Dolphins will feel kickback from Panthers trade for QB Sam Darnold

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Kyle Crabbs
·2 min read
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When the Miami Dolphins traded back up in the 2021 NFL Draft to move into the No. 6 overall pick, they became the de facto gatekeepers of a potential second run on quarterbacks. Everyone is expecting signal callers to come off the board with the first three picks of the 2021 NFL Draft after the Dolphins traded No. 3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers — but what happens from there is anyone’s guess. The Atlanta Falcons could go with a quarterback, or they could go a different direction. The Cincinnati Bengals are likely weighing out the merits of Penei Sewell versus Ja’Marr Chase.

And the Miami Dolphins, depending on the action in front of them, could be picking from each of the four best skill players in this year’s draft or alternatively have teams knocking on their door about a trade down once again from No. 6 overall.

Of course, the board would have to break right for that to even enter serious discussions, both from other teams and the Dolphins alike. But this afternoon’s big news seems to be an indicator of what direction the board is going to fall and makes the likelihood of such a scenario dwindle from unlikely to nearly impossible. Reports have broken the news that the New York Jets are trading QB Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for a 2021 6th-round pick, plus extra selections in 2022 (2nd- and 4th-rounds).

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Miami will feel the ripple effects of this move. First and foremost, Carolina — who was perhaps the most attractive trade back option for the Dolphins if they were to explore a small move back to acquire any extra picks — appears to be out of the quarterback market and now transitions into potential competition for the Dolphins for a pass catcher or OT Penei Sewell. So consider a trade with Carolina off the table. And moving behind Carolina now feels like too big of a risk to take on for a team that hopes to acquire one of the top pass catchers in this year’s draft.

If the right team offered the right package, sure. Perhaps the Dolphins would entertain the idea. But that feels like a pipe dream now. Carolina transitioning out of the quarterback market likely locks the Dolphins into a selection at No. 6 overall if the team is intent of securing a top-flight wide receiver (or tight end). Which now leaves just one prominent question: who will be on the board when the Dolphins come on the clock at the end of the month?