Figuring out the Miami Dolphins first round pick in Thursday 's NFL draft shouldn't really be that difficult.
They pick No. 11 overall. And there are 11 and perhaps 12 players worthy of being picked in the first 11 selections. So, it stands to reason, the Dolphins will get a chance to pick one of those top players.
Those top players?
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The names should be familiar by now because nearly everyone seems to have the same names even if they have them in a different order. So in no particular order:
1. USC quarterback Sam Darnold.
2. North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
3. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
4. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
5. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
6. Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.
7. Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
8. Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.
9. Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.
10. Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
11. Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith.
12. Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea.
That's it. That's all.
Are there darkhorse players that nobody knows about? Maybe. But every draft source I've spoken to mentions the same 10-12 names over and over and over.
No one has offered up a Ja'Wuan James type pick like the Dolphins made in 2014. No one.
So, ladies and gentlemen, logic and reason dictate one of the names you just read will be a Miami Dolphin, assuming the team does not trade back from No. 11 overall.
Despite multiple reports saying the Dolphins have the ammunition to trade into the Top 5 to pick a quarterback and might also be looking to trade down (the media covering all the bases, I guess) the most likely scenario is the Dolphins stay put, according to a source familiar with the team's thinking.
The only way the Dolphins move up as of today is if either Smith or Edmunds drop to within a couple of picks and the teams there, such as Bears at No. 8, San Francisco at No. 9 or Oakland at No. 10, put up a for sale sign on their picks, knowing they can land a Ward or Fitzpatrick at No. 11.
There's also the possibility one of two players the Dolphins covet, such as Smith or Edmunds, fall to Miami if the Buffalo Bills move up from No. 12 to, say, No. 7, No. 8 or No. 9. The only reason the Bills would trade up is to land a quarterback.
So now you're wondering can we trim this list further?
The problem in trying to do this is the quarterbacks are not going one through four because Cleveland picks at No. 1 and No. 4 so they won't pick a QB with both of those chances. And the four quarterbacks are not necessarily the four best players in the draft.
Indeed, the latest scuttlebutt is that one of the quarterbacks may indeed fall to No. 11 when the Dolphins select. And that quarterback is likely to be Rosen because of his durability concerns.
Rosen played only six games in 2016 because of a shoulder problem.
He had two concussions in 2017, forcing him to miss playing time. The lingering concern of his concussion recovery and the thought he might suffer a third concussion in a short amount of time forced him to miss the Cactus Bowl, which would have been his final game at UCLA.
So it's not necessarily an ability concern with Rosen. It's a durability concern.
It should be noted the Dolphins for a while have believed a quarterback would not fall to them. They would be wrong if either Rosen or Mayfield land on their draft doorstep late Thursday evening.
The other question you might have from this list is why Vea is included?
Well, because practically everyone has him going to the Washington Redskins at No. 13. Except, I know the Dolphins love him.
And for good reason ...
Vea would not fill Miami's most pressing need. But he does answer a need. You'll recall the Dolphins released defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in March.
So now they have Jordan Phillips, Davon Godchaux, who they love, and Vincent Taylor. They need another player in the rotation. And if you understand that Phillips is in the final year of his contract, you know the team's issue at the position will soon become urgent.
(Either that or Miami will have to pay Phillips around $10 million per season starting in 2019 after he makes $1.03 million this season).
So that's the reason Vea makes perfect sense come what may.