The Miami Dolphins thought the order for April 29th’s 2021 NFL Draft was just a little bit boring, so they turned it on its head last Friday.
Miami started the day off by sending the No. 3 overall pick in the draft to the San Francisco 49ers, who sent the No. 12 choice this year to South Beach along with their first- and third-rounders in 2022 and their top pick in 2023.
A few short hours later, Miami general manager Chris Grier decided he didn’t really fancy being outside the top 10. So he took that No. 12 pick, packaged it with this year’s No. 123 (fourth-rounder) and the Dolphins’ 2022 first round pick and shipped those out to the Philadelphia Eagles, who gave them the No. 6 pick and No. 156 picks (fifth-rounder) this year.
These moves jive with what the Dolphins brass has been parroting all offseason: they are gearing up for a rebuild around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. These extra picks over the next few years will help them add talent—especially on offense—to help Tua reach his full potential sooner rather than later.
Including last season and this recent string of moves, Miami is now set up with eight total first round picks over a four-year period, with the potential to trade down and gain more draft capital whenever they like.
With the No. 6 pick, the Dolphins are expected to target one of the top playmaking pass-catchers that are out there this season, including LSUs Ja’Marr Chase or one of Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith.
Sportsbooks like Miami’s chance at being competitive this season despite the fact that they are rebuilding around a young QB, giving them +300 NFL odds to win the AFC East next season.
The Eagles, for their part, added some draft capital of their own as they seem to be warming to the idea of Jalen Hurts as their quarterback of the future—at least for now, Howie Roseman is running a quarterback factory at the end of the day, right guys.
If Carson Wentz plays 75% of the snaps for the Indianapolis Colts this year, the second-rounder the Eagles got for Wentz will become a first-rounder, meaning that with this trade with the Niners, they could have three 2022 first round draft choices.
The biggest story of this whole ordeal has to be the Niners trading what many would evaluate as way too much future draft capital to pick what can only be assumed to be a quarterback (the last four teams to trade into the top five did it to take a signal caller).
Strangely, San Francisco has been staunch in its support for current QB Jimmy Garoppolo as their starter for the 2021 season since making the trade, despite the fact that injuries have kept Garoppolo out for 23 of the past 48 possible regular season games.
Whoever is drafted at No. 3 by San Francisco could very well be their starter by the end of this season, whether it’s because of injury or bad play from Garoppolo remains to be seen.
The only real question now is who San Francisco traded three first round picks to get. The Jacksonville Jaguars are pretty much locked in with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence at No. 1, so it’s really between Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
The relationship between Niners general manager John Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan, and new Jets head coach Robert Saleh—who was the defensive coordinator for San Francisco for four years and holds the No. 2 overall pick right in front of San Francisco—cannot be overlooked here.
It would not be surprising if the two sides had discussed who the Jets plan to take at No. 2 to ensure whoever the Niners want would be there for them at No. 3 before pulling the trigger on that Miami trade.