Habib: Why would the Dolphins bother scouting Trevor Lawrence? Here are some theories
In a realistic world, Trevor Lawrence’s pro day would have an audience of one, since there is zero chance he ends up anywhere but Jacksonville.
Or, better still, in a realistic world, Lawrence doesn’t even hold a pro day, since there’s zero chance … you get it.
In the real world, not only is that pro day occurring, but eight of the teams drafting in the top 10 reportedly are there, most notably the Dolphins.
Already, you can picture the QB-anon conspiracies clogging your Twitter timeline, trying to draw a line between the Dolphins going to Lawrence's pro day and Tua Tagovailoa, who merely cost Miami the fifth overall pick last year.
Actually, there are some very good reasons to scout the Clemson quarterback, none of which can be attributed to the Dolphins being displeased with Tagovailoa.
Here’s an easy one: The Dolphins play at Jacksonville next season. Given that coaches have been known to spend all waking hours (and some non-waking hours) studying film of opponents, why would they turn down a chance to see him throw in person? It’s not quite like getting an invite from Urban Meyer to visit a Jaguars practice, but it’ll do.
Here’s another reason: Thanks to Houston’s kindness, the Dolphins hold the Texans’ No. 3 overall pick. That’s prime real estate for any team desperate to draft a quarterback, even if he’s not named Trevor Lawrence. So consider it not just Lawrence’s pro day, but a convention for potential trading partners if the Dolphins opt to move down and score yet one more high pick — say another second-rounder this year.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports that the other teams attending Lawrence’s throwing session are the Jets, Falcons, Eagles, Lions, Broncos and Panthers. The Jets pick second, so that’s not much of a concern for Miami, but right behind the Dolphins are the Falcons, Bengals, Eagles, Lions, Panthers, Broncos and Cowboys.
Chalk up Joe Burrow to explain the possible absence of the Bengals at the pro day. The Cowboys have rehabbing Dak Prescott. The Lions are an interesting attendee, having just made that blockbuster deal with the Rams to swap Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff.
Should general manager Chris Grier decide there’s not much separating receivers DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase, a trade-down would be that much more enticing, involving a team possibly coveting QBs Justin Fields, Zach Wilson or Trey Lance.
I almost hesitate to mention a third theory. What if the Dolphins are there not to network or scout a QB they’ll have to face, but one they might actually draft? Consider this a minuscule revision to the aforementioned zero percent chance. There’s an awful lot of time between now and late April. Things happen in the NFL Draft. Weird things.
Example: There once was a time the Dolphins slotted a certain player high on their draft board even though they knew, picking 13th, they had a zero percent chance of getting him. Remember offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, the very reason Miami is picking third this year? Think Grier wasn’t glad that night when he was on the clock that the Dolphins “wasted” their time researching Tunsil among the hundreds of other prospects in their pre-draft buildup?
After Lawrence auditions for scouts, he’s scheduled to have his left (non-throwing) shoulder repaired. Even if that goes perfectly, there’s bound to be speculation that maybe it didn’t and maybe this and maybe that. Draft smokescreens, ridiculous as they often are, are a rite of spring.
Nothing can or should stop the Jaguars from the no-brainer that is Trevor Lawrence. But you can’t fault the Dolphins for covering all bases.