Five trade scenarios in round one

Quarterbacks like Jake Locker could promote the trade market


Projecting trades is like trying to predict this week’s lottery numbers. Really it’s the sliding doors effect – different scenarios provoke different opportunities. It’s hard enough trying to guess which team is targeting a certain player or position without also trying to guess whether they’d make a bold move up the board. 

Twitter is infected with live mock drafts at the moment. They start off fairly interesting then patience runs low and numerous bizarre trades kick into action. By the time these seemingly endless and tedious mocks are complete, they’ve become so convoluted with all the numerous trades. So having suitably insulted the world of twitter mocks it’s worth mentioning I’ll be hypocritically participating in one myself shortly with Dan Kelly (Field Gulls) and Brandon Adams (17 Power). 

If you can’t beat them, join them. Any opportunity to work with Dan and Brandon is a positive and hopefully this mock won’t be so out there

I’m flying back from Jamaica tomorrow so I’m not sure how active things will be until late on Wednesday. I wanted to run through some possible trade scenarios that I think are possible, but I’m not going to get into compensation. Really this is just a speculative piece on a subject nobody can seriously project. If we do see a lot of trades in round one this year, I think the quarterback class will play a big part. 

Trade scenario #1 

What if Cam Newton and Marcell Dareus are the first two picks in the draft? 

I still think there’s a good chance Da’Quan Bowers will be taken by Denver at #2, allowing Buffalo to draft Dareus. However, I suspect the Bills may get some genuine interest at the #3 spot regardless. It’s not clear yet whether the prospect of a rookie wage scale will encourage teams to move around more freely, but it could have some impact. 

Teams desperate for a quarterback will know there’s a strong possibility Cincinnati will draft Blaine Gabbert at #4. It’ll be interesting to see if the 49ers, Titans, Redskins or Vikings consider making that bold move up the board. Another possibility? Maybe a team like Dallas makes the call in an attempt to get their hands on Patrick Peterson? Teams trading into the top-three is not common and remains unlikely, but there’s a chance that #3 pick could have some value. Buffalo could still draft a top defensive lineman or a tackle like Tyron Smith later on in the top 10-12 picks. 

Trade scenario #2 

If Dallas are unable to get their hands on Peterson, they may look to move down from #9. Speculation has the Cowboys looking at cornerbacks, offensive tackles and defensive lineman – all logical options. If they single out a tackle as their best bet and prefer the depth later instead of drafting Tyron Smith in the top ten, they could make a jump down the board. 

There’s precedent for such a move considering Jerry Jones has done a lot of moving around in round one over recent years. He may see value in a Gabe Carimi or a Nate Solder and feel comfortable moving down the board knowing Anthony Castonzo and Derek Sherrod will also be available as insurance, as well as many 3-4 defensive prospects. 

Why would a team move into the top ten? Dallas picks just before another QB needy team in Washington. As with the Bills at #3 we could see movement in this area as teams look to usurp others considered a rival for the top quarterbacks. Minnesota, Miami or even Seattle at #25 could find a trade partner with the Cowboys, although any move by the Seahawks would likely cost the #25, #57 and at least a 2012 second round pick. 

Trade scenario #3 

Houston are switching to a 3-4 defense under Wade Phillips and need as many early picks as possible. The Texans’ defense remains a liability and in switching to the new scheme they realistically need a nose tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker and further additions to their secondary. A lot of the problems could be solved by better play up front and at least one solid addition to the defensive backs. 

Even so, if they can move down and pick up two more early picks it could be tempting. As with the previous two scenarios, Houston select before QB needy teams Minnesota and Miami. If three of the top four quarterbacks are off the board following Washington’s pick at #10, there could be some panic to make sure the fourth QB doesn’t last much longer. 

The Texans could target a nose tackle like Phil Taylor later or one of the many OLB prospects. Alternatively a smaller move down the board could still net an Aldon Smith, JJ Watt, Prince Amukamaraor Jimmy Smith. 

Trade scenario #4 

New England have an incredible amount of draft stock which includes the #17, #28 and #33 overall picks. The Patriots could use all three to re-stock their defense and improve a unit that struggled at times to keep up with the Tom Brady show on offense. 

Alternatively, will they go for gold? This is a team that has a reputation for trading down not up, but is this the year they buck the trend? A pro-active move by Green Bay netted the Packers Clay Matthews in 2009, sending three picks to New England in the process. Matthews excelled and won a Super Bowl ring this year – the Patriots were left with three mediocre players. 

It would be a stunning shock if Bill Belichick packaged the #17 and #28 to move up the board into the top ten. However, the Patriots are not as predictable as some would have you believe. They will do whatever helps them get back to a Super Bowl next year so rule nothing out. 

Trade scenario #5 

In the first two rounds of the 2010 draft, teams traded directly in front of the Seahawks. In round one Philadelphia jumped from the #24 pick up to #13 in order to draft Brandon Graham. The move may have been initiated by the Broncos who were determined to move down and accumulate picks (they’d already moved from #11 to #14, before moving up from #24 to #22 to select Demaryius Thomas). Philly coughed up two third round choices to get the #13 pick. 

In round two it happened again. Both Houston and Cleveland moved directly ahead of Seattle in order to draft running backs (Ben Tate and Montario Hardesty). Clearly they suspected a rush at the position that may have included the Seahawks at #60. 

We may see further movement again this year, particularly with the continued focus on the quarterback position. Even if one of the ‘big four’ drops, I don’t expect they’ll land at #25 on a plate. Someone is likely going to test the resolve of New Orleans or Philadelphia and try to get back into round one. Even if the big four are gone, will the fear of the 5th quarterback going at #25 drive a team picking early in round two to move up?


  1. woofu

    There are two things missing from this years draft.

    1/ Active player + Draft Pick valuation
    2/ Pre-draft FA

    Both of these contribute to more trading on draft day not less. This makes draft capital a premium and should slow trading markedly.

    The idea being that with more holes than normal to fill due to no CBA/FA, a team must use all of it’s choices to do so. Without the ability to add value to a 4th rounder by including an existing player, a team would have to rely on the draft value chart approach.

    • Rob

      I suppose you could argue though that free agency will happen (and by the sounds of it, quite shortly after the draft if the injunction gets the thumbs up) so teams might target to fill their ‘key’ hole and be aggressive. Those who need a young quarterback can get out there and get the guy, perhaps thinking they can find that offensive lineman or defensive end in free agency. It’s really an unknown what will happen in this year’s draft.

  2. caleb

    Interesting. I like the angle you take on #5. The same could very much be said for this year. The Seahawks need help at so many positions, i wouldn’t be surprised if teams deliberately tired to move ahead of us to get that ‘one guy’ they want. On draft day, the hawks could go anywhere, BPA, defense, offense, and still have lots of holes to fill. It should be fun watching other teams scrabble to get ahead of us considering they still don’t know PC-JS drafting strategy or have any idea even what position we are interested in. Yay for incomplete teams!!

  3. Matt

    Don’t forget that in round four as well, Dallas moved ahead of the Seahawks to nab the CB who I can’t be arsed to spell the name of, AOA. It certainly seemed that with the uncertainty of the tendencies of the new regime, teams were extremely eager to jump in front of them to nab players at positions understood to be severe needs for the Seahawks.

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