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NFL Draft 2012: Predicting 5 Trades to Completely Shake Up the First Round

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NFL Draft 2012: Predicting 5 Trades to Completely Shake Up the First Round
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NFL owners and NFL Players Association should slip their lawyers a little extra something this April for hammering out the Collective Bargaining Agreement this year.

When the largest media event of the last two months involves what amounts to each team hiring seven new guys, you're producing something that's pure gold; if the lockout had lasted much longer, it could have killed the goose this all came from.

Other professional sports gain attention with their annual draft, but nothing that presents the full frenzy of analysis and speculation leading up to the NFL's glorified job fair.

The excitement around the NFL Draft starts as early as December. Google Trends show "NFL Mock Draft" at least doubling in searches as early as December. Sportswriters and fans post mock drafts for their teams, first-round projections or a guess at the first 100 picks. There are even those that try predicting all 253 selections of the draft.

But the one thing often missing from these mock drafts are the trades. Teams lock in on the players they want and decide they must have a specific player. Teams moving down were either beat to the punch or their top guy or think they can still get him later on and bank draft picks in the process.

So this isn't a mock draft. This is a prediction of how teams are going to blow everyone else's predictions out of the water. These five trades will throw months of analysis and guesswork into disarray and leave at least some people shaking their heads in wonder.

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