Having the cake and eating it too is an overused metaphor but appropriate based on what happens in the upcoming NFL draft. Could the Miami Dolphins solve two roster problems with Branden Albert and Dee Milliner?
Kansas City Chiefs in talks with Dolphins about Albert trade
Most experts have reached a general agreement about Miami leading up to the NFL draft. They knocked out most of their key roster needs after a furious free agency spending spree to net players like Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller, Dannelle Ellerbe and Brent Grimes. However, there are still holes to address. They still could use another, younger corner while left tackle opened wide when Jake Long left for St. Louis. That is why the experts believe the Dolphins will put their respectable haul of draft picks to use in a variety of trade possibilities. In fact they've already explored at least one. The Kansas City Chiefs made it known they wish to trade left tackle Branden Albert, who currently sits under the franchise tag. Their hope is to regain the second round pick they lost when trading for quarterback Alex Smith. Since Miami has two second and two third round picks there is no reason to think the two sides can't work out a deal. The big question is what would the Dolphins do after landing Albert?
Atlanta Falcons join Cleveland Browns in Milliner chase
Normal wisdom says they should hang back and address their remaining needs with draft picks. However, that wouldn't fall in line with how GM Jeff Ireland has operated this offseason. His unrelenting aggressiveness belies a man fighting for his job, which Ireland is. That means hanging back at pick #13 doesn't fit the profile. If the Dolphins do pick up Albert, their last glaring need on the roster is a corner. Depending on how much they really wanted to swing for the fences, they could consider moving up into the top ten to go after Dee Milliner. The Alabama corner is the consensus best in the draft, which makes him a very valuable pick for the team who wants him the most. Already the Cleveland Browns have admitted getting him is their top priority, given the chance to pair his talents with rising star Joe Haden. News also broke recently that the Atlanta Falcons have serious interest in Milliner, despite not picking until #30. Unlike them, Miami will in a much better spot to go after him at #13. To do so they will almost certainly have to move up. It's just a question of where. The two teams that offer the best chance are the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars at #3 and #2 respectively. Both have interest in moving down if possible. If Miami could make a solid enough offer they could leapfrog Cleveland at #6 and scoop up Milliner to round out their secondary.
Two players almost never represent the difference between loser and Super Bowl. That doesn't mean going after them is the wrong thing to do. The Miami Dolphins know their needs. Branden Albert and Dee Milliner fill them. They should do everything possible to bring them to South Beach.
Photo Credit - GCOBB