You know how I feel about draft day trades? They have rarely factored to any large degree for the Dolphins, as I demonstrate in this column. They were meh before meh was a thing.
And I do believe if you read the column the proof is indisputable.
But personnel men being personnel men, they still think that despite the fact they bat .500 at best -- meaning they miss as a group on half their picks despite all their meetings and tape study and visits and workouts and interviews -- somebody is definitely going try to jockey around the draft board because he thinks himself smarter than everyone else.
So what's my prediction if the Dolphins end up doing that?
Well, while everyone is predicting a trade up because the Dolphins have assets move up if they wish, I see them moving down. That's right down.
Because if the Dolphins personnel department is smart -- and there are indeed some very intelligent people in that group -- somebody has recognized that there are not 100 percent can't-miss superstars in the top seven picks. Going up in the draft will offer some good but no truly amazing player this year.
The value in this draft, I've been told on multiple occasions by personnel men I speak with is lower in the draft where, they say, the 12th pick might not bring any better a player than the 15th-35th pick. In other words, a lower pick might get you as good a player.
If that is the case, then logic says trade down and augment your number of picks and thus your number of equally talented players.
Following that logic, the Dolphins should trade down in the bottom third of the first round and add another second round pick and possibly another later-round pick in the process. That way, instead of picking up one player at No. 12, you pick up two -- with the lower first-rounder and an additional second-rounder -- and those two players can have about the same value as the one player at No. 12.
Obviously, the Dolphins have to find a partner willing to do that.
Look to the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers are a ready-made team. They are a player or two from winning the Super Bowl. Maybe they want the best wide receiver in the draft and the way to do that is to be at No. 12. They're also locked in a talent war with Seattle. What better way to get the jump on the 'Hawks?
The 49ers have the 31st pick in the first round and have two second-round picks, including No. 34 overall. If they throw in a later-round pick, I'd give them the No. 12 overall pick. (Indeed, they can keep their later-round pick for all I care).
Such a sceaniro would have Miami picking 31st in the first round, three more times in the second round and two more times in the third round. Six picks in the first three rounds in this draft is a treasure.
Now, all of a sudden, fake GM Salguero is adding perhaps OT D.J. Fluker or OT Menelik Watson if Fluker goes earlier. Now I'm adding cornerback D.J. Hayden at the top of the second round with San Fran's second-rounder and I can go chase Stanford tight end Zach Ertz or San Diego State's Gavin Escobar with the 42nd overall knowing that I've already filled my two primary needs. Or maybe Florida safety Matt Elam or FIU safety John Cyprien is the guy at 42.
And the Dolphins would still have another second rounder after that. Imagine?
The Dolphins worked hard to give themselves choices for the draft while operating in free agency. They should be smart and work hard during the draft to give themselves more choices during that very draft.
One way to do that is to trade down, the opposite direction of what most speculation out there has them doing.
If the Dolphins don't trade down and stay at No. 12, they're likely to look at Star Lotulelei, in part because he's a good player and not a reach at that spot. But will he be a tons better NFL player than any of the guys I just mentioned?
No one can guarantee that. And that's the point of trading down in this draft.