As we look ahead to the future of the NFL, a new approach is currently being perfected by the Miami Dolphins. Some teams have “tanked” before (losing on purpose for getting earlier selections in the NFL Draft), none have been this proactive in acquiring high draft picks. The Dolphins have effectively traded highly regarded players that had not brought success to the team. The result? Miami has turned the worth of past picks into strong future investments. Let’s go over the plan that Miami has made for its sole professional football team.
What Have the Dolphins Done?
The 2016 and 2018 first-round picks in left tackle Leremy Tunsil and cornerback Minkak Fitzpatrick are now three first-round picks over the next two seasons. Adam Gase, the previous head coach was involved with both selections and his failure as a general manager and head coach is now evident for the rival New York Jets team that has started off winless, as have the Dolphins. However, the Dolphins have larger plans. Leremy Tunsil was traded before the start of the season for a 2020 first-round pick that should fall around the 20-25 mark (out of 32 selections) and a 2021 first-round pick, plus a 2020 second-round pick. That’s massive considering the fact that Tunsil finished the previous season not even being ranked in the top 35 in his position from ProFootball Focus (PFF).
Reasons For Trading Their Left Tackle
PFF has been considered one of the premier ranking systems, an upgrade from the Madden rating system that was for years the opinion of just one person. PFF has supplied ratings with a team that watches every single play in every game, every season. With three picks, the Miami Dolphins are going to be able to find someone to replace Tunsil and two more picks to address other needs on the team. The Houston Texans get a player who enters his fourth season and will demand a new contract after this year and expect to make more money than he arguably deserves.
Why Did the Dolphins Trade Their Most Recent Top Pick?
In trading Minkak Fitzpatrick, the 2018 first-round pick of the Dolphins, Miami has learned from its mistake of going for a gadget player and will look to draft a player that wants to stay. Minkak and his mother had famously wanted to only play one position, a far cry from the words and sentiment described by Minkak when he was just happy to be drafted only a year and a half ago. He might be young, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are not getting a stellar all-pro in Minkak and Miami Dolphin fans know the trade will net more value than Minkak could have provided. The Steelers sent over their 2020 first-round pick, which is expected to be a top-five pick after their two-time winning quarterback Ben Rothlisberger went down with a season-ending injury to his elbow shortly before the agreement was made.
Stealing From the Steelers?
The Steelers will not be a threat to draft a quarterback despite having a very bad record, currently they are winless and the more they lose in the 2019 season, the higher the Dolphins will pick with their selection. The Steelers also gave up a 2020 5th round pick and a 2020 6th round pick, with the Dolphins sending over 2020 4th round pick and 2020 7th round pick. These moves are something out of a Madden video game, but they are the ones that will help the Miami Dolphins climb to the very top of the NFL landscape in real life. Just give the Dolphins a few more years of making moves and using their massive $160 million in cap space to sign the best free agents and they will dominate the AFC East, AFC, and NFL again like its the early 1970’s. Find out more sports news from Florida Insider each week!
Chris began his writing as a hobby while attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Today he and his wife live in the Orlando area with their three children and dog.