Dolphins Predicted to Make ‘Logical’ Trade After Cap-Strapped Offseason

Dolphins predicted to trade down in 2024 NFL Draft.

Getty The Miami Dolphins are predicted to orchestrate a draft day trade.

With April 1 just a few days away, focus is shifting to the NFL draft. A franchise like the Miami Dolphins may have already made their last signing ahead of the 2024 rookie selection — considering their cap number — and the big splashes around the league are few and far between from March 29 through May 1.

When it comes to draft season this year, there is one all-important question for the Dolphins. How will Miami choose to utilize their first-round pick at No. 21 overall?

Some have the Dolphins fortifying the offensive line in round one, while others have them bringing in a Christian Wilkins replacement on the defensive side. You can never count out head coach Mike McDaniel to add another offensive playmaker either, and there should be several tantalizing wide receivers that are available when Miami is on the clock.

There’s another route that Dolphins general manager Chris Grier could take at No. 21, however, and Bleacher Report writer Alex Ballentine labeled it as a “logical” choice on March 28.

“[The] Miami Dolphins will trade back from No. 21,” Ballentine predicted boldly ahead of the draft.

Later, he added that “one scenario could see [21] become an important spot for cornerbacks.” Noting: “The [Philadelphia] Eagles and [Minnesota] Vikings pick 22nd and 23rd, respectively, and have needs at cornerback. Both Cooper DeJean and Kool-Aid McKinstry could still be available at that spot.”

NFL Writer’s Reasoning for Dolphins’ Draft Trade Prediction

Whether it’s related to a team jumping up for a cornerback or another position, Ballentine was steadfast in his belief that the Dolphins will end up trading out of No. 21. The writer’s explanation stemmed from Miami’s cap-strapped March.

“For anyone who says the salary cap isn’t real, the Miami Dolphins’ offseason is a great counterpoint,” Ballentine began. “They have been forced to make some really difficult decisions based on how they’ve managed the cap.”

He then cited the handling of Wilkins, Robert Hunt, Xavien Howard, Emmanuel Ogbah and Jerome Baker as examples. While also adding that Grier has “mostly had to shop the bargain aisle in free agency” to fill those holes.

“Draft picks are a precious commodity for teams against the cap because it allows them to restock their talent base with cheap rookie contracts,” Ballentine continued on. “The problem for the Dolphins is that they don’t have a great war chest of picks. Various trades have left them with just six picks, and only two of them are in the top 150. They rank 31st in draft capital by Tankathon’s metrics.”

“That makes them a logical choice for any team who might be looking to move up to the early 20s,” the analyst eventually reasoned. Concluding: “It just makes too much sense for the Dolphins to be willing to listen if any team is willing to part with picks to get its guy.”

Dolphins Do Not Have 3rd or 4th Round Pick in 2024

Ballentine makes a strong argument here. When you look at the Dolphins’ crop of selections in 2024, there’s a noticeably large gap from their second rounder to their third pick which comes midway through round five.

Keep in mind that Miami forfeited their 2024 third rounder as the final portion of the penalty that was handed down for violation of “league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.” This investigation involved tampering violations pertaining to Tom Brady and Sean Payton, as well as questions of whether or not the franchise “intentionally lost games during the 2019 season to improve its draft position.”

Miami also traded their 2024 fourth rounder, leaving them with a first, second, fifth, two sixths and a seventh. With a need for more young, affordable depth, the Dolphins will likely consider all options in this year’s NFL draft.