The reason I have come to hate mock drafts (despite looking at them every day) is because the second a team moves a pick at any time, each mock gets thrown out the window. It happened last year when each first-round quarterback drafted had a traded pick used to select them and it will happen again this year. This years draft class is oozing with top-end quarterback talent that will undoubtedly be shaken up at least once more. The Jets have already shown they are all in on drafting a QB in 2018 and up to ten other teams could be in the mix to move up and get their own franchise signal caller. These are four trades that would not shock anyone on NFL draft night.
4 Potential NFL Draft Day Trade Scenarios
Buffalo Trade Up To No.5 (Denver) – Chance to Fruition: 50%
The Bills have had a lingering need at quarterback ever since the Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment failed. This year they are in luck as they have accumulated enough picks in recent drafts to make their own move for a QB. The Bills already made one deal; moving up nine picks from 21 to 12. The swap solidified the theory that the Bills are trying to get their guy of the future in 2018 but they may need to climb even further in the draft to get that guy they want.
It seems far-fetched that each of the top-five quarterbacks will be off the board when the Bills – as of now – are on the clock but there are four teams in front of them with the same need. Swapping both of Buffalo’s current picks with Denver’s single pick would be beneficial to both squads as the Bills can pick up the QB they want and Denver can add multiple stars. The Broncos seem committed to the combination of newly acquired Case Keenum and project QB Paxton Lynch enough to jump back and add depth to improve all other positions besides QB.
The reason this trade will get done is that the Bills are scared of the Dolphins selecting one pick in front of them and the Cardinals moving up to snatch a QB off the board early. Every team picking after Cleveland (no.4) have very little incentive to pick a quarterback but the Bills cannot rule out the possibility of a team trading up before the Dolphins selection. The only way they eliminate this is by trading up and getting ahead of these teams that want to move back.
Arizona Trade Up To No.7 (Tampa Bay) – Chance to Fruition: 35%
Currently starting on day one of the NFL season at quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals is Sam Bradford…who needs to make it through the preseason healthy to start that game. Bradford has not been the answer anywhere he has gone over his seven-year career and doesn’t appear to be a long-term solution in Arizona either. This leaves the draft as the only remaining outlet for the Cardinals to find a quarterback with any longevity.
Arizona might need a quarterback as bad as Buffalo but have a lower first draft pick than the Bills and do not have the extra late first rounder to offer Denver for the fifth pick. That is why Tampa seems like a logical trade partner. The Bucs can trade back to 15 and still potentially grab a high-grade corner, safety, running back, or offensive lineman as well as knab another second round pick and potential first in 2019. Despite a poor 2017, Tampa’s offence has a ton of upside unlike Arizona’s.
Realistically, the Cardinals could trade up with any of the teams after Denver but it will likely come down to who is left on the board. Every team knows that Arizona needs a QB and if three are gone after five picks, expect the Cardinals to take immediate action. Lamar Jackson may be a safe bet to fall to the fifteenth spot but he needs time to develop and Arizona may not be patient enough to invest the time.
Washington Trade Up to No. 10 (Oakland) – Chance to Fruition: 15%
Washington recently acquired former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in a trade that also sent a 3rd-round pick and Kendall Fuller back to Kansas City. This deal didn’t do much for Washington besides give them a starting quarterback for 2018. However, judging by the way Smith has routinely lost his starting job before his time is actually up, Washington could be in the market to select a QB that can learn under Smith and then eventually take his job. Despite Smith getting a four-year contract after being traded to Washington, his contract is front-loaded in cash, backloaded in cap hit and has an out after 2021.
This could mean Washington is in the market to pick a QB in 2018 and then have him learn under Smith for a year or two. Baker Mayfield would fit this mould perfectly. It is widely known that Mayfield has interest in playing in Miami and the fit makes sense with Ryan Tannehill never quite finding his stride. If Mayfield is on the board at no.10 and Washington want him, they are going to need to go get him before the Dolphins pounce. The pick could also be used on Jackson who has a similar athletic ability to Robert Griffin III when he was coming out of college.
For Oakland, they need as many players as they can get on the defensive side of the ball as possible. Aside from Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, and Mario Edwards Jr., the Raiders have next to no playmakers on defence. With the no.13 pick, the Raiders might get the guy they wanted at no.10 and more in the form of a second or third-round draft pick.
Baltimore Trade Down to No. 31 (New England) – Chance to Fruition: 10%
Ozzie Newsome loves his draft picks. The Ravens are once again in the position of needing multiple players at multiple positions and a trade with New England could grant them a shot at grabbing more than one impact player on offence. In New England’s case, they have a chance to use the pick they acquired in the Jimmy Garoppolo deal with San Francisco to move up to no.16 and get an impact player as well. The Patriots have shown in recent years they are not above moving draft picks to get the players they covet the most.
This deal only happens if at no.16 Calvin Ridley is off the board. Ridley fits perfectly in Baltimore and matches Newsome’s love for former Alabama players with the Ravens desperate need for a receiver. However, if Ridley is gone, the Ravens may be trading back because of the lack of wide receivers worthy of the 16th overall pick. Trading for the 31st and 43rd picks would give the Ravens a chance to select one of either Marylin native D.J. Moore or Julio Jones look alike Courtland Sutton and offensive tackle Orlando Brown, who the Ravens were perhaps contemplating picking at no.16. Brown had a horrible combine and is no longer projected to go in the first round. He is the son of former Raven Zeus Brown.
With the no.16 pick, the Patriots would have a chance to select either Kolton Miller or Mike McGlinchey as a replacement for Nate Solder. Solder left this offseason to go to the Giants after seven seasons in New England and leaves a huge hole to fill on Tom Brady‘s blindside. Both the Patriots and Ravens want to be very competitive in 2018 and this trade facilitates the immediate needs of both teams.