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5 Qs: How eager are the Miami Dolphins to trade up with the Detroit Lions?

Are the Dolphins a willing trade down partner? We find out.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

All offseason, draft experts have highlighted the Detroit Lions as the key to the rest of the draft. It has long been assumed that the Cincinnati Bengals will take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and that Washington will likely be too tempted to pass on Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young.

That leaves the Lions with a crucial decision at three that could impact the rest of the draft. One of the most popular—and understandable—predictions is that the Lions will trade down. Acquiring more picks would be a big win for this franchise, especially since it doesn’t appear they are in the market for a quarterback.

The most popular trade down target in mock drafts is the Miami Dolphins—a team that has not hid their desire to add a quarterback this offseason. Rumors have been all over the place for Miami, with some suggesting they are actually considering a move to the first overall pick.

So how willing—and how able—are Dolphins fans to trade up with the Lions? I chatted with Josh Houtz of SB Nation Dolphins blog The Phinsider to find out.

1. How convinced are you that the Dolphins will take a quarterback with their top first-round pick?

“I believe there’s a 95% chance the Dolphins will draft a quarterback with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Yes, they could take another player and then use both #18 and #26 to move back up for a Jordan Love or maybe Justin Herbert, but I’d be willing to guarantee they use their top pick in the first round on a QB—which one remains the mystery.”

2. Do you believe the Dolphins have a strong personal preference on a quarterback prospect?

“At this point, the Dolphins have been linked to each of the top-four quarterbacks. And although I don’t think the Cincinnati Bengals would part with Joe Burrow, it would be a mistake for Miami not to at least make a phone call. Miami loved Tua Tagovailoa before the injury, but recent reports suggest that might not be the case. And then there’s Justin Herbert and Jordan Love, both QBs, the Dolphins have shown a ton of interest in for several years.

I think (Dolphins GM) Chris Grier and the Dolphins’ front office have done a great job of trying to leak every possible scenario to the media. And although I don’t personally know which QB the staff desires, my money remains on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. I believe when healthy, he’s as good as any QB in the class and fits what the Dolphins hope to do offensively.”

3. Rumors are all over the place with Miami and a potential trade up from Picks 1-3. Who do you think is their best trade partner? Is there any clarity on which rumors are true/false?

“It’s hard to tell what is real and what is false. After all, it’s draft season, and the smoke is at an all-time high. I think Miami makes a call to Cincinnati to see what the asking price is and also does the same with Detroit. I think the trade that is most likely for the Dolphins is at #3 with the Lions.”

4. If the Dolphins were to move up to three with the Lions, what sort of compensation do you think is fair?

“I think if/when Miami makes a move to acquire the #3 overall pick, it would be in their best interest to start the bidding at a second-round draft pick. And if you are a fan of the Jimmy Johnson trade chart (I am not), it appears that the deal could get done for #5 and one of Miami’s second-round picks. However, I don’t think this is a likely outcome. So, for me, if you believe Tua Tagovailoa is the superior QB—which I do—you offer an additional first-round pick.

In this situation, #5 and #26 to move up to #3 for Tua. That is what I believe a deal could look like, and I believe that is fair compensation for both sides. IF the Dolphins like Tagovailoa above the rest of the draft class.”

5. If you were the Dolphins GM what would you do? Would you trade up at all?

“The first thing I would do is call the Bengals to see what the price tag is for the #1 overall pick. Heck, I’d probably also call Bill O’Brien and know if he’s willing to part ways with Deshaun Watson. But assuming both QBs are off the table, my next move would be to call the Detroit Lions and acquire Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.

Maybe, the Dolphins won’t even have to trade up for Tua Tagovailoa. But if I’m Chris Grier, I’m not leaving anything up to chance. I’d have Detroit on speed dial come draft day.”

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