We are now 18 days away from the 2013 NFL Draft, and to say I am getting excited about the draft coming up is an understatement. I think Jeff Ireland has done a great job of adding young talent to the Miami roster via free agency, and has put Miami in a position to go in a lot of different directions with their first round pick.
With that said, there is starting to be a ground swell of thinking that Miami will possibly look to move up in the 1st round, presumably to take on of the Elite OLT in this draft. Texas A & M OLT Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan OLT Eric Fisher and Oklahoma OLT Lane Johnson are considered the elite OLT in this draft. Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network has openly speculated about the Dolphins moving up as well as Palm Beach Post writer Ben Volin.
Miami lost OLT Jake Long to the St. Louis Rams and are right now looking to move ORT Jonathan Martin to the OLT spot, a position he manned the last 4 games of the season when Long got hurt. The results of the move during the last 4 games were mixed. Martin would be moving back to his natural positon of OLT, the position he played while at Stanford, but as mentioned, the results were mixed in his performance during the season. The biggest issue BY FAR for Martin was dealing with POWER. He got bull rushed on many occasion and that has to be the biggest concern about Jonathan as we go into the 2013 season.
Now, there is no question that Martin is a very smart young man and he realizes what he has to do to improve, and there have been pictures of him pulling semis to try to improve his lower body strength and power. Do the Dolphins believe in Jonathan enough to not pull the trigger to move up in the draft to grab one of the so called Elite 3? The next few weeks will bring PLENTY of rumors, with this particular one being a hot subject not only on the Phinfever boards, but nationally as well.
I will go ahead and state right now that I do not believe the Dolphins will pursue Kansas City OLT Brandon Albert in a trade, as not only will you have to give up a premium pick, but you also have to give Albert a massive contract.
IF Miami does trade up, I think Oakland at #3 and Cleveland at #6 would be the most likely trade partners. If the Raiders are the partners, then you can look for Miami to take either Joeckel or Fisher. If it's Cleveland, then Johnson is the target.
I have an interesting trade sceanrio as well. Miami could still use their 1st round pick, the 12th pick to take an impact player. They could then trade BACK into the 1st round to take the player with possibly the most upside of the entire offensive line personnel in this draft, OLT Menelik Watson of Florida State. Green Bay has been most associated with Watson, so it would mean getting back into the mid twenties to get Watson. The bounty of picks would be less punative than at that point in my opinion.
But then again, this is all speculation. DO the Dolphins believe that Jonathan Martin can man the OLT position and protect QB Ryan Tannehill's blindside? The answer to that question could set many things in motion.