There is no Andrew Luck or RGIII sitting atop the NFL Draft ranks ready to turn around the fortunes of a beleaguered franchise as teams, fans and especially players prepare for the 2013 edition of the event.
However, that isn’t to say there is no value at the very tip-top of the selection order — especially for the Miami Dolphins. General manager Jeff Ireland told the Palm Beach Post that he has the ammunition to trade up if he has to, and that includes moving all they way to No. 1-overall.
“I’ve got enough ammunition to get to the first pick if I wanted to, but I don’t see myself doing that, personally,” Ireland said.
Ireland has used the last several drafts to shore up an offense that has struggled since Dan Marino retired. He selected tackles Mike Pouncey and Jeff Long with his top picks in the 2008 and 2011 drafts and tabbed Ryan Tannehill as the franchise’s passer of the future with the eighth-overall selection in 2012.
However, Long signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams this year. After signing speedy deep threat Mike Wallace to a huge deal, the team must give Tannehill the time in the pocket for Wallace to get open, and that means providing him with a sturdy offensive line.
That might mean, you guessed it, trading up.
There are three offensive tackles all seen as franchise-type players in a draft heavy on linemen on both sides of the ball. Texas A&M star Luke Joeckel has been seen as a near lock to be taken with the top pick for quite some time. After him are Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson.
There is very little drop-off between the three, and all are projected to be gone well before Ireland and the Dolphins are on the clock at No. 12.
Obviously, Ireland is not going to give anything away. However, he is keeping an eye on these three guys. He used Pouncey and Long as examples.
“If I get another [Mike] Pouncey and another Jake Long, I would do it every draft,” Ireland said, “I wish I had a whole team full of Mike Pounceys and Jake Longs, to be honest with you. I know what I’m getting every single day with those guys.”
Thus far, the Miami Dolphins have confirmed a brand new logo design as well as having signed Wallace and several other big players.
It looks like this franchise is finally getting sick of the mediocrity that has marred their seasons for the last several years.
Now the world just has to wait and see what Ireland has up his sleeve come April 25.