NFL Draft 2012: Five Teams That Will Be Looking to Trade Up

James Christensen@@nepatriotsdraftContributor IFebruary 15, 2012

NFL Draft 2012: Five Teams That Will Be Looking to Trade Up

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    Only three NFL teams pulled the trigger on trading up in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft—Atlanta, Jacksonville and New Orleans—picking wide receiver Julio Jones, quarterback Blaine Gabbert and running back Mark Ingram, respectively.

    With an array of dynamic prospects at premium positions, the 2012 NFL Draft is shaping up to be a much different draft.

    We've identified at least five teams that may be trading up during the first day of action from Radio City Music Hall.

Cleveland Browns

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    Colt McCoy is not the answer—unless the question is who would lead the Browns to another sub-.500 season in 2012.

    Mike Holmgren should be actively trying to procure the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft from the St. Louis Rams to prevent teams like the Redskins, Dolphins and Seahawks from jumping them in line.

    Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor) would certainly be the target for Cleveland, an electric prospect that could jump-start a sputtering offense.

    In order to jump only two spots, the Browns may have to part with their other first-round pick—procured from Atlanta last year in the Julio Jones trade—according to the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart.

    They might be able to get away with less, but if a market develops around the pick, the value could skyrocket.

Washington Redskins

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    John Beck and Rex Grossman are two names that should be haunting every Redskins fan during the offseason. Unless the quarterback situation is take care of, Washington has no chance to compete in the NFC East on a consistent basis.

    With only two elite prospects at the position, the Redskins are forced to look at trading up with St. Louis to secure the rights to Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor).

    Having to outbid the Browns, and perhaps the Dolphins or Seahawks, will result in the Rams getting a pretty good price out of the Redskins. I wouldn't be surprised to see them hand over a future first-round pick in addition their first- and second-round picks in 2012.

Miami Dolphins

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    The Dolphins are not a bad football team. They play in a tough division and have had some bad luck over the last few years. Whether they are one pick away from contending for the playoffs again is the question.

    They have talent at running back, wide receiver and on their offensive line. Their defense showed some promise in 2011.

    What are they missing? Dan Marino was the last franchise quarterback to play in Miami—a man who played his final game when Robert Griffin III was in grade school.

    If the Dolphins feel that Griffin is the missing piece in their puzzle, a dramatic move up may be in order.

    Granted, the Dolphins may try and be players in free agency—landing a healthy Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn would immediately make them playoff contenders—but if they can't come to terms with a veteran replacement, are they really ready to roll with Matt Moore again in 2012?

    I know a certain talented receiver, namely Brandon Marshall, who certainly isn't.

New England Patriots

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    The Patriots trading up? I have not gone mad.

    Contrary to popular belief, Bill Belichick does know that picks can be traded up as well as down. Just to name a few, he has made moves up for Daniel Graham, Chad Jackson and Rob Gronkowski during his tenure in New England.

    With their seemingly perennial stock of two first- and second-round selections, the Patriots have a lot of flexibility in what they are able to do.

    Belichick is aware of what he's been getting away with on defense and I would not be surprised to see him make a move for an impact player on defense.

    Trading the 27th and 48th picks can get the Patriots into the teens, where a dynamic front-seven player should be available.

    Michael Brockers (DL, LSU), Nick Perry (DE/OLB, USC) and Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB, Alabama) are all possibilities if they start to fall down the board.

Oakland Raiders

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    New GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen have to be looking at their draft selections this year and wondering if they were robbed.

    Due to a number of trades and supplemental draft selections, the Raiders aren't scheduled to make a pick until the fifth round.

    The new-look Oakland franchise has shown that it is committed to more of a long-term view, but we'd be surprised if they didn't find a prospect that they were interested in by day two.

    While we doubt that the Raiders will use what little draft capital they have, sending a veteran player in exchange for a higher pick is certainly a possibility.