Armando Salguero

Reason a coveted QB available at No. 11 would be great for Dolphins even if they don’t want him

The trade of quarterback Alex Smith from Kansas City to the Washington Redskins marks the first move in what will be an offseason of quarterback moves.
The trade of quarterback Alex Smith from Kansas City to the Washington Redskins marks the first move in what will be an offseason of quarterback moves. AP

The mock draft I shared with you on Monday seems meaningless at first blush because it’s just an estimate of what might happen in a few months without the benefit of knowing what’s about to happen at the start of the NFL league year in March and during free agency.

But it matters for one simple and significant reason:

It suggests the Dolphins are picking high enough to matter in the quarterback conversation.

And as this is bound to be the offseason of the quarterback around the NFL, that’s important.

Understand that multiple big-name starting quarterbacks are going to change teams this offseason -- with Alex Smith already dealt from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins. And multiple backups turned starters, such as Case Keenum, might sign significant contracts.

Understand that the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, and possibly Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be searching for quarterback help this offseason. And, yes, so will the Dolphins.

And that’s great because if multiple quarterbacks who might be worthy of first round status are available when the Dolphins select at No. 11, that pick will take on more value than usual.

So if, as the mock draft suggested, Baker Mayfield is available when the Dolphins are scheduled to select at No. 11, that presents the Dolphins with good options.

Obviously, if the Dolphins value Mayfield they can take him. Great. They filled the need for a backup quarterback, which everyone saw in 2017 can be the difference between having a chance at the playoffs and not.

But someone like Mayfield being available at No. 11 can be a boon even if the Dolphins aren’t all that interested. Because someone else might be interested. And that other team or teams might be willing to move up to Miami’s slot to draft their quarterback.

That would be a great position for the Dolphins to be in because at that point, they can sell their spot to the highest bidder.

So if the Dolphins value a guard (too high) at No. 11 but don’t want to do the stupid thing and pick that kid at No. 11, they can auction off the pick to a team that wants to take the QB. And in moving lower, the Dolphins can perhaps still get the guard they value and also pick up a middle-round draft pick.

Perhaps the Arizona Cardinals, picking No. 15, value a Mayfield or Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson. If those players are sitting there at No. 11, that adds value to Miami’s pick.

And value can be bought and sold if the Dolphins are of the mind to not pick the QB.

Now, I’m not advocating such a move. I want the Dolphins to pick a QB if one is worthy. But the Dolphins are smarter than we are, so they would know better how to maximize the pick.

One piece of advice: If the Dolphins are at No. 11 and on the clock, and New England or Philadelphia calls to trade up into that spot, hang up the phone!!!!

Neither of those teams have the Dolphins’ best interest in mind. Both those teams have a history of doing smarter things than the Dolphins. Both those teams have beaten Miami in trades the past two years -- the Eagles apparently on the Jay Ajayi trade and the Patriots in a 2016 draft day trade.

In that 2016 trade, the Patriots got Miami’s fifth-round selection (147th overall) in exchange for two sixth-round picks (196 and 204 overall) and a seventh-rounder (250th overall).

Fine.

Except the Patriots took that fifth rounder Miami ceded them and promptly dealt it to Seattle. They got a seventh-rounder in 2016 ... and a fourth-rounder in 2017 in that exchange.

So the Patriots used the Dolphins’ 2016 fifth-rounder to add a 2017 fourth-rounder. This while the Dolphins picked up two 2016 sixth-rounders. Yeah, not great.

That 2017 fourth-rounder the Patriots eventually got turned out to be Deatrich Wise Jr. He had five sacks for New England as a rookie in 2017. The two sixth-rounders Miami got turned out to be defensive back Jordan Lucas and part of a draft trade up to Minnesota that eventually yielded receiver Jakeem Grant.

Grant still has promise but it turns out the Dolphins had to trade three picks to get to him in the sixth round.

Again, if the phone rings and Howie Roseman or Bill Belichick are on the other line, the Dolphins should simply hang up. They’re not your friends, Mike Tannenbaum.

Everyone else, the Dolphins might be tempted to sell No. 11 if other teams are shopping for a quarterback they covet.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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