It is unlikely the Dolphins would trade up for Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson, because they don’t like him as much as the other two elite left tackles. Alabama’s D.J. Fluker has the best odds of being available at No. 12, but many believe a pick that high would be a stretch for a right tackle.
Of course, those are just a few scenarios.
The Dolphins also could target a cornerback (possibilities include Dee Milliner, D.J. Hayden and Desmond Trufant), a pass rusher (Barkevious Mingo, Ezekiel Ansah, Tank Carradine), a defensive tackle (Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson, Sylvester Williams) or a tight end (Tyler Eifert).
Then again, maybe Ireland has something else in mind. Perhaps he’ll find the promise of West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro or even Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o too much to turn down, even though none would fill glaring positions of need.
Put it all together, and this should make for an unpredictable and uneasy opening two hours to the team’s 48th draft. So in that way, the Dolphins will have a lot in common with the roughly two-dozen first-round prospects headed to Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night.
This time last year, Ryan Tannehill was in that exact spot. Tannehill didn’t know the Dolphins were going to pick him eighth overall, he said this week. The waiting, as they say, truly was the hardest part.
“It felt like an eternity,” Tannehill recalled. “The clock is ticking by, and you look down and it’s only been five minutes.
“That’s certainly a slow wait.”
Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.