As the NFL Draft has drawn closer, everybody’s wondering what the Miami Dolphins plan to do in regards to trading up from the fifth-overall pick.
Most rumors claim they’re likely to switch spots with the Detroit Lions at the third-overall slot, but there’s clear interest in moving all the way up to the Cincinnati Bengals’ spot at the top of the draft to get Joe Burrow. The Dolphins have plenty of draft capital to make an offer the Bengals couldn’t refuse, but the idea of doing so is one that Dolphins’ general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores are against, according to Peter King of Pro Football Talk:
I do hear that [Grier] and coach Brian Flores are very much against trading the farm to move up to get Burrow—which some in the organization want to do. I doubt owner Stephen Ross will pull the owner card and force a mega-offer to try to move up to number one, but we’ll see.
Miami may be the only team that could put together an offer that would be even remotely interesting to Cincinnati. The Dolphins have three first-round selections (5th, 18th, and 26th) and two second-round picks (39th and 56th) this year. That is five picks in the top 60, and that wouldn’t even probably be enough at this point.
This is the point in the offseason where you really can’t trust anything, so this could be the Dolphins attempting to tell the Bengals that their final offer is where they stand. It could also just be them saying publicly that they are removing themselves from trade talks, so Cincinnati can’t use them as a bargaining chip with other teams. There are plenty of ways you can speculate it, but for right now we have to take it for what it is.
Some may think they are just trading away the first overall pick, but this is a rare situation where that pick may as well be the player itself. That makes this selection very valuable. It is a lot like when the Rams traded away the second overall selection in 2012, and it was understood Washington would be getting either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.
Burrow is coming off the best season that any quarterback has had at the college level, and he did it repeatedly against the best defenses in the country and on the biggest stages. There is also the unknown this offseason has created where teams have had less opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with these prospects. They also haven’t been able to hold private workouts. That makes a prospect like Burrow, who really doesn’t have anything to prove going into the process that much more valuable. Especially when you consider the next quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa is coming off a major hip injury.
You have a situation now where if you hadn’t already put Burrow as a Bengal in stone then it is time to start chiseling. Sure, teams like the Panthers and Chargers may also be interested, but neither of them have multiple first-round picks this season, and future first-round picks are less valuable in nature. It is also unlikely a team would give up their next handful of early-round selections to even get the Bengals’ attention.
It has never been safer to assume that Burrow will be in Cincinnati next season.