Why These 7 Teams Could Trade Up for the No. 1 Overall Pick in 2013 NFL Draft
Alex Smith is on his way to Kansas City and with the Chiefs having no imminent need at quarterback, drafting first overall is more of a luxury than a necessity for Andy Reid and his staff.
For the first time in a few years, there is a very legitimate chance that the No. 1 overall pick gets traded away.
While most teams are tight-lipped regarding any draft-day trades, we took the time to speculate which teams could move up to the first overall selection, making a case for each squad.
No. 3 Oakland Raiders
What player would they take: Texas A&M LT Luke Joeckel, West Virginia QB Geno Smith, Florida DL Sharrif Floyd
Chances of this trade: Likely possible
Analysis: The Raiders are in an odd position, sitting right behind the Jaguars who could go with almost anyone from Sharrif Floyd to Bjoern Werner (though the latter's stock has cooled of late).
Oakland may just decide to do what the Cleveland Browns did last season, trading up a few slots at the top of the draft to ensure that the team gets its guy.
If the Raiders make this move, they wouldn't have to give up too much—along with the third overall pick—and it's likely that the team would draft Luke Joeckel.
Raiders columnist Steve Corkran opined that the left tackle would be the third overall pick—if he fell that far. With this trade, Oakland would be able to get its guy.
Kansas City would still be able to get Eric Fisher third overall and a number of scouts have actually said that they prefer Fisher to Joeckel, so it wouldn't be a huge dropoff in talent, if any.
A Raiders offensive line with Jared Veldheer and Luke Joeckel as the bookends would be very stout and could give the team a very good chance to win, no matter who is under center.
Joeckel blocked very well for mobile quarterback Johnny Manziel this last season at Texas A&M, so don't discount the fact that he'd be able to adjust to Terrelle Pryor calling the shots if it came to that for Oakland.
No. 5 Detroit Lions
Which player would they take: Alabama CB Dee Milliner
Chances of this trade: Likely possible
Analysis: I had one huge question about Dee Milliner after watching the cornerback's game film—I needed to know whether or not the defender had enough straight line speed to keep up with receivers running vertically.
Milliner plays a lot of trail technique coverage in which he attempts to undercut passes, which is good because it keeps him and his long arms between the football and the receiver he's covering.
That said, corners playing trail technique are usually exploited when a quarterback hits a vertical receiver in stride.
The cornerback ran a 4.37 second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine, running slower than just four of all the offensive players invited. Add that speed to his 6'0" tall, 200-pound frame and Milliner is the best corner available bar none.
Without any competency in the secondary, the Lions need to at least attempt to find a lockdown corner to remain competitive in games against quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler in a hotly contested NFC North.
If Milliner busts, so be it. At least Detroit made an attempt.
Kansas City could still probably nab one of the draft's two best offensive tackles with the fifth overall pick, but if not, the team could go with the best player available and get significantly good value at that.
No. 6 Cleveland Browns
Which player would they take: Oregon LB Dion Jordan
Chances of this trade: Somewhat likely
Analysis: Dion Jordan going with the first overall pick isn't exactly conventional wisdom here, but it shows just how fluid this draft is at the top.
The Browns may be sitting in the worst possible position for a team needing a rush linebacker. Four of the top five teams in the draft could use a pass-rusher, and the only team that likely won't draft one (the Chiefs) could trade their pick.
Damontre Moore isn't looking like the star he was on film (12 repetitions on the bench press calls into question the defensive end's upper body strength and ability to stone running backs on off-tackle plays).
Jarvis Jones' medical situation makes him too risky a prospect to draft in the top 10, while Bjoern Werner just doesn't impress evaluators enough to warrant an exorbitantly high pick.
Jordan can drop into coverage, play the run well, move quickly for a man of his size and, ultimately, he has a bevy of pass-rushing moves that he uses to make an impact on the quarterback.
Cleveland needs a player of Jordan's caliber, and there's a chance he doesn't make it all the way to the sixth pick. The price that the Browns will have to pay will end up being worth it if Jordan becomes a star.
No. 8 Buffalo Bills
Which player would they take: Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson
Chances of this trade: Somewhat unlikely
Analysis: The Bills wouldn't bring in a new head coach, name a new general manager (for the future) and revamp their offense if the team wanted to just stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center in 2013.
Though a number of evaluators have the Bills nabbing Geno Smith in the draft, Tyler Wilson makes a lot more sense for Buffalo as the team attempts to rebuild.
With Geno Smith and Matt Barkley both in the mix for most picks between the first and seventh overall selection, Buffalo brass knows that despite a lack of talent under center, an early run on signal-callers could occur.
The Bills could skip all of the drama by trading up to the first overall selection and drafting Wilson, a big-armed gunslinger from the SEC who would immediately revitalize Orchard Park.
No. 9 New York Jets
Which player would they take: WVU QB Geno Smith
Chances of this trade: We'll see
Analysis: I could just copy and paste what I put for the Bills with this pick but add a little more urgency, considering Rex Ryan will be fired after next season if the Jets aren't contenders.
The Jets are behind the quarterback-needy Jaguars, Raiders, Cardinals and Bills, but with a new offensive coordinator New York would certainly like to get a top-flight signal-caller.
Smith's arm and rushing ability would predispose him to success in Marty Mornhinweg's offense, so the pick would be a solid fit.
With where the team was at the quarterback position in 2012, bringing in another field general can only be a positive for the Jets.
Similar to the Lions, if this pick is a bust, at least the Jets made an attempt to upgrade the position and failed.
No. 10 Tennessee Titans
Which player would they take: Alabama G Chance Warmack
Chances of this trade: Very unlikely
Analysis: Though Steve Hutchinson will go down as one of the best guards of all time, he's no longer an effective lineman in the NFL. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, the Titans didn't even have any of their guards grade out positively this entire season.
It may present awful positional value, but the Chance Warmack effect could force the Titans to trade all the way up to No. 1 and pick the guard.
With the Raiders displaying some interest in Warmack, Tennessee may not want to take the risk of waiting at the 10th pick if the team grades out the Alabama mauler much better than UNC's Jonathan Cooper.
If the Titans wait at No. 10, there's a solid chance they still end up with Warmack, but trading up to the top of the board would ensure they get their guy.
While I don't see this happening, don't discount the possibility.
No. 11 San Diego Chargers
Which player would they take: Texas A&M LT Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan LT Eric Fisher
Chances of this trade: Not as unlikely as Tennessee, but still rather unlikely
Analysis: The Chargers may not really have the means by which they could trade up to the first overall pick in a normal draft year, but this season, draft pick values may be much different.
San Diego's ability to pass protect will be a key factor in whether or not the Chargers compete against teams like the Chiefs and Broncos in the AFC West (with rushers like Tamba Hali and Von Miller coming hot off the edge).
Philip Rivers doesn't have any big-time weapons (with Antonio Gates' star fading), but the least that the Chargers can do is provide him with a top-flight offensive line.
In fact, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chargers will attempt to upgrade their offensive line at all costs this offseason.
Pairing Joeckel or Fisher with a re-signed Louis Vasquez wouldn't be a terrible combination for San Diego in 2013, and the team would be well-suited to make this trade.
Follow me on Twitter @EliNachmany.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!