2013 NFL Draft: 5 Players Who May Tempt Playoff Teams to Trade Up in Round 1

Al BruceContributor IJanuary 25, 2013

2013 NFL Draft: 5 Players Who May Tempt Playoff Teams to Trade Up in Round 1

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    Two years ago, the Atlanta Falcons traded five draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up 21 spots in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft to select former Alabama receiver Julio Jones.  While many fans were surprised that Atlanta was willing to invest so many draft picks in a wide receiver, the Falcons felt that Jones was the "explosive" weapon their offense needed to get them over the hump in the playoffs.

    Atlanta's bold move was not unprecedented.  Indeed, since 2007 four other teams coming off playoff berths have traded away packages of draft picks to move up in the first round and acquire players they truly coveted.

    In the 2010 draft, the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles each traded multiple draft picks to move up for running back Ryan Matthews (12th pick) and defensive end Brandon Graham (13th pick), respectively.  The 2008 draft saw the Jacksonville Jaguars follow up their last playoff appearance by jumping up into the top ten to take defensive end Derrick Harvey. 

    Finally, Darrelle Revis probably wouldn't be a Jet if New York hadn't traded three draft picks to the Carolina Panthers to acquire the 14th pick in the 2007 draft following the Jets' playoff loss to the Patriots earlier that year.

    Will any of the teams who competed in this year's postseason make a similar move to land a coveted prospect from the 2013 draft class? 

    Let's take a look at five players that general managers from playoff teams will be tempted to trade up for in the first round this April.

Jarvis Jones, OLB/DE, Georgia

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    Why a Playoff Team May Be Willing To Move Up for Him: 

    Jones was one of the most dominant players in the best conference in the country, where he consistently faced NFL-caliber talent.  Jones also plays a position that NFL teams put a premium on.  After racking up 28 sacks in two seasons for Georgia, Jones would offer immediate help for any playoff team in need of an elite pass-rush specialist.


    Teams He Will Probably Tempt the Most: 

    Falcons:  There is no doubt that the Falcons need an edge rusher to put some heat on opposing quarterbacks after seeing Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick look very comfortable in the pocket against them in two playoff games this month. 

    Patriots:  Chandler Jones had a respectable rookie year, but the Pats still struggled to generate a consistent pass rush.  Tom Brady isn't getting any younger, and Jarvis Jones is the kind of prospect who won't need a lot of time to adjust to the NFL.

    Packers:  Green Bay's defense took a step back in 2012, but having Jarvis Jones lined up opposite Clay Matthews could change that very quickly

    Seahawks:  The Seahawks really missed Chris Clemons against Atlanta.  Pete Carroll has already stated that the team needs to acquire another pass-rusher this offseason.


    All player stats are courtesy of ESPN.Com.

Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

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    Why a Playoff Team May Be Willing To Move Up for Him: 

    Milliner has the size (6'1", 198 lbs.) and speed (4.48 40-yard dash) that NFL teams covet at the cornerback position.  After seeing how much success the Seahawks had this past season with Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, expect more NFL teams to go after bigger cornerbacks like Milliner.  

    Besides an elite pass rusher, adding a playmaking cornerback like Milliner who has been tested against SEC athletes is the quickest way for a playoff team to acquire an instant-impact performer on defense.


    Teams He Will Probably Tempt the Most:

    Patriots: Aqib Talib was a good start, but the Patriots certainly could stand to upgrade the cornerback position with another big, physical corner like Milliner

    Broncos: Did you see what Torrey Smith did to Champ Bailey?  As I said about Tom Brady on the previous slide, Peyton Manning isn't getting any younger.  Moving up to get Milliner would make a lot of sense for a Denver team that doesn't have a ton of holes.

    All player stats courtesy of ESPN.Com.

Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas

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    Why a Playoff Team May Be Willing To Move Up for Him: 

    Vaccaro could easily become the Mark Barron of this year's draft.  He excels in pass coverage and has shown a tremendous amount of range.  He is also not shy about coming up in run support as evidenced by his 87 tackles this past season for Texas. 

    With spread offenses creeping their way into the NFL, good teams can stay ahead of the curve by having rangy athletes like Vaccaro who can quickly fill running lanes on the back end of their defenses.  Like Jones and Milliner, Vaccaro won't need much time to adjust to NFL speed.


    Teams He Will Probably Tempt the Most:

    Redskins: Washington has a big hole at safety, but unfortunately for them, they probably don't have the ammunition necessary to move up to get Vaccaro

    Bengals: The Bengals need their own Ed Reed/Troy Polamalu on the back end of their defense. 

    Colts: Vaccaro and Antoine Bethea would combine to give the Colts one of the better safety tandems in the league

    All player stats courtesy of ESPN.Com.

Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

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    Why a Playoff Team May Be Willing To Move Up for Him: 

    Ogletree played safety as a freshman for Georgia, but he eventually moved to linebacker.  If you watched a UGA game this past fall, then you most likely saw #9 making plays all over the field for the Bulldogs.  He has NFL size (6'3", 237 lbs.) and runs well enough to play inside or outside linebacker. 

    Mel Kiper Jr. has said that Ogletree looked like the best player on the field in the SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama.


    Teams He Will Probably Tempt the Most:

    Colts:  Alec Ogletree would excel in the Colts' 3-4 under Chuck Pagano's guidance

    Packers:  The San Francisco game proved that the Packers need more speed and athleticism in their defensive front seven

    Broncos:  Ogletree is versatile enough to play inside linebacker in a 4-3 set.  Ogletree could be John Fox's Jon Beason in Denver.

    Falcons:  Stephen Nicholas proved to be a liability in the playoffs.  Alec Ogletree and Sean Weatherspoon would form a fearsome tandem for Atlanta

    Baltimore Ravens:  Someone's got to try and replace Ray Lewis

    Houston Texans:  Houston wasn't the same defense without Brian Cushing. They need another playmaker at linebacker

    All player stats courtesy of ESPN.Com.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

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    Why a Playoff Team May Be Willing To Move Up for Him: 

    Patterson is a big play waiting to happen when he has the ball in his hands.  He was one of the few bright spots for an underachieving Tennessee team last season.  He finished the year averaging 16.9 yards per catch for the Vols.


    Teams He Will Probably Tempt the Most:

    Texans:  Houston desperately needs another playmaker opposite Andre Johnson.  The Texans look a lot like the Falcons did on offense before they drafted Julio Jones in 2011.

    Vikings:  With or without Percy Harvin, the Vikings need a vertical threat in the passing game to discourage opposing defenses from completely selling out to stop Adrian Peterson.

    Colts:  The Colts need to get an elite wide receiver like Patterson who can grow with Andrew Luck

    Bengals:  A.J. Green and Cordarrelle Patterson.  You're welcome Andy Dalton.

    All player stats courtesy of ESPN.Com.