Possible NFL Draft first-round trades
It’s a near-certainty that there will be some movement in the NFL Draft’s first round somewhere, especially since there are a number of teams in the top 15 that would love to trade down and stockpile picks.
So I’m going to play general manager here for a few minutes to see if I can snowball a few ideas that make some sense for both teams …
Tampa Bay trades: No. 5, No. 174
Philadelphia trades: No. 15, No. 46, No. 153
Credit where credit is due: Dan Graziano planted the idea of a big Philly move up the board during ESPN’s blogger mock when he traded up for Jacksonville’s No. 7 pick to take Fletcher Cox. The Mississippi State DT would be on the board here, as would, if Cleveland takes Trent Richardson, CB Morris Claiborne and LB Luke Kuechly, giving Philadelphia its choice of three impact defensive players.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, could add a second-round pick in this scenario and general manager Mark Domenik has already expressed his desire to slide down. The Bucs could still add someone like Dre Kirkpatrick at 15.
Jacksonville trades: No. 7, No. 176
Arizona trades: No. 13, No. 80, No. 151
The Jaguars are a little bit in no man’s land, sitting just below the cutoff of the truly elite players in this draft. They’d love to move from the No. 7 spot, but it’s going to require something that drives up the interest in that pick.
Something like St. Louis taking Fletcher Cox No. 6 and leaving Justin Blackmon on the board.
The Cardinals badly need another go-to wide receiver to pair with Larry Fitzgerald and, rather than wait and hope Michael Floyd’s there at 13, they could jump up and take advantage of that scenario. Jacksonville, meanwhile, would get better value on a pick at 13, add a third-rounder and jump from the sixth round (176) to the fifth (151).
Miami trades: No. 8
Dallas trades: No. 14, No. 45
The Cowboys have made no secret of the fact that they like safety Mark Barron — no surprise given their need at that position. Waiting on him at No. 14 is a roll of the dice, both because a team in the top 13 might call Barron’s name and because another team could leapfrog the Cowboys and steal him.
This trade would solve Dallas’ problem there. It would also, potentially, bring Stephon Gilmore into play, and the Cowboys could use help at CB too. The Dolphins could still possibly take Ryan Tannehill at No. 14 and get another impact player with the Cowboys’ second-rounder.
Miami trades: No. 8, No. 42, No. 72, No. 73, No. 1 pick in 2013 and ’14
New Orleans trades: Drew Brees
Just kidding. I wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.
Seattle trades: No. 12, No. 106
New England trades: No. 27, No. 48, No. 62
That possibility I just threw out of a team jumping over the Cowboys to take Barron? Here it is in action.
Thanks to having a pair of first-round picks and a pair of second-round picks, the Patriots — who we know are not averse to moving around on draft day — can get aggressive in Round 1. Instead of dropping back and accumulating picks (which New England could still do with the No. 31 selection), Bill Belichick and company can make a run at Barron and break the Cowboys’ hearts.
Seattle would be fine sitting at No. 12 and taking the best fit — guys like Michael Floyd, Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples are possibilities — but the Seahawks would jump at the chance to stay in the first round and add two more second-rounders.
Arizona trades: No. 13
San Diego trades: No. 18, No. 49
Another possible Barron swipe — the Chargers reportedly have discussed moving in front of Dallas to get a shot at the Alabama safety. But even if Barron’s off the board, this deal could make sense for the Chargers, because they could target a couple of weak spots: offensive tackle and outside linebacker.
Iowa OT Riley Reiff very easily could still be around at 13, and the Chargers might get their pick of Coples, Chandler Jones, Courtney Upshaw and other pass-rushers at this spot before a likely mid-round run on them.
For Arizona, the risk of sliding down would be worth it to add a second-round pick. Plus, Floyd may still be hanging around at the 18th pick.
Detroit trades: No. 23
St. Louis trades: No. 33, No. 39
The problem with the Rams trading up is that they need all the warm bodies they can get to help rebuild the roster.
That said, there might be two scenarios that entice this type of offer:
1. The Rams, as pitched earlier, pass on Justin Blackmon at No. 6 and grab Fletcher Cox. That would leave the Rams still in need of a wide receiver, and both Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill and Baylor’s Kendall Wright figure to be there at 23.
2. The Rams take Blackmon but still want to find a dynamic defensive tackle. The best possibility left on the board by the 23rd pick might be Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy. Rather than stand by and hope he makes it to Round 2, St. Louis could take matters into its own hands.
Detroit would take this deal in a heartbeat, dropping down from an uncertain spot at 23 to bump its second-round haul from one to three picks, plus stay in the mix for an impact player or two.
Houston trades: No. 26, No. 121
Chicago trades: No. 50, No. 79, No. 150
The Bears need a pass-rusher, help on the offensive line and another receiver threat (even with Brandon Marshall’s arrival). They can solve one of those problems at No. 19, but the opportunities to improve elsewhere may be too enticing later in the first round for the Bears not to move up and get another pick.
By dealing its second- and third-rounders, Chicago could take a run at a host of players — Whitney Mercilus, Shea McClellin, Wright, Hill, OTs Mike Adams or Bobby Massie … The list goes on and on. This would give Chicago the best chance to get a second starter out of the draft.
Houston might want more than what Chicago’s offering here, and the Texans could find a player they need at 26 too (those wide receivers, for example). But picking up an extra second- and third-round pick might convince them to pull the trigger.
New England trades: No. 27, No. 126
Miami trades: No. 42, No. 72, No. 103
We know that the Patriots are always more than willing to trade down.
So, also consider Miami passing on Tannehill at No. 8 and taking, oh, Melvin Ingram, Luke Kuechly or Michael Floyd. Then what happens to Tannehill? Unless one of the Buffalo-Kansas City-Seattle run at 10-11-12 pulls the trigger, the Texas A&M QB could be in for a Brady Quinn-style drop.
It’s hard to believe the Dolphins would let him slip through their fingers twice, and a trade back into the first round could give them a second chance at him.
Making this move would leave the Patriots with one first-round pick (No. 31), three second-round picks (Nos. 48, 62, 72) and bump them up 23 places in Round 4.