This is the bunk and debunk edition of Dolphins in Depth:
In this post I will look at various so-called rumors that are starting to circle the Dolphins' possible moves during the coming draft cycle. I will tell you what I know and then let you decide whether the rumor is bunk.
Rumor No. 1: The Dolphins are going to trade up in the draft to get one of the three offensive left tackles expected to go before they pick, with Lane Johnson being the most likely pick because Eric Fisher and Luke Joekel will be going too high to attain.
Part of it is bunk: Obviously, because the Dolphins are among the teams with multiple picks in the second and third round, everyone is pointing to them as a team with ammunition to trade up. That does not mean they are going to do it. Let's establish that. Secondly, most teams in the top 10-12 of this coming draft will be looking to trade down because the value of this draft is from about the 17th pick to the 35th in the top of the third round. So if the Dolphins want to trade up, they'll probably have partners, but why would they want to do the exact opposite of what everyone else wants to do? You're telling me the Dolphins want to trade away from the value? Hmmm. Finally, if the Dolphins do try to trade up, I can almost guarantee it won't be for Johnson. Yes, he is a legitimate first-round selection. Yes, he plays a position of need. But the Fins like Joekel and Fisher much, much, much more than Johnson and have some concerns about Johnson as a left tackle. And that's the guy they're going to give up extra picks to get? I don't think so.
Rumor No. 2: The Dolphins love Xavier Rhodes so he's the pick at No. 12.
It's bunk: Well, Rhodes is a very good player for Florida State. The Dolphins have done a lot of grinding on him. You know what I hear? Press corner. A little stiff. Struggles to recover ground. Yes, he's physical. Yes, he's a huge corner at 6-1. But he doesn't seem to be a system fit for a team that doesn't usually play press coverage.
Rumor No. 3: The Dolphins brought in Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o to camp on Wednesday and so they're going to pick him at No. 12.
Debunk: No. He's not the guy at No. 12. He might not even be the guy if the club trades down, which is the exact opposite of what rumors say about trading up. Seems to me the Dolphins are guarding for the possibility he'll be around in the second round or very, very late in the first where they might trade back into the first round.
Rumor No. 4: The Dolphins are going to pick a tight end with the No. 12 overall selection and that pick is obviously Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame.
Debunk: I cannot do it. I have no confirmed information on this one way or the other. My gut, however, tells me if the Dolphins end up picking Eifert, it would be after a trade-down scenario. No. 12 is mighty high even for the best tight end prospect in the draft. And, I remind you, there are other good tight end prospects later. I also remind you that though I am using my gut here, I have a very large gut to use.
Rumor No. 5: The Dolphins would use the No. 12 pick to select right tackle D.J. Fluker of Alabama. This one has been circulated ad nauseum lately by Mel Kiper.
Debunk: Can't totally do it. But I do know that if the Dolphins are looking at Fluker at No. 12, they better be projecting him as a left tackle. If they pick this guy and project him as a right tackle, then they overdrafted him. You do not pick right tackles at No. 12. If you do, Salguero rips you until such time that the player makes the Hall of Fame. General manager Jeff Ireland is also on record as saying he wants to draft players at "core positions" at the top of the first round. Core positions are QB, WR, CB, DE or pass-rush OLB, and LT. Not, I repeat, not RT.