2012 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Order 2012: Jets, Rams, Bucs, and Browns Have Most Leverage

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with the trophy after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Alabama  won the game by a score of 21-0.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Noah PoinarCorrespondent IApril 25, 2012

Which teams have the most leverage to trade up in the 2012 NFL draft? Let's take a look:

 

4. New York Jets

I don't see them trading up in the first round, but I won't dismiss the possibility completely.  

Since the Rex Ryan era, the Jets have not been shy about pursuing talent at any and all costs. They do have 10 total picks in this draft, but I don't see them trading up to No. 3 for Trent Richardson as some predict. I could, however, see a scenario where they move up to Kansas City's spot to grab a player who slipped to that position but only if Miami takes Ryan Tannehill—it's the only way Kansas City would be willing to move back.

 

3. St. Louis Rams

Over the past couple of months the Rams have been the team most likely to move up.

I don't think it'll happen though, despite talk that it will. If they were to trade up, it would be to grab Trent Richardson and no one else.  

They've got a stockpile of picks from the Washington trade—including the first and seventh pick in the second-round—that gives them a lot of leverage, but why throw those away just to pick Stephen Jackson's successor?

They are guaranteed to get one of the top talents at No. 6. The Rams know there is a really good chance Blackmon will fall to them. If he doesn't, they'll still get one of the top tier talents.

 

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Vikings still seem to be a bit undecided (they're probably not though) on what they'll do at No. 3, and Tampa Bay is only two slots behind them.

That's the only leverage the Bucs have among all other teams. It also helps that Minnesota would still be able to get either Claiborne or Kalil at No. 5. The only problem is that Tampa Bay does not have a lot to offer. They only have six total picks this year and probably wouldn't be willing to throw their second-round pick—which is what the Vikings would ideally want.

 

 

1. Cleveland Browns

All in all, we're not likely to see any movement in the top-six teams, and that's why the Browns are listed here.

Cleveland wouldn't trade up from No. 4 to No. 3, but they would certainly trade up later in the first-round.

The Browns have 13 total picks in the draft (more than any other team), and they've got a lot of needs. Plenty of mock drafts have them taking Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick, but if Weeden is still on the board at No. 22, it's likely the Browns pass on him and trade back up into the first-round (probably with a team like New England or Baltimore) to get Weeden before he slips to the second-round—where a lot of teams would be trying to trade up for him.

Last season the Browns traded down to No. 26 with Atlanta then traded five spots up to No. 21 to take Phil Taylor. Some believed this move was a reach, but the Browns didn't.

I can see the Browns trading up from No. 22 to something like No. 18 or 19 if there is a defensive talent who slips down the board.  Any other trade up scenario seems unlikely.

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