NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Thursday night can't get here soon enough to finally have that questioned answered.
Yes, Miami has already made plenty of moves this offseason to signal a new direction for the franchise, but this first-round pick will set the tone for the type of player this new regime wants for the future.
For the sake of this preview, I won't speculate that the Dolphins will trade up or trade back, though both are clearly possible depending how the top of the draft shakes out.
Here are some of the things I feel fairly confident about; I don't think the Dolphins are focused on getting a quarterback early in this draft. I do believe they'll focus on the offensive and defensive lines and I do expect one of their first three picks to be a cornerback.
So, who will be there if Miami stays put at 13?
Let's start with the lead guys who could be there for Miami that I think would be obvious picks. I make these tiers assuming none of the expected top six or seven picks slip to the 13 range.
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
These four players are potential top-10 picks who may end up slipping to Miami's spot at No. 13. Any of these players would be huge additions to the Dolphins. They each fit the mold of what Miami is trying to do to improve the lines.
Sweat is the least likely to be available, but some concerns about his health could see him slide. I'm also not sure any of the others will be there when Miami selects, but if any of them are available, I would expect one of them will be headed to South Florida.
Wilkins can be a force, while Taylor and Williams answer huge questions at tackle.
Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Part of me believes the Dolphins' top pick will come from this group of players, and that's not a bad thing. Each fills a need for Miami and has impressive upside.
Burns has elite potential as a pass rusher, while Ferrell and Lawrence were both defensive studs on Clemson's amazing defense.
Williams is the best corner in the draft and was once considered a lock as a top-10 pick. Dillard may be considered a "boring pick" to fans, but he would fill an instant need at tackle.
Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Reshaun Gary, DE, Michigan
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
This final tier includes a trio of players who could be more involved in a trade-down scenario and a pair of quarterbacks who could maybe entice Miami, if still available.
Ford is a versatile offensive lineman, but 13 seems a little high for him, while Murphy is a big cornerback who will likely go in the late teens or early 20s.
Gary would be a top-10 pick on talent alone, but production and injury concerns will likely drop his stock.
Haskins and Lock are the wild cards, but again, I see Miami passing on a quarterback this season in the first round.
As for Metcalf, he is a physical freak, but I'm not sure addressing the wide receiver position at 13 fits the Dolphins' needs best.
If the Dolphins take anyone else not listed above at 13, then someone either slipped or Miami reached a bit for a player. Either way, I'm so glad the speculation is almost over and the selecting is about to begin.