With us nearing D-day some things are a given. Luck and RG III will go 1-2 and from there on teams will be working the phones for trade up and trade down scenarios. While there could be a dozen trades in the first round here are some that are already getting whispers and could make sense for both teams involved.
Minnesota down, Jets up
The team that is shopping their pick most publicly is the Vikings with the 3rd pick for the best deal they can get. Sure Minnesota could really benefit from either Matt Kalil or Morris Claiborne, but does either of these players get them anywhere close to competing? The Jets have contacted RB Trent Richardson to make sure they have his contact info correct in case they trade up for him.
Why this makes sense for Minnesota?
It’s not the value they want, but trading down to 16 can still get them either Stephon Gilmore or Riley Reiff which addresses need and they’d pick up at least a 2nd this year and a first next year from the Jets. Think of the trade last year between Cleveland and Atlanta. Cleveland gained a first for this year and Atlanta got Julio Jones at WR. Cleveland will be able to add two talented playmakers (and they would love it if Richardson was still there for them at 4).
Why this makes sense for the Jets?
The Jets are a running yet finished 22nd in the league in rushing and were tied 29th in yards per carry. With Shonn Greene on the roster, running back isn’t really a need, but when there is a guy like Richardson on the board teams will do crazy things. He comes out of college more established than Adrian Peterson. It wouldn’t be the first time this Jets organization has made a move from the middle of the first to the top 10, just look at how they got Mark Sanchez.
The Cowboys won’t be selecting at 14
Jerry Jones has been a part of the draft process for 24 years. They have traded their first round pick 18 of those. Jerry also likes seeing his top pick at their pro day, he visited 1 college last year and that was Tyron Smith’s alma mater USC. This year he went to Alabama. The pick is going to be a Nick Saban protégé and the only real question is which defensive player they will take. Of the 4 defensive players likely to go in the first round S Mark Barron is the most likely choice and has been all over draft board from top 10 to 31. Dallas has already contacted Kansas City at 11 and the Chargers at 18 to work out possible trades.
Kansas City could trade back to add a pick and still get David DeCastro to help out the offensive line.
The Chargers would like to move up ensure themselves Courtney Upshaw at outside linebacker.
Eagles to Move Up
There are two teams always are making draft day trades, New England and Philadelphia. The Eagles could trade up for a number of different guys; there have been talks of Tannehill and Fletcher Cox as possible targets. Cox should be off the board by 9 so if the Eagles think he is their guy expect them to make it happen. Jacksonville at 7 is looking to trade down to stockpile picks and St Louis at 6 might be looking at trading down again. Both teams have plenty of holes while the Eagles just need a couple of pieces.
The Draft of Ryan Tannehill
With the new rookie wage scale, teams aren’t as scared of taking a quarterback early in the draft. 4 quarterbacks were taken in the first 12 picks last year, meaning a lot of bad teams already have young signal callers on the roster. The Dolphins have missed on every big name they’ve tried to land the last few years so after adding Mike Sherman (Tannehill’s head coach at Texas A & M) to the coaching staff its almost certain they’ll draft Tannehill. The issue is will he still be there at 8. Cleveland will be tempted at 4 and teams like Arizona, and Kansas City might think about jumping to 7 to insure they get him. If Miami goes a different route, which they might be better off doing, other teams could follow suit and Tannehill could fall all the way into the 20’s. A team like New England would love for him to be there at 27. They have 2 picks in each of the first 3 rounds and would love to make a deal for future picks, it’s what they do. After all the reason they have the 27th pick is because the Saints gave up that and a 3rd rounder last year for the 2011 28th overall (Mark Ingram).
Bad Teams Shouldn’t Draft a QB
Let’s face it when you’re bad, you’re bad. No one player is going to solve all your problems. Last year 4 teams took a QB in the first 12 picks. Of the 4 teams not one of them went on to make the playoffs. However 5 of the 8 teams that took a non quarterback ended up making the playoffs.
1. QB Cam Newton – Carolina improved by 4 wins.
2. LB Von Miller – Denver improved by 4 wins, playoffs.
3. DT Marcell Dareus – Buffalo improved by 2 games.
4. WR A.J. Green- Cincinnati improved by 5 games, playoffs.
5. CB Patrick Peterson- Arizona improved by 3 games.
6. WR Julio Jones- Atlanta 3 less wins, playoff appearance.
7. DE/OLB Aldon Smith- San Francisco improved by 7 games, playoffs.
8. QB Jake Locker- Tennessee improved by 3 games.
9. OT Tyron Smith- Dallas improved by 2 games.
10. QB Blaine Gabbert- Jacksonville 3 less wins.
11. DE J.J. Watt- Houston improved by 4 games, playoffs.
12. QB Christian Ponder- Minnesota 3 less wins.
Of those teams those who drafted a QB improved by just .25 wins apiece. The teams who didn’t they all got starters who contributed right away and the teams averaged an improvement of 3 games each. What does it mean? In a quarterback driven league drafting one at the top doesn’t fix your problems right away. Until you add pieces around him, the team will struggle to succeed. Fans of teams like Indianapolis and Washington will have to show patience with their new signal callers and for those rooting for the Browns and Dolphins should think twice before booing a pick of a running back or lineman.