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Dolphins looking at possible first-round trades

The Dolphins are open for business.

One day before the NFL draft's long-awaited first round gets underway, the Dolphins have fielded and initiated multiple phone calls to other teams to "set the table," as one source said, to trade down or trade up in the first round, according to multiple NFL sources.

The Dolphins hold the No. 19 overall selection in the draft. The fact they are telling teams they are willing to listen to trade down offers from that perch is not surprising. The fact Miami is a possible buyer in a trade up scenario is somewhat surprising.

In trade down scenarios the Dolphins have had preliminary discussions with Philadelphia (No. 22), Cleveland (No. 26) and New Orleans (No. 27), among others. One source said the Dolphins have also spoken with San Francisco (No. 30), although dropping behind Carolina (No. 28) might expose the Dolphins to losing their top OT option.

It makes sense.

The Dolphins have a handful of players they are comfortable taking in the first round and several of those may be available later in the first round. Although no one knows the names on that list outside general manager Dennis Hickey and probably the rest of the leadership structure that includes coach Joe Philbin, executive VP Dawn Aponte and owner Stephen Ross, it is possible to speculate which players the Dolphins like and need.

The team loves Tennessee offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James. The team loves Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr., USC WR Marqise Lee, Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller and Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses are also on the radar.

Several of those players are expected to be available later in the first round and perhaps into the second round.

So it stands to reason the Dolphins may be preparing to trade back in the first round and pick up an extra pick perhaps late in the second round in the case of San Francisco or sometime in the third round in most other cases. Dropping back three spots to Philadelphia's No. 22 might only yield a fourth-rounder.

The idea of the Dolphins trading up in this draft is less conventional.

Miami is not exactly loaded with draft picks as it was last year when then-GM Jeff Ireland rocketed from the No. 12 overall selection to No. 3 by giving up his first-rounder plus one of his two second-rounders.

This year the Dolphins have seven picks -- one in each round.

So why would the Dolphins even consider moving up?

The team might be eyeing a move in case Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin or Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews drops to within shouting distance. Michigan's Taylor Lewan will likely be gone well before the Dolphins are within range to trade up.  

Many mock drafts have the top tackle prospects -- Greg Robinson, Lewan, Matthews and Martin -- gone as early as the first dozen picks.

(Again, I have no source giving me specific names.  The Dolphins might have other players they value in a trade up.)

But that they've done their homework on the possibility of trading on Thursday? That is apparent.

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