The Dolphins Aren't Really Going to Trade Up For a Tackle, Are They?

Liam McKeone
Chris Grier and Brian Flores
Chris Grier and Brian Flores / Mark Brown/Getty Images
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With the NFL Draft on our immediate horizon, it behooves nobody to believe the rumors suddenly emerging out of the woodwork with 24 hours to go before the main event. Feeding the rumor mill is as much of the draft as the actual selections are for the cloak-and-dagger-loving franchises that will participate.

However, when someone like Ian Rapoport tweets something, we listen. And his latest report suggested a scenario no one has yet considered, or at least given any credence to: the Dolphins are considering trading up, but to potentially select a tackle rather than a quarterback.

This could just be a load of baloney the Dolphins are floating out there to see how everyone reacts and further mask their true intentions heading into Thursday night. But, I mean ... they wouldn't actually do this, right?

The Dolphins set themselves up to to lose last year for the purpose of having a high draft pick. They now have that pick. The logical next step for a team that started Ryan Fitzpatrick the vast majority of the year is to find a blue-chip quarterback prospect. Tua Tagovailoa was that prospect heading into the year. Injuries have damaged his stock, but he's still that level of prospect. Will Miami really devastate its fan base by trading up ... to pick a tackle?

Of course, the Dolphins' front office isn't paid to appease fans, the execs and scouts are paid to build a football team. So, in a purely football sense, let me explain why this move would, again, make no sense. This is an extremely deep tackle class. Four are expected to go in the first 12 picks, a ridiculous number for offensive linemen. There are starters and high-level players in abundance. The Dolphins are almost guaranteed their pick of the top three tackle prospects at the very least. It's no sure thing the Giants will pick a tackle at No. 4, even if it seems likely at this point. Using valuable resources to ensure you have your pick of four very good prospects instead of three isn't an efficient deployment of all the picks you've gathered.

Miami is clearly taking on this rebuild in its own unique way, and perhaps the team believes having a guaranteed superstar left tackle is more valuable than taking a risk on Tagovailoa or even Justin Herbert. But it is possible to outsmart yourself. Having a Joe Staley or Joe Thomas type on the left side is a massive advantage, but it can easily be offset by poor quarterback play. Just ask those two guys. If Miami thinks it has a shot at landing a longtime quarterback who can play up to a top-10 level or better, that would offset any disadvantages from the offensive line -- including a subpar left tackle, even if that's not an ideal scenario.

The Dolphins have a lot of options to restock their barren talent cupboard. Using picks to move up to the third overall slot (an expensive proposition) to select a tackle isn't anywhere near their best path. Take a quarterback and package the other two first-round picks to move back into the top 10 and pick his blindside protector. But trading up for their pick of left tackle prospects is not only extremely lame, it's a bad move for the franchise.

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