Teams picking inside the top 8 are not going to be interested in finding a trade partner picking outside the top 15. The Miami Dolphins are sitting pretty with the 12 selection, and have an enticing pick that teams inside the top 8 would be intrigued to swap for in a situation where Miami would trade up for a BPA. I can see us drafting one of two exceptional players in a situation where we trade up. Let's get to the three draft options that sound the most appealing to me:
1) Trade up and swap our 12th pick for a top 7 pick, as well as trading one of our 2nds and possibly a 4th to gain CB Dee Milliner.
2) Trade up and swap our 12 pick for a top 7 pick, as well as trading one of our 2nds and possibly a 4th to gain OT Lane Johnson.
3) Last, and definitely not least, stay put at the 12th selection and draft Tavon Austin.
The LT position is arguably this team's biggest need going into the draft, but there is a troublesome statistic that may deter the average fan from being on board with yet another 1st round OL selection. This team is currently recovering from a franchise worst, 4 consecutive losing seasons. Under these four seasons, the team has drafted an offensive linemen 1st overall, 15th overall, 42nd overall, and in the 3rd round. You can blame past coaching staffs for the lack of success on the line after such high investments, or you can devalue the offensive line has a whole, and make the argument that the team is more devoid of play making talent at WR and CB.
However, here is what Mike Mayock had to say of Lane Johnson while at the combine:Lane Johnson is an exact fit for the athletic linemen that coach Phlibin is looking for to fit in his ZBS. With the new talent at receiver and tight end brought in through free agency, Tannehill will possibly be facing even more of a set back from his offensive linemen this year than last, and will need a capable OL to have plays downfield develop. OT Lane Johnson is a viable option for Miami to trade up for.Oklahoma T Lane Johnson had the "freakiest Combine in the history of our coverage," according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock.
Measuring in at 6'6/303 pounds, Johnson ran a 4.72 "official" forty while also recording a 34 inch vertical, 118 inch broad jump, 7.31 three cone, and 28 bench press reps.
Alabama's Dee Milliner is also a very intriguing option. The popular consensus seems to have Miami drafting FSU's Xavier Rhodes at 12. I would be far from pleased if that plan materialized, and believe trading up for the more explosive player in Milliner is a much more thorough strategy. Pairing him up with one of the best DBs in the league in Brent Grimes (hoping he sees a 100% recovery), could prove deadly for opposing offenses. The Miami Dolphins secondary would feature a very exceptional group of players in Dee Milliner, Brent Grimes, Reshad Jones, and Chris Clemons.
Most corners in this draft would not be expected to become the shutdown corner teams are looking for year 1, but Dee Milliner is as NFL ready as they come. Any pick taken inside the top 10 should be expected to make big contributions as a starter in his rookie season. There is nothing about Dee Milliner that leads me to believe otherwise.
Last, but certainly not least is the option of sitting still at pick #12 and drafting Tavon Austin, arguably the most explosive, and athletic player in this draft. Period. It's widely accepted around the league that Mike Wallace is the most elite, burner WR in the game today. Tavon Austin proved that he can be just as fast, if not even faster than Mike Wallace throughout his collegiate career and the NFL combine. He ran the best 40 yard dash out of any receiver in the draft, and by significant margin. Adding world class speed to the offense would benefit 2nd year QB Ryan Tannehill tremendously in deep ball situations, as he was already one of the league's best last season with Brian Hartline, who has 4.60 speed.
He is not the mismatch teams are looking for in a player inside the red zone, but standing at 5'8, Austin's speed and body control will separate him from any other receiver in the draft. With the Miami Dolphins signing the fastest receiver in the NFL in Mike Wallace, having the option to draft potentially the same caliber player in Tavon Austin in the same off season could be epic.