I wanted to do one more mock draft with trades with just over two weeks to go.
The trades in the graphic are represented by a letter ‘T’. You’ll find notes on all of the deals below the mock.
I’l warn you now — I haven’t spent a ton of time researching the value of these deals. You may feel some of these moves are unlikely. I just wanted to put together a mock that included a few trades to see what the options are at #32. Whether the deals are cheap/expensive isn’t really a concern.
TRADE #1 — Atlanta (#6) trades with St Louis (#2) for a mid-round pick
Thomas Dimitroff and Les Snead are close. The Falcons could be one of the teams rating Khalil Mack over Jadeveon Clowney. If the Texans take Clowney, a deal here could be mutually beneficial. The Rams don’t get a kings ransom like the RGIII trade, but they stash a mid round pick in a deep draft.
TRADE #2 — Detroit (#10) trades with Jacksonville (#3) for a mid-round pick and a high 2015 pick
Another deal that has some mutual benefit. I have a hunch the Jaguars will covet Johnny Manziel and they may feel they can move down a few spots and still get their man. The Lions have spent a ton of time with Sammy Watkins given they have almost no chance of grabbing him with the tenth pick. The deal includes a mid rounder plus a high 2015 pick (second rounder?) to enable the Lions to target a cornerback in round two.
TRADE #3 — Tennessee (#11) trades with #St Louis (#11) for a mid round pick
The Titans’ ‘support’ for Jake Locker has been completely underwhelming. You know what else has been underwhelming? Tennessee’s off-season so far. Considering they brought in a new coach, the Ken Whisenhunt era hasn’t exactly started with a bang. Maybe they move up for Bortles and gain some direction? Because right now that offense is full of question marks. The Rams, having seen Jake Matthews leave the board, happily trade down again for perhaps another third rounder.
TRADE #4 — New Orleans (#27) trades with St Louis (#13) for two second round picks
The Saints have one of the more active front offices in the league. Look over the last few years — they move up and down a lot and they aren’t afraid to be aggressive. They need a receiver to support Drew Brees and Odell Beckham Jr is a popular local product. They give up two second round picks — one this year and one next. The Rams move down again. By the end of day one they draft Zack Martin and Calvin Pryor and go into day two with three more picks to add to their collection.
TRADE #5 — Houston (#33) trades with New England (#29) for a mid round pick
The Texans will need to guarantee a quarterback with their second pick having drafted Clowney at #1. They may get itchy fit in the 20’s and look for a trade partner who isn’t demanding a loaded deal. The Patriots are always willing to consider a trade and flip picks with Houston for a fourth or fifth rounder.
I can see Houston dealing the #1 pick and dropping into the #5-6 range before taking Blake Bortles. In that scenario St. Louis probably struggles to find a trade partner at #2 and takes Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews. I can see teams trading up for a shot at Mike Evans — potentially spending future first round picks to get into the top-10.
Seattle’s pick at #32
The options are pretty good here even with a rush on receivers taking the top prospects off the board. Joel Bitonio and Ra’Shede Hageman are both available. I went with Bitonio because it’s a bigger need. They can plug him in at right tackle or left guard. He can act as a backup left tackle too.
Other talking points
Arizona & Eagles go pass rush
Both teams take edge rushers in Demarcus Lawrence and Marcus Smith. Personally I think in a bad draft for pass rushers they deserve to go in the 30-40 range. And yet the Cardinals and Eagles know this could be their only opportunity to get even a solid impact player at the position. For two playoff contenders — this is a crucial need.
Cody Latimer in the top-15
The more you watch, the more you like. I’ve now watched six of his games and like Todd McShay — I’m yet to see a drop. He has incredibly strong hands, top-tier athleticism, fantastic leaping ability and he run blocks better than any other receiver in this class. He deserves to go in the top-20.
Kelvin Benjamin drops a little
For me Benjamin probably goes between 12-22. Yet when I put this mock together and with Latimer’s rise up the board — it was tough to find him a spot. I think there’s room for one of the big name receivers to fall — perhaps either Benjamin or Brandin Cooks. Yet their path to the Seahawks at #32 will likely be blocked by New Orleans (if they stay at #27), Carolina and San Francisco.
Concerning news for Seattle?
When we did that ‘worst case scenario’ mock over the weekend — be prepared because it could come true. If a host of receivers leave the board early don’t be shocked if Morgan Moses and Joel Bitonio are also gone before #32 too. Tony Pauline is reporting both players are high up on Carolina’s wish list at #28. If all the top OT’s and WR’s are gone — and there’s no unexpected fall for the top defensive players — it’s time to start considering those wild card options.