2009 NFL Draft-Day Trades To Watch For

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2009 NFL Draft-Day Trades To Watch For
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

During the NFL Draft, 10 minutes can seem like a very long time. 

It sounds ridiculous to a non-football fan, but there is nothing more exciting during the first round of the draft than seeing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walk to the podium at the seven-minute mark with a trade in hand.

That being said, here are some trades to look for on draft day, or possibly before.

 

The Carolina Panthers Trade Julius Peppers: 90 percent Confidence

Julius Peppers is being held hostage under the Panthers' franchise tag, but in this rare situation the hostage has most of the bargaining power.

Because Peppers has not signed Carolina's offer, the Pro Bowl defensive end's agent is the only person who can negotiate a deal with teams. The Panthers can only accept or decline a deal that Peppers brings to the table.

Making things more difficult, if Peppers does find a team he wants to go to, under the franchise tag that team is required to give up two first-round draft picks. There are ways around that, however, and the Panthers, who do not have a first-round pick in 2009, are not in a great salary cap situation to sign a first rounder.

Peppers wants to play in the 3-4 scheme next year where his talents would be better utilized. Of the teams using the 3-4, Peppers has narrowed his choice down to four teams, including the Patriots and Cowboys.

The Pats are taking the biggest steps towards acquiring Peppers, and they have plenty of trade ammo, including the 23rd, 34th, 47th, and 58th picks in the draft. 

If the Patriots are going to trade for Peppers, they would rather not be required to sign a first round pick. The Panthers will have the final say on the matter, and if they would rather have a couple of second rounders, New England may have to trade out of pick No. 23 with another team.

Due to the Cowboys' focus on keeping DeMarcus Ware in Dallas, it doesn't seem likely that they will make a major move for Peppers. The combination of the league's two premier pass rushers would be amazing to watch, and only the Cowboys' new billion-dollar stadium would be big enough to house such monsters.

It is currently a mystery as to who the other two 3-4 teams Peppers wants to play for are, but I suspect the Denver Broncos are in the running. The former UNC basketball star was seen at a Denver Nuggets home game in March, and the team just switched to the 3-4 defense.

In order to bring in Peppers, the Broncos would likely have to part with their 12th or 18th pick (or both), but they would no longer be required to draft an edge rusher to fill the hybrid role.

As for the fourth suitor, it could be Green Bay, San Francisco, Kansas City, San Diego, or the New York Jets. 

All in all, the Pats have the most to offer the Panthers, and they would be the best fit for Peppers, possibly using him in red zone offensive sets as well as all over on D.



The Arizona Cardinals Trade Anquan Boldin: 75 percent Confidence


The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right?

Apparently it's true. Recently Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team is willing to listen to offers, and it's much easier to trade players for picks than it is to trade players for players.

Much like in Dallas' Roy Williams trade, it should cost teams first and third round picks, if not more, to acquire Boldin.

The top team looking at Boldin has to be the New York Giants. Eli Manning is entering his prime, and after losing Plaxico Burress, the Giants need to pair Manning with another elite receiver who can produce for the next five-plus years. 

If the Giants wanted to sign one of the elder free agent wideouts, they should have done so by now. 

The Washington Redskins would be another team where Boldin would fit in well. The Skins would need to trade away the 13th pick and one of the receivers they drafted last year, which they may consider to be too much.

Sticking in the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles are also hungry for a No. 1 receiver. The Eagles have two first round picks this year, providing them with plenty of trade bait. 

The Cardinals would most likely be after the Eagle's 21st pick, where they may have a shot at Knowshon Moreno, Clay Matthews, or Brian Cushing. 

The Cardinals are trying to keep tight-lipped about Boldin's situation, which only leads me to believe we've only seen the tip of the iceberg.



The Oakland Raiders Trade Down: 60 percent Confidence


It's no secret that Al Davis has a need for speed. While Davis will have a shot at Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin with the seventh pick, we know he really wants the sub-4.4 40 of Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey.

I wouldn't put it past Davis to draft DHB with the seventh pick, but the only thing more fun then getting the fastest player is the draft is making a trade and still getting the fastest player in the draft.

Even if Davis wants Maclin, he could still trade down four or five picks and get him.

What makes the possibility of Oakland trading out of the seventh pick more of a reality is that several teams are anxious to get their hands on Mark Sanchez, who should still be on the board.

Denver, Washington, New York, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota are all interested in jumping ahead of San Francisco for a chance to draft Sanchez. 

All teams will need to swap their first round picks with Oakland in order to make the trade, and they will have to slap on later or future picks as well.

The rumor mill is predicting that the Broncos are focused on defense and that they could draft B.J. Raji at seven, while the Redskins have really jumped into the running. 

The only way the Bucs will trade up is if they think the Jets want to draft Josh Freeman, and it is uncertain if the Vikings are interested in drafting a quarterback at all. 

Anticipate Davis to be actively seeking a trade in order to acquire more picks that he can build his young team with.



The Cleveland Browns Trade Braylon Edwards and/or Brady Quinn: 50 percent Confidence


Once the future of the franchise, the Browns have already parted ways with Kellen Winslow and are looking to do the same with Braylon Edwards and Brady Quinn under Eric Mangini’s new regime.

Similar to Anquan Boldin, the best match for Edwards would be the New York Giants. Eli Manning and Edwards were drafted one year apart, and although he's had trouble with drops, I am extremely confident the former Michigan receiver will bounce back and would return to the Pro Bowl with the Giants.

The Baltimore Ravens are also a surprise player in the mix, looking to aid Joe Flacco, but Edwards will come at a price Baltimore might not be willing to pay.

The Jay Cutler drama has kept our minds off Brady Quinn this offseason, but there’s no reason the Vikings, Bucs, Jets, and Redskins shouldn't be taking a hard look at him.

Teams may be able to acquire Quinn without giving up a first-round pick, as there are mixed reviews on his value. It would be foolish for the Jets and Vikings not to pursue Quinn. He has excellent game management skills and would play well in tandem with the teams' strong defenses.

Currently, the money is playing towards an Edwards trade, but Brady Quinn could be the difference maker in a team's playoff run.



The Jacksonville Jaguars Trade Down: 35 percent Confidence

Maurice Jones-Drew just signed a long-term deal with the Jags, making it apparent that he is the future of the franchise. 

Now that the team knows they have a Pro Bowl-caliber back for the next five years, their focus needs to be on building a team that best suits him. That means not using another first round pick on a wide receiver. 

The team needs to take a hard look at B.J. Raji if he's there so they can get back to dictating the pace of the game on both sides of the ball. If Raji isn't their man, offensive line needs to be the team’s focus.

If Oakland stays at seven, that means teams will be coming to Jacksonville to get ahead of San Francisco. The Jags could trade down with Denver or the Skins, and they would have a good opportunity to draft Andre Smith at 12 and 13. If not Smith, the team could draft Michael Oher, who is another potential Pro Bowler on the offensive line.



The Cincinnati Bengals Trade Chad Ocho Cinco: 15 percent Confidence

Although everyone’s favorite number-named receiver acts young, he is 31 years old and on the decline in his career. Chad Ocho Cinco can still provide for a team right now, but teams that are playing towards the now-and-later might be averse to giving up a first-rounder, or multiple picks, to obtain him.

The best fit for Ocho Cinco is in Philadelphia because the Eagles offense is old and looking to win now. Ocho Cinco is a long target that still has the ability to stretch the field, and he has Pro Bowl potential playing with Donovan McNabb.

With two first round picks, the Eagles are in the best situation to get hold of Ocho Cinco, but the Oakland Raiders are also taking a hard look to bring some experience to their young offensive cast.

The fact that Ocho Cinco has lost a step over the years may deter Al Davis from pulling the trigger.

Ultimately Chad Ocho Cinco comes with some baggage. The Eagles have dealt with baggage in the past and it wasn't pretty. His attitude may make it hard for the Eagles to accept the talented player.

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