trained Peyton Manning, but that’s where the positives end. Pro Football Focus ranked Jones as a third-round prospect, and his tape backs up that evaluation. Jones is basically a poor mans’ Ryan Tannehill, and this organization needs a better quarterback to be true contenders. Jones is slow on his reads and release and doesn’t do anything particularly exciting. He could manage a game, but Miami should hope for better in a franchise quarterback.
Last Word on Miami Dolphins Trading Back in 2019 NFL Draft
The Miami Dolphins are at a point where they need to maximize their chance at hitting on cheap, cost-controlled talent. This team isn’t one player away from competing, and the organization needs to work on getting as many good players in the building as possible. The best way to do this is by trading out of the 13th overall pick to acquire another early- to mid-round pick. The Dolphins would still get a first-round pick in this exchange and could also pick up a potential Pro Bowler and a solid starter. This is a talented draft class and there should be plenty of good players available in the second or third round.
The only way it makes sense for this team to trade up is if they believe they can get the quarterback of the future. Kyler Murray is the only true franchise quarterback in this draft, and he’s a lock to go to the Arizona Cardinals. Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock can all be decent quarterbacks, but they’re not franchise-altering talents. Daniel Jones is the product of draft hype and should be avoided like the plague. With a stacked quarterback class in 2020, Miami should wait one season to go out and draft a quarterback who could turn into a top-10 passer.
Trading down isn’t the sexiest decision on draft day, but it’s the smartest move for this roster. The 2019 Dolphins have holes all across the roster, and adding picks is the best way to fill said holes.
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