2012 NFL Draft: The Concept of "Playing Poker" in the Selection Meeting

Alex GiobbiAnalyst IApril 26, 2012

Last year's "prize"
Last year's "prize"Chris Trotman/Getty Images

One of the biggest parts of the NFL draft is the trades. Trades can either net a team a star, a regular or a bust. When I hear of trade rumors before the NFL draft and during it, I refer to these trade rumors as teams "playing poker" with other teams. 

Playing poker is one of many sports terms of my creation, otherwise known as Giobbi-isms; It is the figurative concept where two or more NFL teams discuss trades involving draft picks. Because nobody knows what player is picked, the picks are re-imagined as cards. Some trades bring future picks in, therefore those who get future picks are figuratively given extra cards for when they "play poker" with other teams.

Let's look at a situation involving last year's draft.    

Last year, the Atlanta Falcons traded many picks to the Cleveland Browns in order to move to the 6th overall selection, in which they took wide receiver Julio Jones. In effect, the Falcons played poker with the Browns, and while it cost them plenty in the long term, including this year's first round draft choice, in the short term, they got a dynamic playmaker in Jones. 

Another aspect of "playing poker" involves players already in the NFL. Players traded for picks are usually treated as "collateral." A famous example from this past NFL season:

This year, we were treated to an early poker game, when the Bengals traded embattled quarterback Carson Palmer (the "Collateral") to the Oakland Raiders for a first rounder and a conditional pick in the 2013 draft.

When the draft happens at 8 PM EST, expect many "poker games" to be going on. Some teams will look to trade up in the draft, like, according to Todd McShay, the Eagles, who could find a poker partner in Jacksonville, provided their top target falls off the board quickly. 

The Raiders "played poker" with a very tough opponent in order to grab Palmer
The Raiders "played poker" with a very tough opponent in order to grab PalmerEzra Shaw/Getty Images

Even though the Jets had explored trading with Cleveland to get running back Trent Richardson, even to the point where they called him for his contact info, sources say they will not go for him. Don't be so sure of that. The Jets effectively could be playing coy, so they do not give up as many "cards" for the Alabama star.

If that's so, then they should be able to lower the asking price significantly.

CORRECTION: The Browns have traded the fourth overall pick, as well as three others, to Minnesota for the third overall pick. Disregard that last paragraph. 

Anyway, this draft will definitely be different from last years, with the lockout officially done, thus allowing for "Collateral" deals again. Hopefully the draft will bring plenty of "poker games" in. You'll never know if your favorite team will get that star in one of those games.