2012 NFL Draft: Five Teams That Should Trade Up
I'm usually not a proponent of trading up, especially if it's very high. I generally believe that teams should hoard draft picks Patriot-style.
However, there are some occasions where a specific player would mean enough to a team that they should give up whatever it takes to move up.
Here are five teams that I believe should try to move up.
The Jaguars are sitting at one of the worst spots in the draft. They're picking seventh in a six player draft.
That leaves them with three options.
The worst (in my eyes at least) would be staying where they are. They could take someone like Melvin Ingram, who's a decent prospect, but they wouldn't be maximizing value.
They could move down, which is a real option, specifically if someone wants to jump Miami for Ryan Tannehill. That way the Jags could add a few picks while still getting a player of similar value to whoever they thought about at No. 7.
But depth isn't really the biggest problem for Jacksonville. They need top end talent. Their goal should be to jump St. Louis for Justin Blackmon.
Minnesota wants to move down, so that's a possibility, but the jump from No. 7 to No. 3 might be too much in terms of value. A realistic possibility would be moving up to No. 5. Tampa Bay wants Morris Claiborne, and they may be willing to risk losing him for a few extra picks.
St. Louis just signed Cortland Finnegan, so they might look to fill other needs at No. 6 if Blackmon is gone. Fletcher Cox and Dontari Poe are both options if Jeff Fisher wants to boost his defensive line, and if they're dead set on a receiver they could reach for Michael Floyd.
Jacksonville needs a true go-to receiver. Laurent Robinson isn't that guy, but he could be a nice complementary piece.
While I am by no means a believer in Princess Gabbert as a franchise quarterback, if the Jaguars are, they need to surround him with talent. An offense with Blackmon, Maurice Jones-Drew, Marcedes Lewis and Robinson suddenly looks pretty good.
New York Jets
I've voiced my opinion on this, so I'll keep it brief.
The Jets need a home run hitter, someone that can make big plays for them. Right now they have nobody who can do that.
The Jets should do whatever it takes to get up to No. 3 and take Trent Richardson. If that costs multiple picks including next year's first rounder then so be it. If they really believe Richardson is the next Adrian Peterson then there is no price too steep.
The Jets are high on blue chippers, but none that actually score points. If they can get a guy like Richardson who can do that than they have to trade up. Nobody they get at No. 16, or in the first round next year, would do that.
However, if they can't get Richardson then moving up for a guy like Melvin Ingram would be a bad move. The difference between Richardson and every other offensive player in the draft is huge, so it would be worth it, but the difference between Ingram and every other pass rusher in the draft isn't big enough to lose picks.
The Eagles are always loaded with draft picks, and this year is no exception.
They're loaded with talent at the skill positions, but they still have some holes on defense, namely, at linebacker. If DeMeco Ryans stays healthy they have a stud, but I wouldn't bet on it.
The Eagles need to ensure themselves Luke Kuechly. Kuechly is a tackling machine who could do wonders for Philly's run defense.
Giving up a few extra picks to make sure they get Kuechly would be well worth it. They'd likely have to move up at least to No. 11 (Kansas City), which according to the draft value chart would cost just a third round pick. Considering the Eagles have would still have two second rounders I'd say that's not too much to give up.
The Eagles consider themselves contenders, so stockpiling depth doesn't really mean much to them. They need to get a few players who fill immediate holes. Kuechly fills their biggest need and could help put them back in contention next year.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers don't just think of themselves as contenders, they are the early Super Bowl favorites. They are loaded top to bottom and should finish near the top of the league.
The one major hole the Packers have is a pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews. They've been looking to fill that spot for years, and now they have a chance to. Who they target ultimately depends on who they like.
If they fall in love with someone like Courtney Upshaw or Chandler Jones they could reasonably only move up a few spots to get them (depending on how the draft goes).
If a blue chipper like Melvin Ingram or Quinton Coples starts to fall into the teens the Packers could make a big move up and grab him. The Packers have built so well through the draft recently that they have the flexibility to make a big move if the opportunity presents itself. They don't necessarily need all of their picks, so if they believe a star is sitting on the board in the teens they should go up and get him.
I doubt the Packers make such a move, because Ted Thompson is notoriously conservative, but this about who I think should move up, not who will.
New England Patriots
The Patriots stockpile picks like preservatives during an apocalypse. They have multiple first round picks every year. But they never actually make both picks. They always roll them over to the next year.
But sooner or later they have to cash in right? I mean, Tom Brady is only gonna be Tom Brady for so long. The Patriots have a chance to really upgrade their team now while they're still big time contenders.
The simplest solution is to just make the picks. There are plenty of pass rushers who could help them and even a few corners that could be on the board.
My initial suggestion would be exactly what I suggested to Green Bay. See what pass rushers fall and make a move to get the one they like. However, the Patriots have so many picks that they could do better. In fact, I've got a wild idea for the Patriots.
They should try to trade up to No. 3.
The Vikings want to move out of the third pick and the Patriots are loaded. They could build an attractive package around both of their first rounders and some other picks. If Minnesota is interested in quantity---which I suspect they are because they most certainly aren't one player away--- such a package would be enticing.
The Patriots could grab LSU corner Morris Claiborne. With Claiborne they would have to use a receiver to cover in the Super Bowl. Claiborne isn't quite a shut down corner on the level of Darrelle Revis, but he's as close as it gets. I firmly believe he'll be a top five corner in a few years.
The Patriots don't need to roll picks back anymore. They need a blue chipper. I think they should make the move and go get one.
Of course, that's not what's gonna happen. Bill Belichick is gonna use one of his picks on an offensive linemen and move the other back to next year. Given his track record I can't really question it, but man, the possibilities with a guy like Morris Claiborne are awfully tempting.