Teams Most Likely to Trade Down in the 2013 NFL Draft
So far, what we know of the 2013 NFL Draft is that we don’t know.
And frankly, the suspense is very welcomed.
What we will assume is that for the first time since 2008, a quarterback will not be taken with the first overall selection.
And we will also assume that there may be a surprise or two waiting for us on Thursday and Friday evening, as well as Saturday afternoon and night.
So here’s a look at a few clubs that could really benefit from trading down in this draft. As we have all seen, these things seem to have a spiral effect and once a move is made, others could follow in rapid succession.
We’ll do our best here. Then again, we certainly don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Kansas City Chiefs (1st Overall Pick in Round 1)
The Kansas City Chiefs have eight selections in the 2013 draft, including a pair of picks in both the third and sixth rounds.
But part of the deal that brought quarterback Alex Smith to town was giving up a second-round choice, the 34th overall in this draft.
No doubt the new regime of head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey would like to improve on that overall total, as well as perhaps securing at least one pick in 2014.
So the call here is that the Chiefs indeed trade down, marking the first time since 2001 that the team with the first overall pick trades the selection before it is made.
As far as a suitor for the choice, just a hunch it could be a team in South Florida sporting new threads in 2013.
New York Jets (13th Overall Pick in Round 1)
No ifs, ands or butts. The New York Jets will be putting an emphasis on the “new” in 2013.
Even head coach Rex Ryan may need a scorecard when it comes to his roster this upcoming season. Gone are veterans such as running back Shonn Greene, tight end Dustin Keller, safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, guard Matt Slauson, defensive tackle Mike DeVito and linebacker Bart Scott.
In case you hadn’t heard, they also traded superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.
And that brings us to the 13th overall selection, which was part of the compensation for the standout defender. The Jets could go a lot of ways with the ninth pick in the draft. But look for them to add to their total of eight selections by moving down in the first round.
Pittsburgh Steelers (17th Overall Pick in Round 1)
Remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers defense used to come up with the big play?
That’s not to say that the Black and Gold still can’t get it done on this side of the football. In each of the last two seasons, coordinator Dick LeBeau’s unit allowed the fewest yards in the league.
But the video in the piece was from the team’s 2010 win over the Baltimore Ravens. That season, the Steelers came up with 35 takeaways, part of the reason the team gave up the fewest points in the league that year and went onto Super Bowl XLV.
Over the last two seasons, a total of 32 games, Pittsburgh has totaled 35 takeaways.
There’s a bunch of talent when it comes to rushing the passer in this draft and maybe the Steelers stand pat. But don’t be shocked to see general manager Kevin Colbert move down and secure some extra picks as the team (which released outside linebacker James Harrison this offseason) looks for some high-impact defenders in this draft.
St. Louis Rams (22nd Overall Pick in Round 1)
Last April, head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead were quite active during the draft.
And the St. Louis Rams did a solid job adding to their roster with young players such as defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, wide receiver Chris Givens and running back Daryl Richardson, to name a few.
The 22nd pick is courtesy of the Washington Redskins and part of the deal that enabled Mike Shanahan’s team to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Rams, 7-8-1 in 2012, still have their own selection at No. 16.
Fisher’s team opened some eyes last season and certainly got the attention of the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. No team in the NFC West had a better divisional mark than St. Louis (4-1-1) last season.
So look for Snead and Fisher to add to their total of eight picks. And there’s the distinct possibility of dealing all the way out of the first round via this selection.
New England Patriots (29th Overall Pick in Round 1)
The New England Patriots with five picks in an NFL draft?
Say it isn’t so.
But that is indeed the case as some wheeling and dealing for players has Bill Belichick’s team without selections in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.
Last year, the team finally cashed in on its usually-impressive picks total and moved up in the first round to grab defensive end Chandler Jones, then moved back into the first round to take linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
This offseason, the Pats re-signed cornerback Aqib Talib and added some savvy veterans such as defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and strong safety Adrian Wilson to that much-maligned unit.
And don’t be shocked if Belichick and company head out of the first round to pick up more selections.
Cincinnati Bengals (53rd Overall Pick in Round 2)
Are the Cincinnati Bengals currently the front-runners in the AFC North?
Keep in mind that Marvin Lewis’ team has reached the playoffs the last two years and won the division in 2009.
This is a franchise, without a playoff win since 1990 that has certainly turned the corner and turned into a consistent contender.
But it’s now time to take the next step.
The Bengals do have 10 picks in this draft, including a pair of choices in the second round. The 37th overall selection comes courtesy of the Oakland Raiders as the seemingly endless compensation for quarterback Carson Palmer.
Cincinnati still has its own pick at No. 53. But look for the team to move that choice and likely for some selections in 2014.
San Francisco 49ers (61st Overall Pick in Round 2)
No team enters this draft with more selections than the San Francisco 49ers.
And no doubt general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh get lucky with all 13 picks.
Although the Niners don’t pick until No. 31 in the first round (which means they were in the Super Bowl the year before), they also have the No. 34 choice in compensation for sending quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the exception of the first and sixth rounds, San Francisco has at least two or more picks in each of the other five rounds.
So don’t be surprised if Baalke and Harbaugh look toward the future as much as they do the present in this year’s draft.
Miami Dolphins (82nd Overall Pick in Round 3)
The Miami Dolphins have become an intriguing football team for the first time in quite a while.
Yes, the club won the AFC East in 2008, orchestrating one of the great turnarounds in league history following a 1-15 showing in 2007.
But the team has now suffered through four straight losing campaigns and in 2012, finished 7-9 for the third time in four years.
Still, this was a 6-6 football team after a 1-3 start last season. And when you look at what the club has done this offseason in terms of free agency, you have to be impressed with their aggressiveness.
The Dolphins have 11 picks in this year’s draft, including a pair of selections in both the second and third rounds. It wouldn’t be a shock to see them move up in the first round.
But it would also be hardly a surprise to see general manager Jeff Ireland work his way back and secure some future picks. With a young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, this is a team that needs to be thinking long term.
That’s imperative if the Dolphins have any aspirations of unseating the Patriots in the AFC East anytime soon.
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