The Miami Dolphins are set to begin their 2023 NFL draft with the pick No. 51, followed by No. 84, each scheduled for Friday night. With a tight end board that remained intact minus just one player, the Dolphins are 20 picks away from landing one of the remaining top five at that particular position if they chose to go that route.
Miami could also consider an offensive lineman, with both guards and tackles potentially available, so general manager Chris Grier has a number of options.
The Pittsburgh Steelers being the second round tonight with pick No. 31, and they could be targeting a cornerback or an offensive lineman themselves. Cornerback Joey Porter Jr. is a homerun pick there.
Arizona, who had moved down and up the board last night, could be a candidate to move down yet again. Should they stick around, they too are a team that can go with a cornerback or the defensive side of the ball overall.
Quarterback Will Levis has been the fall story of the first round, and with a veteran in Jared Goff already in Detroit, the 34th overall slot could work for the Kentucky Wildcat. If not Detroit, the market could crash on Levis, and it’s anyone’s guess.
The Colts are at pick No. 35 and should be a team that protects their first-round pick, Anthony Richardson. What would make sense would be an offensive lineman, and what would make even more sense would be another Florida Gator. O’Cyrus Torrence could be a solid play or another lineman that the Colts could add to an already solid unit. TCU’s Steven Avila, Syracuse’s Matthew Bergeron and center John Michael Schmitz of Minnesota are quality offensive linemen as well, not to mention Ohio State’s Dawand Jones and Cody Mauch out of North Dakota State.
Next up would be the Los Angeles Rams at pick No. 36, and defense could be the way to go, whether it’s a pass-rusher, linebacker or cornerback. Of the next few picks, rounding the top 40, the Raiders could select a tight end and could be a Michael Mayer or Luke Musgrave destination. Should they go with defense, it could only help Miami’s cause.
The Panthers would be wise to target a pass-catcher themselves, but a receiver could be a better play than a tight end for first overall pick Bryce Young.
If the Raiders were a team that could select one of those tight ends, the New Orleans Saints are another. Mayer, Musgrave and even blocking behemoth Darnell Washington could be candidates here for this selection. Derek Carr, now a Saint, was used to a dominant tight end in Darren Waller in Las Vegas the last few seasons.
Safely speaking, two tight ends could be gone at this point, with ten picks to go until Miami’s. Tennesee could be a secondary Levis landing spot, and if not, think skill position player here, but likely a receiver or a running back to be the heir apparent to King Derrick Henry.
Green Bay has a number of needs on offense at pick No. 45, tight end included, and could be a destination for guys like Sam LaPorta or Tucker Kraft. The Packers are a team to watch if you’re worried about this position.
At No. 46, the New England Patriots can build on a solid first round and pivot to the offensive line, following taking care of a cornerback need in round one. Avila, Bergeron, Schmitz, Jones and Mauch are names that could work for New England.
The Washington Commanders follow at pick No. 47, and yet another team could be in the tight-end market as well as an offensive lineman. This is a team that could spoil some Miami fans’ nights.
At No. 48, the Lions are up again, and with arguable reaches in round one, albeit strong prospects in Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12 and Jack Campbell at No. 18, it’s anyone’s guess here. If Levis is available here and not a Lion, at this point, it’s a downfall for the record books.
The Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are each offensive line needy, so the grouping of Avila, Bergeron, Schmitz, Jones and Mauch are names to watch out for, of whom is remaining.
Then we get to the Dolphins, and, with all the names mentioned, the realistic guess would be a choice of Washington, Kraft, LaPorta or the remaining available offensive lineman, should all of these tight ends go in addition to Musgrave and Mayer.
If the top five remaining tight ends are selected, the best of the remaining blockers, perhaps Bergeron or Schmitz, could be intriguing for Miami, both able to provide help on the interior.
Those are the five names Miami should either have to choose from or be left with, in a good sense. Should all five be at their disposal, a trade down to in-between picks 56-61 could even net them an extra fourth-round pick on Day 3, and still land them one of these prospects.
Should Miami elect to trade down, the Giants, Jaguars, Bears and Cowboys are solid suitors with their draft positions. Trading up could simply cost too much, as Miami is limited in trade assets, and dealing a player could be too complicated with salary implications.
Nevertheless, Miami will be in a great position to leave the second round with a quality player who could be an immediate help to their team, or even pull a deal to even help them further down the line.