MMQB explores the behind the scenes of Dolphins' 1st-round trades


The Miami Dolphins’ spectacular maneuvering up and down the draft board last Friday was a stunning display of aggressiveness from the Dolphins. Driving down the board to cash out on a premium pick only to turn around parlay portions of that trade package into another deal and rebound halfway back up the draft order?

That’s about as unconventional of a move as you’ll see in March. And, given the complexities of Miami’s dealings, it should come as no surprise that the team has quietly and secretly been pulling the strings behind the scenes to align for Friday’s monumental shift of the draft order.

And now, thanks to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, we know a little bit about some of those inner workings that led to two trades in less than a half-hour of madness. Breer outlined Miami’s methods to secure two separate trades inside the top-10 of the NFL Draft order for his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback ‘MMQB’ column.

“…the Niners were able to move early with their play, engaging the Dolphins about three weeks ago. Lynch and Miami GM Chris Grier pledged to keep the talks quiet. Teams calling the Dolphins to sniff around the third pick were told only that Miami had a strong offer for it. The Dolphins didn’t shop the Niners’ offer, and the Niners didn’t double back to the Jets or anyone else looking for a better deal.

“The Dolphins, though, were looking for a way to stay closer to where they were originally picking, which led to this becoming what was essentially a three-team trade. And Miami needed a partner that would keep the talks in confidence. So Grier called the Eagles, who owned the sixth pick, a little more than two weeks ago to ask if they would be interested in moving back to 12 if the deal with the 49ers went through. Philly said yes, and the Dolphins told the Eagles they’d circle back. Then Grier and Eagles GM Howie Roseman chipped away at the parameters of a second-order trade.” – Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated

Breer would go on to detail some of the supposed motivating factors for the Dolphins, extrapolating that the Dolphins seem to believe that quarterbacks will “likely” go in each of the first four picks in this year’s draft. That, when paired with Breer’s reported chances that the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5 have a “pretty good chance” of taking former LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase, would give the Dolphins yet another pressure point in the top-10.

Miami will be on the clock with one last perceived 1st-round quarterback on the board at No. 6 overall and teams picking at 7, 8 and 9 that could all potentially be interested. And if quarterbacks indeed go in the first four slots followed by Chase, Miami will have TE Kyle Pitts, OT Penei Sewell and WRs Jaylen Waddle & DeVonta Smith as possible options, too.

That Miami would choose to do there is anyone’s guess. But perhaps we’ll get more clues in the coming weeks building up to April’s NFL Draft. What we do know now is that Miami had been scheming a return into the top-6 picks from the moment they considered falling out of the top-10. And thanks to the secretive approach of Chris Grier, the Dolphins successfully turned in two big moves in succession.