Tackle Laremy Tunsil’s bizarre draft night ended when the Dolphins drafted him with the 13th overall selection, but another AFC East team was reportedly trying to stop his slide even easier.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets wanted to trade up from No. 20 to take Tunsil, but found that the asking price from the teams picking in front of the Dolphins was too high to make the deal happen. As divisional rivals who employ the Jets’ former General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, the prospect of making a deal with Miami would have been unlikely even if the Dolphins didn’t want to take Tunsil themselves.
One of the teams the Jets may have contacted was the Saints, who picked 12th and took Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. Coach Sean Payton said that the team had an unexpected conversation about Tunsil being available, something that likely went on for several teams that never thought Tunsil would be an option.
“As Laremy came down the board, obviously that was unusual … he’s an extremely talented player, athletic,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “You start projecting, ‘alright, who is going to guard?’ But I think we felt real confident with Sheldon. But he [Tunsil] was a very highly graded player and obviously what happened to him tonight was unusual and disappointing. Tough deal for everyone, just watching it and seeing it.”
The Dolphins will have a similar decision to make about which of their tackles will be on the move while the Jets will look elsewhere for a possible long-term replacement for D’Brickashaw Ferguson on their offensive line.