Realistic Trade Options for Every Team in the NFL Draft
Considering this is one of the more intriguing and unpredictable drafts in recent memory, it should be interesting to mull over the many possible draft-related trades.
All signs are pointing to heavy trading in the later parts of the first round and all throughout the second. That's because of the depth of talent between picks 20 through 60. There should be a lot of teams looking to move into this range, all wanting to take a guy they were high on who dropped out of the first round.
In this slideshow, we take our best look at every team's realistic trade scenario, keeping in mind how unpredictable a draft trade can be, especially in a class such as this.
Kansas City Chiefs
Although the Chiefs would love to be able to trade out of the first overall selection in favor of accumulating more picks, that is not likely. Teams simply aren't enthusiastic enough about any prospect to give up what it would cost to move up to the top spot.
One trade possibility that seems to be pending is sending discontented left tackle Branden Albert packing. Albert has made it clear he has no interest in switching to right tackle and has refused to show up to offseason workouts until he gets a long-term deal. The Chiefs are currently in talks with Miami to send Albert packing for a first round draft pick but contract negotiations with Miami and Albert could be holding up the deal.
If that deal falls flat, the Cardinals could be looking to swoop in on the action.
The Chiefs don't have a pick in the second round and should be looking to jump in at some point. Albert may serve as the piece that makes it possible.
Unless Jacksonville is absolutely enamored of a guy with the second pick, which I doubt is the case, it would make a lot of sense for the Jaguars to trade down for more picks.
Blaine Gabbert could be a name mentioned on draft day, but who in their right mind would actually want to trade for one of the more disappointing picks of the last few years? Even if a team traded to get Gabbert, he wouldn't demand more than a third or fourth-round pick.
Jacksonville needs more picks to help rebuild one of the worst teams in the league last year. Geno Smith might be the guy for them.
Another option for the Jags to rack up draft picks could be by trading running back Maurice Jones-Drew, a guy who held the team hostage last offseason with a bitter holdout. He may not be a part of the Jaguars' rebuilding plan and could be the most viable trading piece on their roster.
Keep a close eye on their second round pick where they have the first overall spot in that round. This could be a highly coveted position where several teams are sure to be calling early on Friday morning looking to make a deal for the 33rd overall spot.
Oakland is cleaning house, unloading nearly every player brought in by the old regime. A project like this requires fresh talent to fill the void. That means the Raiders are going to need more draft picks, especially in the first four rounds.
One problem is the team's extreme lack of players worth an early-round draft pick. their best bet, or only bet, I should say, is to trade out of the third overall selection and maybe add a second-round pick and an additional third or fourth. However, pickins' will be slim in the search for buyers this high up, they may have to sell cheap.
I know it's eating at GM Reggie McKenzie not having a pick in the second round. If he doesn't acquire it by dealing back from the third pick look for Oakland to make some other moves to find their way into that talent rich sweet spot between picks 20 through 60.
The Philadelphia Eagles are ready for a fresh start with their new-look offense led by former Oregon coach Chip Kelly. It's hard to project exactly what the new management will do in the draft, but it seems unlikely the Eagles will use all four of their seventh-round draft picks.
Expect at least two of those picks to be used in trades to move up a few spots into the mid-to-later rounds.
Filling in for Michael Vick at quarterback, Nick Foles increased his trade value last year and could have a bright future in the NFL. It just probably won't be with the Eagles. Foles is not the ideal quarterback for Kelly's high-octane, read-option offense. Don't be surprised if teams start calling on Day 2 or 3 looking to make a deal for him.
Look for Kelly to possibly maneuver his way back in round-1 where he may be eyeing a guy like Tavon Austin.
After losing defensive end Cliff Avril in free agency and Kyle Vanden Bosch to retirement, the Lions have to replace that pass-rush production eventually. They have already passed on the available free agents, which could mean they're looking to the draft to retool.
If Dee Milliner is off the board by the time the Lions pick at No. 5, they will almost certainly be eyeing one of the many available pass-rushers in the top 10. This could be "Ziggy" Ansah, Barkevious Mingo or even Dion Jordan.
This still leaves a major need at cornerback position, and it's starting to look like there will be a serious run at cornerbacks from picks 20 to 50. Detroit could use the 36th pick as a way to move back into the first round if there's a guy it has an eye on at corner.
If the Browns pull the trigger on a quarterback with the sixth overall selection, they could wind up dumping Brandon Weeden onto another QB-needy team later on. This might bring Cleveland back into play in the second round, where some of this year's best prospects will land.
The 2013 draft class is a bit thin in the top 15, but it also happens to be one of the deepest drafts in years from picks 20 to 60. Teams like the Browns should do their best to get as many of those prospects as possible. The sixth overall spot is beginning to look like the sweet spot for any team interesting in snagging left tackle Lane Johnson, San Diego may be a viable trade partner to move up in front of the Cardinals to take Johnson.
The Cardinals need offensive line help like no other team in the NFL and this is the draft rectify those issues. Lane Johnson could slide into their hands here at seven but they might have more interest in trading up to get Fisher or Joeckel, whichever one of the two who happens to be left on the board around the fifth pick.
I'm pretty sure Detroit would love to entertain a trade that would swap first round rounds picks with Arizona but patience may be the better strategy for the Cards. Chance Warmack and Johnathan Cooper are potential options here if Johnson is gone or they just don't love him.
At the No. 8 spot, the Bills would love to trade down for more picks and get their QB of the future at a better value. Nassib appears to make the most sense for Buffalo but No. 8 is too rich for his risky talent level. Moving back to the middle of the first round would be a much safer place to address QB given the talent available.
In C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, the Bills also have two dynamic running backs, C.J is really emerging as a younger, elite talent, which makes Jackson a potential target for a trade in a packaged deal to jump up into the late first or early second round.
New York Jets
Now that the Jets have traded Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay for their 13th overall selection, they have some intriguing options to consider with two picks in the top 15. It could give them the pass-rusher they have longed for since Rex Ryan arrived on the scene. Guys like Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo or Jarvis Jones might be options there.
Plus, they could add another weapon for Mark Sanchez to egregiously overthrow like Tavon Austin or even Tyler Eifert.
Don't be surprised in the Jets are not done wheeling and dealing in this draft as they could get excited to see a favorite corner slip into the late-first and feel the need to jump up and get him. D.J Hayden or Johnthan Banks are possible names that come to mind here. They could also make a big splash and trade down into the late-first to get a guy like E.J Manuel while acquiring some additional picks along the way.
The Tennessee Titans are loaded with draft picks, which also means they have a plethora of options in regard to trades. With nine picks, including four in the top 100, they are strong candidates to get aggressive.
Maybe the Titans leapfrog the Cardinals at No. 7 and snag whichever left tackle happens to be available among Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and even Lane Johnson.
Tennessee has had wide receiver Quinton Patton in for a private workout. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine Patton falling into the middle of the second round, which would allow the Titans to pawn off one of their two third-round picks to move in on the talented receiver.
San Diego Chargers
There isn't much to work with in projecting any trades for the Chargers. They have several question marks on their roster and a quarterback who hasn't played well in two years.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen or running back Eddie Lacy could attract the Chargers if they happen to fall into the second round. This would mean moving up a few spots from the 15th pick to maybe the fifth or sixth in the second.
They might find the right pawn in a trade that allows them to swap spots with the Browns which would allow them to fill a big need at left tackle where Lane Johnson should be available.
Miami spent a great deal of resources loading up on free agency. One of its few failures in that regard was not re-signing left tackle Jake Long. This could mean the Dolphins trade up into the top 6 looking to take one of the three left tackles available. The most likely candidate is Lane Johnson.
Dee Milliner also has the potential to drop lower than projected and could entice the Dolphins front office into a full-court press to get him before anyone else does. We know Miami is interested in Brandon Albert of the Chiefs which would probably cost them one of their two second round draft picks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were the first team to make a splash in their recent trade for Darrelle Revis. They now have their secondary pretty shored up and can focus their attention elsewhere.
Tampa now has no pick in the first round and won't pick until the 11th spot in round-two. It's very possible that the Bucs trade that second round pick, which will have a lot of interested buyers, allowing them to get an additional third or late second rounder. But if Tampa loves a player who seems to be falling into the late first round, they may find a way to get back into some day-1 action.
It seems plausible that the Panthers may trade a guy like DeAngelo Williams, considering they already have Jon Stewart. Trading Williams would also free up cap space and bring Carolina additional picks to help shore up the many holes on its roster.
Adding as many draft picks as possible seems like a good idea, considering how quiet the team was during free agency. Besides, the team could always draft a less expensive option to share the load at running back.
The only question is, what would a team be willing to give up in exchange for an undersized, overpaid running back?
New Orleans Saints
The Saints will try to make a pretty strong push into the second round, where a ton of starting-caliber talent should be available. This is a critical move for the Saints, who are looking to improve on defense.
As I mentioned earlier, there will be a big push at cornerback in the second round this year. New Orleans may want to think about jumping near the front of the line to get top-quality play in the secondary. The Saints had one of the worst units in NFL history last year.
Apparently the Jets have made inquiries about RB Chris Ivory who is an excessive luxury and apparently could be sent packing for a pick in the fifth or sixth round pick, which the Saints have apparently already turned down. According to Saints GM Mickey Loomis, Ivory has also garnered interest from other teams as well. However, it's not likely Ivory will warrant anything more then a fourth rounder at best.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams are fortunate to have three picks in the top 50, which can lead to some attractive trade options. However, I can see the Rams using both their first-round picks.
But if they decide not to, the best course of action would be to trade one of those picks to move up and snag a player they really wanted, like wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
There are a lot of ways the Steelers can go here. This is a team trying to rebuild after missing the playoffs last year and saying goodbye to several key starters. Younger guys are stepping into the starting lineup and need to prove themselves. Depth and competition is going to be key moving forward.
Pittsburgh's most likely trade scenario will probably take place in the fourth or fifth round when a player falls further than expected. This is when we may see the team agree to move up a few spots.
Another possibility could be the Steelers draft Jarvis Jones at 17, then get anxious and lose patience waiting for a receiver they love in the second round so they move up 5-to-10 spots from the 48th pick they currently hold in order to grab him.
One likely scenario for the Cowboys is trading up a few spots to get a guy like Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper just outside of the top 10. If they stay at No. 18, both of those guys could be gone, but they could always get a guy like D.J. Fluker.
Drafting a safety makes a lot of sense also, but in that case, they may want to flirt with the idea of trading down in the first and snagging a guy like D.J. Swearinger or Jonathan Cyprien. This could give them a few more picks to play with while still grabbing one of two very talented safeties.
New York Giants
There's a strong possibility the Giants will be forced to choose between a few linebackers and a possible offensive tackle like D.J. Fluker. Whomever they don't choose with their first pick could end up sliding into the second round.
At that point, New York may be enticed enough to jump back into the early second round and get good value for a guy it almost picked in the first round.
With this being Phil Emery's first go-round as the Bears general manager, it 's tough to get a feel for how he likes to operate on draft day. But with the free-agent signing of Jermon Bushrod, J'Marcus Webb could be on his way out as a draft-day trade.
If the Bears elect to keep Webb and move him to right tackle, they still might want to draft a tackle and have him compete.
We may also see Emery put Devin Hester, a well-known fan favorite, on the trading block. Emery told the Chicago Sun-Times that he expects Hester to compete only for a role as a return man.
Hester is clearly not the priority he once was in Chicago, so teams may come calling for his services on draft day.
It's tough to project whether the Bengals will go running back, linebacker or safety with the 21st pick. Running back seems to be a big reach at 21, especially considering they also have two second-round draft picks to consider one.
Trade options for Cincy seem relatively dry, but if there was any possibility, it would be using some of the extra late-round picks to move up in the fourth round if a guy they're high on is still available. Acquiring James Harrison might make some other rushers on the team expendable trade-bait, but chances are they keep that young group intact.
Seattle has a ton of picks on Day 3. In all, the Seahawks have nine picks between Round 4 and 7, but none in Round 1. The wise thing to do would be to unload some of those later-round picks to possibly sneak back into the first round.
At this point, Seattle may be one impact player away from a Super Bowl season. So trading up to get into the late first or early second round seems to make sense. If the Seahawks take that route, Justin Hunter seems to fit the mold of what Pete Carroll looks for in his wide receivers.
Drafting Hunter would put Russell Wilson over the top in regard to weaponry.
The Redskins only have two picks in the top 100 this year thanks to the trade that landed them Robert Griffin III. They might shop around second-year quarterback Kirk Cousins as a way to gain a few more picks in the Day 1 or Day 2 range.
The recent signing of QB Pat White makes Cousins even more expendable, considering he lacks the athleticism to pose any threat in the Redskins' evolving read-option offense.
I can see the Colts moving back in the first round to acquire a second-round pick, considering they don't have one. As mentioned earlier, the second round is going to be interesting this year and loaded with impact players.
The Colts could use a running back and a pass-rusher. Eddie Lacy or Corey Lemonier might be the target in Round 2.
Thanks to their trade with the Seahawks, the Vikings now have two first-round picks. It's hard to see the Vikings trading for more picks, as they already have 10, including four in the top 100.
The best bet for any trade would be for Minnesota to try to move up in the draft. The Vikings may have a specific prospect in their sights and could be afraid of losing him, perhaps Tavon Austin motivates them to jump up between picks 10-15.
Minnesota is also a prime target for any team wanting to jump back into the late-first considering they have the 23rd and 25th picks and could be willing to part with one of them if the deal is right. One of these spots might be where a QB-needy team comes into play and grabs E.J Manuel.
Green Bay Packers
Could this be the year the Packers draft a running back in the first round? With the 26th overall selection, Green Bay has several options here.
If the Packers are at all interested in moving up in the first round, they could look to trade one of their more controversial players in Jermichael Finley. However, most of the fun in this draft will be happening on Day 2, which is also when the Packers could add another pick using Finley as the bargaining chip.
The Houston Texans need help at wide receiver pretty badly. If they like DeAndre Hopkins, he might be available when they are on the clock with the 27th pick.
If they don't see Hopkins as their guy or if someone like Keenan Allen ends up falling out of the first round, the Texans could draft him early in Round 2.
Denver has the 28th pick in the second round and could move up to grab Christine Michael, the most physically gifted athlete in the draft
Micheal, however, should be gone before the Broncos make their selection. They might not be willing to wait that long to draft him, especially if Johnathan Franklin and Eddie Lacy are off the boards as well.
Miami, which picks twice before Denver in the second round, could also use help at running back and has shown interest in Michael. The Dolphins even brought him in for a private workout. So it's not likely that Michael will be there when the Broncos pick 28th.
New England Patriots
One thing we know about Bill Belichick and the Patriots on draft day is that they're always one of the more active teams in terms of trades. New England has no fourth, fifth or even sixth-round pick, and it will likely make some moves to change that.
If Marcus Lattimore, whom the Patriots have met with several times, is still available in the fourth round, New England should make a strong push to get him. Lattimore is one of the more talented prospects in this draft and would be one heck of a bargain as a fourth-round pick.
Rarely do you see a team hold on to four picks in the seventh round, which is exactly what the Falcons have. They also have the 30th pick in the first round and a serious need at cornerback. Desmond Trufant makes sense in Atlanta, but the Falcons might have to move up into Round 1 to make that happen.
Knowing that this is Tony Gonzalez's last year, finding his successor now would be a smart idea. Gavin Escobar seems a natural fit he's still available in the third round. If that is the case, don't be surprised if the Falcons make an aggressive push for him.
San Francisco 49ers
The possibilities are truly endless in the 49ers' war room this year. They have five picks in the top 100, and something tells me they have their eye on Tyler Eifert, even though he's one of the few tight ends they are not known to have interviewed or worked out. That alone adds to my suspicion that perhaps they are looking to draft him and surprise some teams.
Getting Eifert may require trading up in the first round, which is something the 49ers are fully capable of doing with their 13 draft picks. Eifert or safety Kenny Vaccaro should be the only players worth trading up for in a draft like this.
If they don't trade up into Round 1, they could push to acquire a third pick in the second round, where they could add a safety, cornerback and wide receiver.
I can really see the Ravens falling in love with LSU Linebacker Kevin Minter. This kid is a tough physical presence who can help shore up a major void left in the middle. Based on Minter's combine and pro day, he should be available after the first round, but not for long.
Ozzie Newsome may use a few of his 12 draft picks in order to move up into the second round in order grab Minter, who I believe is the best fit at inside linebacker for Baltimore.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!